Here is a general overview of the three major stages of treatment:
The Planning Stage
Dr. Kothari makes a diagnosis in order to realign the teeth in the most effective way. The first visits may comprise of some of the following evaluations:
The Active Phase
All of the above tools will be used to diagnose and develop a treatment plan for the patient. Most commonly, traditional fixed braces are used, which are individual dental brackets connected by an archwire. Devices like headgear, Herbst appliance and other functional appliances may be used with fixed braces; these are used to quicken the movement of the teeth and jaw bone.
The Retention Phase
Long-term retention is the goal of orthodontic treatment. When the teeth have been correctly aligned, fixed braces and removable devices will be removed and discontinued. A fixed lower retainer placed on the tongue side of the bottom teeth and a removable retainer for the upper teeth are given after active treatment. The goal of the retainer is to ensure that the teeth do not begin to shift back to their original positions.
The upper retainer with an anterior adjustment wire has to be worn at all times except when eating, brushing or playing sports. After one year, we recommend patients wear the upper retainer at night as long as possible. During the retention phase, the jaw will reform around the realigned teeth to fully stabilize them in the correct alignment.
It should be emphasized that the duration and successful completion of treatment depends on patient cooperation. To this end, every patient receives detailed instructions regarding diet and hygiene as well as the use and care of orthodontic appliances.