When you’re thinking of orthodontic treatment for yourself or a family member, one of the first questions you ask is this:
How long does it take to get straight teeth?
That’s not a question that’s easy to answer in a blog post. There are too many variables to consider, and everyone’s mouth is unique. You might be able to get the smile you want in as little as six months, or it might take two years to correct your malocclusions and bite.
For most people, the potential length of orthodontic treatment is a little concerning. We all have busy lives, and nobody wants to spend the next couple of years working on their teeth every few weeks.
So, what’s the absolute fastest way to get the straight, healthy smile you want?
Let’s talk about your options.
The Fastest Way to “Straighten” Your Teeth: Veneers
Here’s the thing about using cosmetic dentistry to “straighten” your teeth – it doesn’t actually straighten your teeth.
Placing veneers over your teeth can help create the appearance that your teeth are properly aligned, especially if you have gaps or misshapen teeth.
Veneers can’t actually treat orthodontic problems like rotated teeth, bite problems, and jaw misalignment. Placing veneers on crooked teeth involves removing much of your natural tooth enamel, then bonding porcelain veneers on top of your existing teeth.
Often, it’s recommended that you use braces or other orthodontic treatment options to straighten your teeth before placing veneers. Keep in mind, too, that veneers have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, and they’re far more easily damaged than your natural teeth.
Cosmetic dentistry is cost prohibitive for some people, and since veneers aren’t a viable option for everybody, you should consult with your orthodontist before trying to use veneers to get a straight smile.
There are several new technologies available that are designed to accelerate the tooth straightening process.
Some of these methods involve bone stimulation, devices that apply pulsating pressure, or the surgical removal of bone tissue to speed up tooth movement.
Accelerated orthodontics are a relatively new practice in the field of orthodontia, and so far, they have been associated with elevated risks and a higher probability of regression after treatment. In other words, there are some dangers involved, and your teeth might not stay straight after treatment is completed.
Hansen Orthodontics does not offer accelerated treatment options due to the question of their efficacy and safety.
What About Surgery?
Currently, there is no way to surgically straighten teeth.
The roots of your teeth are anchored in your jaw bones, and in order to move and straighten your teeth, that bone needs to reform and grow around your new smile. That’s why you have to wear a retainer when your treatment is done.
In some situations, you may have surgery in addition to a treatment option such as braces, but surgery is only necessary in extreme cases.
The Bottom Line – How Long Does Treatment Take?
You won’t know how long you can expect your personal orthodontic treatment to take until you consult with an orthodontist.
The field of orthodontia is far more advanced now than it was even 10 years ago, and treatments with appliances like braces and Invisalign don’t take as long as they used to. They’re also more comfortable today than they used to be.
Your orthodontist should explain your options clearly, and they’re not going to stretch your treatment out unnecessarily.
Orthodontists like Dr. Hansen want to get results for you as quickly as possible, and they want those results to last. Your orthodontist will help you find the right balance between speed and lasting efficacy in your treatment.