How Does an Orthodontist Choose the Best Treatment Method?

Have a set orthodontic treatment in mind? You might be in for a surprise when you go for your orthodontic consultation and hear the treatment options that will help get you the new smile you always wanted.

Avoid experiencing unexpected surprises at your orthodontic consultation by learning how orthodontists choose which treatment method to recommend. Taking the time to learn what factors go into determining the best orthodontic treatment for you will help you understand why they chose that method.


Age Plays a Huge Role in Which Orthodontic Treatment is Recommended

Patients ranging in age from preteens to seniors can improve their smiles with orthodontic treatment. While all patients are trying to improve their smiles, the type of treatment options sometimes varies depending on age.

Preteens, teens, and young adults have less mature bones because they have not finished growing. This means their teeth are more receptive to moving into a new position. This may affect the plan proposed by your orthodontist.  In addition, certain movements such as arch expansion are more easily accomplished with immature bone.

Other patients have finished growing and their bones have hardened. Teeth can still be shifted and moved with orthodontic treatment, but since the teeth don’t move as easily as they do for younger patients some treatment options may not be able to be used.

Other age-related factors that influence what type of orthodontic treatment is recommended include:

  • Loss of bone mass – older patients often have lost some bone mass in the jaw bone which limits treatment options
  • Mild gingivitis and other oral infections
  • Amount of blood supply to the roots of the teeth – older patients sometimes do not have adequate blood supply to the roots of the teeth. If the root of the tooth does not have access to a steady blood supply it can slow down the healing process, eliminate certain orthodontic treatment, and even prolong the amount of time it takes for orthodontic treatment to work

The Type of Problems That Need to be Corrected to Improve Your Smile

Orthodontists consider the type of problems that need to be corrected when recommending orthodontic treatment. Some treatment options, such as Invisalign, are great for correcting minor orthodontic problems, but not as good at correcting severe problems.

Using x-rays and digital imaging, your orthodontist will be able to assess what problems need to be corrected and their severity. That information is then used to determine what treatment is recommended to you.


Personal Preference of the Patient

After determining the treatment options that will help improve your smile, your orthodontist will then take into account your personal preferences. Your orthodontist will talk to you about how dedicated you are to treatment, if you feel you are able to follow directions, how long you would be willing to undergo treatment, and preferences on what type of orthodontic treatment you wish to use. Your orthodontist may not be able to accommodate all your personal preferences, but he or she will try their best to find a treatment option that meets your needs.

In addition to personal preferences, your orthodontist will talk to you about your day-to-day activities and favorite hobbies. Some orthodontic treatment options, such as Invisalign, can be removed for short periods of time which can help if you take part in activities where you don’t want to have a noticeable mouth full of wires and brackets.


Other Factors that are Considered

Other factors that are considered when determining what type of orthodontic treatment to recommend include:

  • Budget
  • Previous orthodontic treatment and how successful it was
  • Schedule flexibility – some treatment options require you to visit the orthodontist every three to four weeks
  • Pain tolerance – some orthodontic treatment options can be uncomfortable

Interested in seeing what type of orthodontic treatment works best for you? Call Melbourne Orthodontics today to schedule an orthodontic consultation. Our orthodontist will carefully assess your case and provide you with treatment recommendations that will improve your smile.