What does one have to do before starting an orthodontic treatment ?
Dental hygiene needs to be excellent. A professional has to ensure there are no dental caries or periodontal problems (in the gums and the bone surrounding the teeth). To do so, a check at your dentist should be performed ideally in the 3 months before the device is installed.
Some elements are essential in order to complete the diagnosis and the treatment plan (within 6 months before the installation of the device):
a study model (taking prints)
a panoramic X-ray
a cephalometric x-ray
Depending on your situation, you may be asked to consult another specialist:
If you have periodontal (gum) problems, you will be referred to a periodontologist. The latter will have to agree before you can start orthodontic treatment and will follow you every 3 months during treatment.
If you need orthognathic surgery: you will be sent to a maxillofacial surgeon. He will explain what surgery is, as well as the benefits and risks.
If you have temporomandibular joint problems: you will be sent to a joint specialist. He will have to agree before starting orthodontic treatment.
What should be watched out for during treatment?
The most important thing is to have excellent dental hygiene throughout the treatment.
We advise our patients to brush their teeth after each meal, to use brushes and interdental thread once a day. The brushing technique will be shown on the day of installation.
Also, to control the health of your gums, a check every 3 months at your dentist or periodontist is necessary during orthodontic treatment.
With regard to food, two types of foods are to be avoided:
Food TIGHTS: chewing gum, caramel, sticky candies
HARD foods: crunching on an apple, hard sandwiches, meat with bone, chunks of steak, ...
Indeed, these foods are strongly likely to take off platelets. If this happens, the teeth without a pad tend to return to their original position and the duration of the orthodontic treatment may be lengthened. If this happens, you will be asked to make an appointment to pick up the plate (if possible within a week).
Orthodontic treatment is a team work! During part of the treatment, we will ask you to wear rubber bands in order to obtain an ideal contact between your teeth of the top and your teeth of the bottom (occlusion). In case you do not wear these elastics correctly, the dental movements will not be done and the duration of the treatment will be lengthened.
What are the risks of orthodontic treatment?
First, if dental hygiene is not excellent, permanent stains may appear around platelets (white lesions). Similarly, periodontal problems may reduce the amount of bone surrounding the teeth.
Secondly, root resorption (ie shortening of the tooth roots) is a normal phenomenon during treatment and is usually limited to 1 or 2 mm. For patients at high risk, dental x-rays will be taken every 6 months and weak forces will be applied.
In rare cases, greater resorption may occur even if the precautions are applied.
How often are the appointments?
As a general rule, you are monitored once a month.