Often when people come in to see an orthodontist, they have a lot of questions. Many of these come from some myths and legends that are present in society and have very little basis in reality. With the advances in medical science, orthodontists now have the ability to make major changes and give a person the smile they desire. As the process advances, the technology advances with it to provide a more comfortable experience.
Here are answers to some questions that we are commonly asked in our Plano dental office:
Is orthodontics only for children?
No, but it is potentially more difficult to straighten or align an adult's teeth than a child's. In a sense, braces are not just for kids anymore. Adults have the option and opportunity to get straighten their teeth without needing to wear braces. Patients may need to wear them slightly longer or maintain using a retainer afterward, but the results are still effective.
Are braces painful and do they take a long time to fix a person's teeth?
No, when it comes to pain, most people quickly adjust to the braces and report only minimal levels of discomfort. Technological advances make braces far less cumbersome and more comfortable to wear than in the past. Orthodontics is a science, and also a bit of an art. It is a science because everything that is done is very precise and carried on by a highly trained and skilled orthodontist. It is an art because the straightening process and the length of time it takes for the treatment to be effective depends on the individual patient. Hence, it is impossible to say just how long a treatment could last. We have had clients that only require braces for a few months and others that have had to wear them for years.
Is it embarrassing to wear braces?
Orthodontics has improved significantly over the last several decades. Today, orthodontists have a number of options to hide the braces. In some cases, the braces can be installed behind the teeth, making them virtually impossible to see. There are also clear ceramic braces available which are almost completely invisible when they are in the mouth. Clear aligners are another option since they look like a clear retainer and are virtually invisible.
Can't my dentist just straighten my teeth?
An orthodontist is a dentist first and foremost. However, after completing dental school an orthodontist has to go on and take an additional two or three years of school with a specific focus on orthodontics. They learn about jaw alignment, teeth straightening, retainers, braces, and aligners just to name a few. Orthodontists also spend a lot of time studying, throughout their career, the latest techniques and getting to understand the newest technology so that they can provide patients with the best treatment possible.
If you are interested in straightening your teeth, schedule an appointment to speak with an orthodontist and have all of your remaining questions answered.
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