Ladera Ranch, CA – We know that our patients and their families are busy. Between work, school, sports, and other extra-curricular activities, it can be hard to find time to breathe, let alone visit the orthodontist. But, it is important that you adhere to the schedule your orthodontist provided for you and/or your child.
As a general rule, your orthodontist will most likely request to see you about every four to six weeks during your orthodontic treatment. Some types of orthodontic braces and systems advocate being seen in the office every eight to 12 weeks. While that saves time for the families, it can sometimes delay treatment considerably. For example, if an orthodontist places braces and that day the child accidentally breaks a bracket (and sometimes they don’t even know it’s broken) and they come back in 12 weeks, we may have just lost 12 weeks of progress since the brace hasn’t been doing what it was supposed to do. That’s why at Ladera Orthodontics, we like to see patients every four to six weeks to ensure that the progress is going as planned. These appointments are often quick, lasting about 15 minutes apiece, but it allows us to supervise the treatment closely.
“Your orthodontist has carefully crafted a treatment plan to meet the needs of you or your child,” says Dr. Robert Gire of Ladera Orthodontics. “Part of our job is to ensure that the treatment is taking shape as it should. We can’t do that without seeing you regularly. While we plan as precisely as we can, sometimes teeth just don’t move the way we had hoped they would. If we are seeing you at your regularly scheduled visits, we can make adjustments to get your treatment back on track. But if we aren’t, your treatment could take longer.”
There are several things that will happen during your periodic visits, depending on the type of treatment you use.
If you have metal braces, we will change the archwire, add or change elastic ties (if you have more of a traditional system), replace rubber bands, and adjust or tighten ligature wires, as needed.
If you wear Invisalign, we will be checking to be sure you are wearing the correct set of aligners and be sure your teeth have reached the desired movement for that particular checkpoint. For both teens and adults, we’ll also be checking on your compliance to ensure the aligners are being worn properly.
Even though treatment is carefully planned out, in-person visits are still needed to ensure your teeth are moving the way your orthodontist planned. At these visits we can make adjustments as needed, correct any broken or damaged appliances, and check to ensure your teeth and gums are as healthy as possible.
“We plan for treatment to happen as efficiently and effectively as possible,” says Dr. Gire’s partner Dr. Reza Salmassian. “But no matter how precisely we plan, there are always bumps in the road that can cause us to make adjustments. We know our patients and their families are very busy, but if we aren’t seeing your regularly and a bump does happen, it can set your treatment back.”
In order to ensure your treatment time goes by as quickly as possible, it is important to maintain your follow-up visits as recommended by your orthodontist. If you ever need to adjust your schedule, call your orthodontist office to find the next convenient time.
At Ladera Orthodontics, we value our patients and their time, and we will always do our best to schedule appointments at times that can easily fit into your busy schedules.