A picture-perfect smile can help you be more confident in your professional and personal life. This is why many people use braces to correct crooked teeth and achieve a great smile. Apart from your appearance, braces also improve your health and self-confidence.
Yet braces can be expensive as well as uncomfortable. The pain caused by braces can be especially hard for children. You should do your research before committing to them for yourself.
If you are considering getting braces, keep reading for 7 questions you should ask your dentist before getting them fitted.
1. What Type Of Braces Are Best For My Teeth?
There are many types of braces on the market and some work better than others. There are the traditional metal braces that are very effective teeth straighteners but they tend to be the most unappealing.
Clear ceramic brackets are another type of brace that works as well as metal ones but look much better. However, they can be a little more expensive than traditional braces.
The most modern types of braces are clear aligner trays─ with the most popular being Invisalign braces. These braces are customized for your teeth and you can wear them for weeks at a time. As your teeth adjust, the aligner trays are refitted for the new position of your teeth.
Clear aligner trays look good and are not as intrusive as wire braces. Unfortunately, they do not work on all types of conditions so you must ask your dentist whether they will work for you.
2. What Will Be The Length Of Treatment?
Before committing to getting a set of braces fitted, you should confirm with your doctor how long it will take for your teeth to get straight. In some cases, you may have to wear braces for years before you see a result. Knowing this upfront can help you decide if you want to commit.
The average time most patients need to wear braces is 22 months. But in your case, the time required may be shorter or longer so take this into account.
Due to the length of treatment, your dentist should have a proper way of keeping your medical records. This is so that in case you need to move to another orthodontist all your treatment records will be easily transferable. Most modern dental practices will use a type of medical record scanning service to keep your files in an organized manner.
3. How Much Will It Cost?
Another important question to ask your dentist is how much it would cost to get your braces fitted. The cost of braces can vary depending on where you get them fitted, the type needed, and how long your treatment will be.
On average, braces can be expensive. You will first need to pay for a consultation which costs about $250. The actual braces can then cost you between $5,000 to $6000.
Ceramic brackets are even more expensive than the other types of braces- costing about $600 more. You should also consider that most dental insurance policies do not cover the installation of braces for adults. So you may have to pay for them from your pocket.
If the braces are out of your budget you could consider getting a payment plan. Ask your dentist about what they offer for affordable options.
4. Will My Jaws Also Need Treatment?
In some cases, some surgical alterations to your jaw may be needed so that your teeth can have a straight foundation. In other cases, some of your teeth may have to be taken out to create space for your straightened teeth.
These extra treatments may be quite painful and could also increase the cost of your treatment. Ask your dentist if you may need more work done on your teeth for your braces to be effective.
5. How Should I Maintain My Braces?
Braces need a lot of maintenance at home if you want to see the best results. For example, it is harder to clean teeth when you have wire brackets on them. Ask your dentist how you should clean your teeth when you have braces on.
You may need to buy special brushes or flosses that will work well with your braces. Some dentists may also require you to wear elastic bands over your braces to help your teeth move to straighter positions. This helps your braces work faster.
6. Will My Teeth Be Perfect After Treatment?
If you have suffered from crooked teeth you may have a vision of how you will look after treatment. Wearing braces will improve the appearance of your teeth as well as make it easier for you to eat or even talk.
But your expectations may be far from reality leading to disappointment with the final results. Ask your dentist for realistic expectations of what your teeth will look after treatment.
For best results remember to follow all the instructions your dentist gives you. Also, continue going for annual dental check-ups even after your treatment is complete. Once you finish treatment, you may also need to continue wearing retainers to maintain the straightness of teeth.
7. What Are Your Qualifications
You should ask your dentist what qualifications they have in orthodontics. You want a specialist that has the education and experience to ensure success in your treatment. At the least, your dentist should have a degree from a recognized dental school as well as a 2-year residency at a reputable clinic.
The residency is important because real-life experience gives dentists the knowledge and skill to deal with the most common dental problems. You can also ask your orthodontist if they have ever treated any cases like yours. It’s best to get a dentist that is familiar with your issue.
Ask Your Dentist These Questions Before Getting Braces
The benefits of braces are that they can straighten your teeth leading to an improved appearance. Straightened teeth will also make it easier for you to eat and talk. But you may need to wear braces for years and they may be very painful and uncomfortable.
To make an informed decision about getting braces installed, make sure to ask your dentist the questions listed above. For more information on dental health read the rest of our blog.