Four Steps Involved In Having Dental Braces Fitted
Typically, dentists don't fit dental braces. This sort of work is usually undertaken by a specialist, known as an orthodontist. If your dentist has referred you to an orthodontic dental practice, then what can you expect if braces are recommended? Read on to find out more about the process of having them fitted.
The first step involves establishing whether or not braces are the most suitable option. During an initial consultation, the orthodontist will conduct an oral examination checking on teeth that are misaligned or overlapping. This process might involve taking impressions of the teeth or taking dental X-rays. In some cases, advanced imaging technology may even be used to get a detailed look at the jaw and teeth structure. Based on this consultation, the orthodontist will discuss the need for braces but other potential treatment pathways will also often be put forward.
If you have decided to proceed, then teeth will need to be prepared so they're in good enough condition for braces to be fitted. Any existing dental issues, such as cavities or gum infections, must be dealt with. Doing so will mean that the braces can work effectively. A professional cleaning and polishing session can sometimes be recommended. This is typically done to remove any plaque or tartar build-up. Because dental braces can create nooks where food particles might hide, oral bacteria build-up can follow so having your teeth in a well-prepared condition is essential.
The actual fitting process follows next. When traditional metal or ceramic braces are fitted, the teeth will be dried and conditioned to make sure that the brackets bond correctly. A dental adhesive is then applied and, in effect, the brackets are glued into place on each tooth. Once the brackets are in place, they're connected to one another by having archwires threaded through them. These wires apply force when tightened to move teeth into their desired positions. Lastly, ligatures, little elasticated bands, are fitted to keep the archwires in place.
Braces function by applying consistent pressure on the teeth. They guide them to the desired position over time, not in one go. Therefore, follow-up visits to the orthodontist are essential during the treatment phase. These check-ups allow the orthodontist to deal with any unforeseen problems and adjust the tension in the archwires as the treatment progresses. The final monitoring visit to your orthodontist typically involves the removal of the braces, including the brackets and dental adhesive.
For more information on braces, contact a professional near you.