Adult Braces: Procedure Expectations

Are You Considering Having Braces?

bracesOrthodontic or dental services or adult braces can be given by a licensed orthodontist or dentist in your area. It’s vital that you check for proper licensing and certification and compare your options before choosing the professional for the job. There are a few things to expect from the procedure, and treatment period can take anywhere from 6 months to 2.5 years, depending on how your teeth respond and the current situation.


The initial stage involves analysis and assessment to determine whether the braces are just right for the patient. The patient should work with the dentist during consultation as the oral cavity, jaws, gums and teeth are inspected. Impressions, X-rays and molds might be required for the dentist to have a full idea on the best job to do to fix any abnormalities and disalignments. In some cases, the dentist might use computers to make a digital representation of the patient’s mouth so that both the professional and the patient can plan the methods and approach together.

During Treatment

Treatment with adult braces can last anywhere from 6 to 30 months, depending on the problems present and the complexity of the situation. Before the braces are given, the dentist might place orthodontic spacers to separate the back teeth to properly give the bands enough space. The dentist will use an adhesive on the teeth that need to be braced to fix and create the bond to the tooth surface. The teeth afterwards have to be banded, with brackets added. Brackets have to be placed using dental cement, after which it will be cured using light until everything hardens. Every tooth will need a few seconds to cement. Molar bands can also be placed later on after orthodontic spacers are provided between the molars for added room. Bands are used if it proves ineffective to use dental fillings to fill and properly set a bracket.

More Applications

The archwire is fixed between the brackets and then attached using metal or elastic ligatures. Elastics come in different colors. Archwires are positioned, shaped and then properly fixed to get the needed effects. Hooks on the brackets can also be fixed so that the elastics properly function. The placing of elastics will largely be based on the type of treatment. These are available in various strengths, sizes and diameters. Adult braces are inspected and adjusted every 2 to 4 weeks, depending on how much the teeth have shifted.

After Treatment

Retainers are provided after the treatment period to keep the teeth from going back to the first position. In some cases, patients have to undergo surgery to prepare the mouth for retainers and improve the contours of the gumline. Examples of post-dental surgery include gum lifts and fiberotomy. Retainers have to be worn or else the patient risks having his teeth return to original placement. Hawley retainers are the most commonly used, created with metal hooks and covered by an acrylic plate that suits the palate of the user. Retainers might be needed for 3 to 12 months after dental treatment to get the desired results.

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