If you are less than happy with your appearance due to a crooked smile, you may be considering whether or not braces are in your future. What are some of the questions that you need to ask a dentist at your next visit, to make sure that you have the right amount of information?
One of the key questions relates to the overall cost. Usually, this is a medium to long-term treatment and therefore the dentist may be able to spread the cost over that time. This is also your opportunity to apply for external financing, if needed.
When you find out just how long the treatment will take, you then need to know how many office visits need to be scheduled. Ask the dentist to explain exactly how the process will work and how many adjustments will be needed in order to ensure that the treatment is working properly.
In certain circumstances, it's possible to have ceramic braces. Ask the dentist whether you can get these for the upper teeth, the lower or both. Conversely, you may be eligible to try the new "invisible" braces, which can certainly be more aesthetically appealing to some. See if you qualify for that type of appliance.
Some adult patients will need to have extractions in order to provide the best environment for braces to work. Sometimes, you can have a specific type of bracket fitted instead, which could avoid the need for extractions altogether. This is certainly something to talk about with the dentist and may reduce the cost impact as well.
In some cases the dentist may specify that you wear an appliance outside of your mouth in order to assist the process. This is unusual, but you need to know if it will be stipulated in your case, how many hours per day you will need to wear it and when (in the entire process) it may be introduced.
You should also be aware that when braces end this is not necessarily the end of the treatment. In many cases, retainers are advised in order to prevent the teeth from shifting back into their original place. Ask the dentist whether you need these, whether they have to be worn overnight or in some circumstances, during the day as well. There are different types of retainer to consider and they can be made of rubber or clear plastic.