A crooked smile is something that bothers many of us. A misalignment in our teeth can affect our self-esteem and be the reason we lack confidence, particularly in social situations. Fortunately, advancements in orthodontic treatment have made it possible to achieve a straighter smile discreetly, thanks to concealed braces (also known as hidden lingual braces, incognito braces or ebrace systems).
One of the most common questions we hear from patients is, “How long will it take?” Braces can play a big, albeit temporary, part of your life, so it’s only natural for you to want to know how long you’ll need to wear them for. Let’s find out, shall we?
Understanding Concealed Braces
When it comes to orthodontics braces in general, there’s no one-size-fits-all. Everyone has a different smile. The jaw alignment from one patient always differs to the next which is why there are a number of factors influencing the duration of concealed brace treatment.
Concealed braces, or hidden lingual braces as they are more commonly known), are an orthodontic treatment option where the brackets and wires are placed on the back surfaces of the teeth (on the tongue side of the mouth). If you’re having trouble envisioning this, think of a traditional metal brace, but fitted on the tongue side of your mouth instead of the front of the teeth. Because of where the brackets and wires are fitted, they are concealed by your teeth, hence, their name. This makes them a discreet treatment option, particularly for patients who feel self-conscious about their smile or wearing braces.
Factors Affecting Treatment Duration
Several factors contribute to the duration of orthodontic treatment with concealed braces. While every patient’s smile is unique, we thought you might find it helpful to know some of the common factors that can influence the amount of time it can take to achieve a straighter smile with a concealed brace system:
- Severity of misalignment: The extent of your teeth misalignment plays a significant role in determining the treatment duration. Minor misalignments, such as a malocclusion for example, typically requires less time to straighten the teeth with a concealed brace compared to complex cases such as severe crowding.
- Compliance with treatment: Adhering to your orthodontist’s instructions is crucial for achieving optimal results efficiently. Maintaining good oral hygiene with braces behind your teeth (brushing and flossing regularly), attending regular orthodontic appointments (to check if the brace continues to work effectively), and following any dietary restrictions can all help expedite the treatment process.
- Bone and gum health: The health of your gums and jawbone affects how your teeth respond to orthodontic forces (infected or inflamed gums can compromise your orthodontic result).
- Age: While braces are commonly associated with teenagers (or awkward characters on TV shows), they’re not ‘‘just for kids.’’ In fact, whether you’re 17 or 77, our specialists have one goal in mind: supporting you on your journey to straighter teeth, no matter your age. Although orthodontic treatment tends to be more efficient in younger patients whose jaws are still developing, that doesn’t mean they can’t work for adult patients. Concealed braces, in particular, can be just as effective for patients of all ages!
- Complexity of treatment: It’s not uncommon for the treatment journey of some patients to require additional orthodontic appliances or procedures to address specific issues such as jaw discrepancies or impacted teeth. These issues need to be considered and, as a result, can increase the overall duration of your bespoke treatment plan.
Typical Treatment Duration
While the duration of treatment can vary from patient to patient, the average time required to straighten teeth with concealed braces ranges from 12 to 36 months. However, it’s important to note that each case is unique so the time you’d need to wear your hidden lingual brace could be less than 12 months, or it could be more than 36 months for severe misalignments. Your orthodontist will provide a personalised treatment plan based on your specific needs after your consultation with Orthodontics For You. At your consultation appointment, once we have assessed your teeth, we will confirm the exact treatment time for your concealed brace.
Here’s an overview of the treatment process (patient journey) with Orthodontics For You:
- Consultation: During your initial consultation, your orthodontist will examine your teeth and take scans (including impressions, x-rays and 3D images), before confirming which brace type could work well for you (metal, ceramic, Invisalign or concealed orthodontics).
- Customisation: Once your orthodontist has advised you are suitable for concealed braces and you confirm you would like to proceed with the dental treatment, we will get to work on creating your custom brace. Using the scans from your consultation, we will devise a treatment plan and create your concealed brace specific to your dental alignment.
- Fitting your brace: Once we have created your concealed orthodontic brace, we will schedule an appointment for you to come into practice so that we can fit the brace to your teeth.
- Adjustments: Throughout the treatment process you will need to visit your orthodontist periodically for adjustments, usually every 6-8 weeks. These appointments are crucial for tightening or replacing wires and monitoring your progress, ensuring your concealed brace continues to work effectively and efficiently.
- Brace removal: This is the exciting part! You’ll be invited into the practice for your orthodontist to remove your brace and reveal your new straight smile!
- Retention phase: After your teeth have been successfully aligned and your brace has been removed, your orthodontist will fit a retainer. Wearing the retainer as instructed is essential to maintain your newly achieved smile and prevent any relapse.
While the treatment duration varies depending on individual factors, the average timeframe of a concealed brace ranges from 12 to 36 months. We understand you don’t particularly want a brace, but you do want straight teeth. And with concealed braces doing exactly as their name suggests, you can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing you’re wearing a brace!
But remember, achieving a straighter smile requires patience and commitment. By diligently following your orthodontist’s instructions, practicing good oral hygiene and attending regular appointments, you can help ensure the most efficient treatment possible.
Concealed braces are a great choice for individuals looking to straighten their teeth without the noticeable appearance of metal braces. A beautiful, confident straight smile is only one step away with Orthodontics For You!