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By Dr. Saleh Al-Daghreer

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Topics: Orthodontics

Many patients, upon learning that they should undergo orthodontic treatment for crooked teeth, are understandably nervous. It’s a lot to take in, regardless of age. One of the main concerns patients have regarding crooked teeth treatment is the amount of time they will have to wear braces.

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No one wants to have to wear braces for a year or two, but the truth is that there are no quick fixes. “Fast treatments” offered by orthodontists are a myth, and a dangerous one. Every individual’s case is different and that means everyone’s treatment must be handled on a case-by-case basis.

There is no fast treatment for crooked teeth and here’s why you should be wary of anyone offering such a “treatment.”


The Myth of “Fast Treatment”

Some places will offer “fast treatment” as a way to achieve your desired orthodontic end goal without spending months going through the appropriate medical procedures. These places claim six-month, 12-month, or faster braces as a way to complete treatment in a short amount of time.

In truth, there is a lack of evidence behind these procedures to claim that they work. They are not recognized by official bodies as valid treatment options. It is unrealistic to claim that everyone can be treated within the same timeframe, as everyone’s mouth is different.


Every Treatment Is Different

Your mouth isn’t like your sibling’s mouth, and it certainly isn’t like your neighbour’s mouth across the street. The shape and condition of your kid’s mouth will differ from yours. With so many variances in how jaws are shaped, teeth grow in, and the way they shift, there simply is no such thing as a concrete, repeatable timeframe for treatment.

An office claiming to be able to fix your teeth in six months—especially before doing an initial consultation—is speaking erroneously. Although, in certain conditions, treatment can be completed in shorter amounts of time, these situations are case specific and are far from the norm.

If your orthodontist has recommended treatment with braces, don’t expect to be able to take shortcuts. It may not be the most desired procedure; however, the end result will be a smile you’re proud of (and is healthy, too)!


Moving Teeth

How fast your teeth move is entirely dependent upon biological speed, based on the physiological limitations of your bone biology. In other words: Your teeth will only shift as fast as your teeth want to shift.

Claims like fast braces are faulty because there is no way to know how fast or slow your teeth will take to realignment. Orthodontists are able to project treatment lengths with a great amount of accuracy; however, until the braces are in and they can see how your jaw and teeth are taking to treatment, your treatment length remains fluid.


Done Too Soon

Many “fast braces” operations will in fact remove your braces at six months—regardless of whether your orthodontic treatment is complete. This is the danger of buying into claims of six-month braces. If you opt to end your orthodontic treatment early, you run the risk of leaving misalignments in your teeth, as well as major bite and aesthetic issues.

Trust in your orthodontist’s recommendations regarding treatment length. You may not be satisfied with a prediction of two years (or the need to wear a retainer afterwards), but, in the end, you will know that your teeth have safely been aligned into their proper place.

Crooked teeth are a health concern, and one that should be effectively corrected. But don’t be taken in by the myths of “fast braces.” Your teeth will require a specific amount of time to be corrected dependent on your unique circumstances. There is no way to speed up this process.


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Dr. Saleh Al-Daghreer

Dr. Saleh Al-Daghreer, BDS, PhD, FRCD (C), an Edmonton Orthodontist who is a registered specialist and a fellow of the Canadian Royal College of Dentists of Canada in the specialty of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. He received his undergraduate degree in Dentistry in 2003 and his PhD in Orthodontics in 2012 from the University of Alberta. He founded City Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry to provide care in the City of Edmonton.

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