Braces Treatment Process
Are you considering getting braces for yourself or your child? Here is a brief overview of the braces treatment process at Manhattan Bridge Orthodontics.
Your First Consultation
During your first visit at our office, Dr. Zhu will provide an oral evaluation and inform you as to whether orthodontic treatment is needed. You will also have a chance to ask any questions and to bring up any concerns you may have about your teeth. If treatment is ultimately indicated, a treatment plan with an estimated time of completion will be provided to you.
After your consultation, our treatment coordinator will go over all fees, taking into account any dental insurance coverage you may have. Payments can be made on an interest-free monthly or quarterly basis – we also offer discounts for payment in full.
Getting Started: Initial Records
Once you decide to get started, we would first take a full set of “before” diagnostic records. These initial records typically include digital panorex and cephalometric x-rays, photos, and impression models of your teeth.
Spacers and Molar Bands*
Depending on your treatment plan, spacers, which are small doughnut-shaped rings, may be placed between your molars. They are used to create small spaces between your teeth for molar bands. Spacers usually stay on for about a week. Spacers can be a bit annoying and we’ve been told that it feels like having food stuck between your teeth.
At your next appointment, your spacers will be removed and replaced with molar bands. Molar Bands are metal rings for which the archwire or other attachments can be connected to. Molar Bands are used because they are better able to withstand the forces of chewing.
*for certain situations, this step may be skipped and braces would be placed immediately.
Placement of Braces
During this appointment, braces will be bonded onto your teeth. An archwire will then be threaded through the center of each bracket and tied in with ligature ties – we have an assortment of colorful ties for you to choose from.
This appointment takes about 40 minutes. Instructions will be given on how to take care of your braces as well as the types of foods that you must avoid (bubble gum, nuts, taffy, etc).
Regular Adjustment Visits
You will visit our office at regular intervals anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks apart for adjustments and tightenings. During these visits, your archwire will be reactivated and your ligature ties will be changed to any color you want. Total appointment time is between 10 to 20 minutes.
Taking off Your Braces
After several adjustment visits and when your teeth are nice and straight, your braces will be removed. During this visit, special pliers will be used to remove your braces and any residual bonding glue will be polished off your teeth. Final or “after” records will be taken and retainers will be provided to you.
Wearing Your Retainers
Once your case is completed successfully, you must wear your retainers as instructed. Retainers are custom made for you and will help to keep your teeth in their newly corrected positions.
It can take up to 9 months for your periodontal ligaments to fully strengthen. You may have to wear your retainers full time during the first few weeks of finishing treatment, eventually you can wear them before sleeping at night.
We must stress that retainers are a very important part of your treatment. In order to keep your teeth straight for the long term, retainers must be worn consistently – if not, there is a chance that your teeth may replase. If your retainers are lost or damaged, it is your personal responsibility to contact us immediately to get a new set made.