For most people, achieving a healthy, beautiful smile is the reason for receiving orthodontic care. If you're self-conscious about your smile, correcting your concerns with braces will greatly improve the way you look and feel.
When your treatment is complete, you will have the smile you've always dreamed of and the confidence to show it off! We also want you to feel comfortable and confident throughout your entire orthodontic experience, and our practice is dedicated to making sure that you receive the quality care you deserve.
How Orthodontic Treatment Works
Orthodontic treatment works by applying gentle forces to teeth. The forces can be exerted with a variety of appliances. They can be removable retainers with springs and expansion devices or traditional fixed braces with wires. Clear removable plastic aligners like Invisalign® apply force by using a series of trays changed every seven to ten days. When a force is applied to teeth, the teeth respond by moving slowly.
Why Orthodontic Treatment
You might need orthodontic treatment for several reasons:
- The most obvious reason is if your teeth are crowded. Crowding makes it difficult to clean your teeth and gums.
- Orthodontic treatment is also needed when there is a poor relationship between the upper and lower teeth. The teeth might be in cross bite where an upper tooth is trapped behind a lower.
- The upper front teeth protrude too far forward compared to the lower teeth and this excessive overjet might make the upper front teeth more prone to trauma and affect facial aesthetics.
- This poor relationship might extend to the jaws. If the lower jaw protrudes too far forward, this underbite would require orthodontic intervention.
Length of Treatment
Orthodontic treatment time varies based on the severity of the malocclusion. Simple cases treated with a removable retainer may only take six months, whereas complex cases with severe crowding and an excessive overjet may take up to 36 months. Most cases fall somewhere in this range. In addition to the clinical details of a case, patient cooperation can affect orthodontic treatment time. The greater the patient cooperation the better the chance that the treatment time is less than estimated. Cooperation can take many forms:
- In cases of traditional braces, eating hard, sticky, or crunchy food can loosen brackets and deform wires, which will slow down treatment time.
- Elastic wear is needed frequently during treatment to improve the relationship between the upper and lower teeth. Noncompliance with elastics will also extend treatment time.
- In the case of clear removable plastic aligners, they need to be worn 22hours a day. Anything less will cause the aligners to not fit, make treatment take longer and potentially compromise the final result.
In cases where patients are cooperative with diet, elastic wear, and or aligner wear, the treatment time can be significantly reduced. The treatment result—your smile—will also likely be better.
Orthodontic Treatment at Dr. Ma’s Office
Visits to our Vancouver orthodontic office for adjustments can be every four to six weeks for traditional braces and six to ten weeks for clear removable aligners. When you undergo orthodontic treatment with Dr. Ma and our team, you’ll notice a few unique features:
- We are a small practice that delivers personal service and greater attention to detail. Dr. Ma provides frequent feedback to patients and parents during the treatment journey.
- We are open on Saturdays, which give patients and parents more appointment time options.
- We are a multilingual office fluent in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog, and Telugu.
Please contact Dr. Ma’s Vancouver orthodontic office to schedule an appointment and learn more about the treatments we provide.