Learn how braces work in 5 steps

One of the most common concerns expressed by San Antonio orthodontist patients is whether or not the process of having braces placed onto their teeth will cause any pain or discomfort. The truth is, each individual person will gradually adjust to the discomfort levels associated with his or her own tooth movement. Apart from that, most are thrilled about the prospect of obtaining a perfect smile. The following is a guide outlining the critical steps and phases patients undergo before and after implementation of the orthodontic procedure.

The Orthodontic Consultation

The consultation is where San Antonio Orthodontist, Dr. Blalock will determine the insufficiencies needing to be fixed. The following list might include:

– Too many teeth/over crowding
– Jaw misalignment
– Overbite
– Underbite
– Teeth with too many spaces in between

Dr. Blalock will also ask questions pertaining to any discomfort the patient might be experiencing. He might also inquire about the patient’s ultimate smile goal. Additionally, X-rays, record photos and screenings will be performed. Further discussion about options and preferences might also take place.

X-Rays and Record Photos

X-rays or radiographs are used to take photos of the patient’s teeth and bite from a number of angles. Two examples would include the profile and frontal smile. The goal is to be able to make an accurate assessment of each individual case. These also aid in determining the most appropriate treatment plan for the patient.
For instance, a 3D digital radiograph might be taken if the findings suggest that the patient has an impacted tooth. Contrary to traditional X-ray machines, digital radiographs do not necessitate for film to be processed. In fact, digital radiographs require ninety percent less exposure to radiation. The machine also creates images that are exceptionally detailed and flawless. All in all, the purpose of the X-rays and digital images are to ensure the braces are specifically tailored to the patient.

The Fitting Application

It is important to understand that each mouth is unique and so are each set of braces. Panoramic, along with profile images are captured and used to help Dr. Blalock make an informed decision in terms of which type of braces would best suit the patient. Should the patient choose to receive clear or ceramic braces as his or her treatment option, the teeth will have to undergo an adhesive application in order to help bond the brackets to the teeth. Lastly, the custom wires and brackets will be attached, thus completing the placement of the braces.

Final Phase

During the final phase of this process, Dr. Blalock will provide the patient with a retainer. The retainer is a detachable appliance that aids in holding the teeth in their new position. It is crucial that the retainer be worn for the recommended period of time after treatment. Most people wear it each night while sleeping.

Most patients experience some form of discomfort for the first four to seven days after placement of their braces. They may also feel some pain after having a routine wire adjustment or activation appointment. It is always difficult to speak at first, but that should go away within twenty-four to forty-eight hours of having the braces placed onto the teeth. Understand that all of this is normal and expected. Look at it this way, any soreness or discomfort from the braces is simply the crookedness leaving the smile.

The San Antonio Orthodontics practice of Dr. Keith Blalock, recognizes that every patient is different, and we work hard to cater to the unique needs of each patient. We offer the latest in dental braces and Invisalign, plus we treat our patients like family and will go out of our way to make them smile from the inside out!  For a free consultation, call us today at 210-695-9995 or visit http://www.blalockorthodontics.com