Why Treatment Times May Vary Between Orthodontists

Girl waiting with clock

Getting orthodontic treatment is a big investment of both time and money, so it’s not surprising that many people get a second or even third opinion before deciding which orthodontist to use. What is surprising to many patients is the variety of treatment times they may be given when gathering these professional opinions.

The biggest factors that affect a patient’s treatment time are the number and types of issues to be corrected. Fixing one or two slightly crooked teeth may take as little as three months with Invisalign Express, while correcting several more severe issues could require three years or more of treatment. But if you have received different time estimates for treating the same teeth, the severity of the issue obviously isn’t the reason.

Treatment Types Can Affect Treatment Times

Orthodontists may offer similar products and procedures, but that doesn’t mean they will approach every issue the same way. Different types of treatment require more or less time than others. For example, using Invisalign may take more time than fixing a particular issue with traditional braces. Whether or not teeth are extracted also factors into how much time the treatment will take.

Estimates May Vary

Truth be told, no orthodontist knows exactly how long it will take to give you the smile you want because everyone’s teeth react differently to treatment. So, they can give you their best guess, but it’s most likely not going to be exact. Some orthodontists may err on the side of caution with a longer estimate in the hopes it will be shorter, while others may give you a shorter timeline. Either way, the treatment could take more or less time than you are told.

How to Choose the Right Orthodontist

It’s always nice to have an idea of how long you might be wearing braces or Invisalign, but it shouldn’t be a big factor when it comes to choosing an orthodontist, especially because time estimates are, as mentioned before, an estimate. Instead, find an orthodontic staff you are comfortable with that offers you the treatment you want at a cost you can afford. Then let them worry about the rest.

At Charleston Orthodontic Specialists, we try to give our patients a realistic timeframe for how long they’ll be in braces, but we also remind them that all we can do is estimate it based on their orthodontic issues and what type of treatment they prefer. Then we do our best to make their treatment as quick and easy as possible.

For more information about treatment options, give us a call at (843) 4-BRACES to schedule a free initial exam.