The Metal Braces Process
The procedure for getting metal braces typically requires three phases of pre-treatment: the initial exam, diagnostic record exam, and consultation. Then we apply the braces, you come in for monthly adjustment appointments, and then we remove the braces.
During the first exam, we’ll go over your dental issues and your desired results. Based on this, we can give you an estimated time frame and let you know if there are alternatives to braces that might work better for you. If metal braces are the best option, we’ll schedule a follow-up appointment to gather diagnostic records of your face and teeth.
Diagnostic Record Examination
We use the information gathered during the diagnostic record examination to create your custom treatment plan. It also provides a reference point for your progress during each phase of treatment. Diagnostic records may include photos of your face and teeth, plaster models of your teeth, and X-rays of your teeth and jaws.
After we’ve analyzed your diagnostic records, we’ll schedule an appointment with you to lay out the proposed treatment plan. At this appointment, we also discuss payment options and decide whether or not you want to move forward with braces. If you do, we’ll schedule your braces application appointment.
During your braces application appointment, we will thoroughly clean and dry your teeth. Next, we’ll affix the brackets to your teeth with a medical-grade bonding glue. Once the glue has bonded, we’ll connect the brackets with archwire and secure them with o-rings in the color(s) of your choice. Typically, it takes 1-2 hours to complete the initial application process.
Adjustments & Tightening
After getting your braces put on, you’ll need to come in for monthly appointments (roughly every 3-6 weeks). At these appointments, we make adjustments to the archwires and o-rings and generally make sure everything is going smoothly. Most patients keep their braces in place for one to three years before having them removed.
During the removal appointment, we’ll use dental pliers to remove all the brackets from your teeth. Then we scrape away and clean off all the glue. Finally, we take a mold of your mouth to fit you for your new retainer. Expect this appointment to take about an hour.
To hold your teeth in their proper positions, we recommend that you wear your retainer for at least one year. After that, you should wear it nightly wear while you’re asleep. For best results, we recommend wearing your retainer at night for several years or indefinitely to prevent your teeth from shifting out of place.