why does orthodontic treatment take so long

Factors that can prolong your orthodontic treatment time

August 30th, 2019

This month (August) is always busy with folks either trying to get their braces on or off before school starts, and as exciting as it is to start making your SMILE better, it’s an even better day when your braces get to come off.  Unfortunately, we sometimes have some patients who aren’t able to get their braces removed before school starts, and there are often several reasons why.

  • Patient cooperation and even the family’s cooperation is often the most important factor in making orthodontic treatment finish on time, and also with a high quality result. So, if a patient takes really good care of their braces and doesn’t eat things that will break them, this helps.  A patient doing what they’re supposed to with wearing rubber bands or headgear for example will expedite treatment as well.  Parents, you are vitally important because you live with your children and also can oversee their compliance at home, and you are the ones that usually take them to and make their appointments.  So, if appointments are missed or things are not done at home, these things will delay treatment.
  • There is a difference in orthodontic treatment times from one orthodontist to the next because we are people, and each of us is unique in our own way. So, besides the difference in us as people, each orthodontist in a particular area or your town may have trained at a different dental school or post-graduate program.   Finally, each orthodontist has a different practice philosophy where some emphasize speed versus quality and some increase treatment times more for financing reasons instead of actual clinical, treatmen
  • Lastly, there are some occasions where orthodontic treatment just takes longer than your orthodontist had estimated through no fault of the patient or the doctor. Sometimes, teeth move a lot slower than anticipated or some erupt/come in a lot slower than expected.

For the most part for most orthodontic patients, if you do your part and get support from mom/dad if you are not an adult, this usually results in finishing your orthodontic treatment on time (and sometimes even earlier than expected) and with a great result.  If you are honestly not doing your part, then you know what you need to do.

Note: Dr. Edward Altherr is a board-certified orthodontist in private practice serving Apex, NC, and the surrounding towns/cities of Cary, Holly Springs, Morrisville and Fuquay-Varina.  Dr. Altherr’s training in orthodontics was at the prestigious University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s program where we studied under many great orthodontic icons like Dr. William Proffitt and Dr. Camilla Tulloch.  During his orthodontic training, Dr. Altherr’s research and further focus was on the orthodontic treatment of the mixed-dentition (mix of baby and adult teeth in kids between 6 and 14 yo).  With his research and over 17 years of clinical orthodontic experience as of 2019, Dr. Altherr is considered an expert in mixed-dentition orthodontics and other areas of orthodontics like temporary skeletal anchors.  This web blog is for educational purposes only.  Dr. Altherr is licensed only in the state of North Carolina, and cannot diagnose and recommend orthodontic treatment over the phone or internet.

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