Girl with clock

Getting orthodontic treatment is a huge investment of time and money, so it’s not surprising that many people get a second (or even third) opinion before deciding what orthodontist to see. In the process of gathering different professional opinions, many patients get a variety of different estimates for how long they will be in braces.

How Long Will I Be in Braces?

The biggest factor that impacts how long someone will be in braces is the nature of the issues to be corrected. Fixing one or two slightly crooked teeth may take as little as three months with Invisalign Express treatment while correcting several severe issues could require three years or more of treatment. However, if you have received different time estimates for treating the same issues, the severity of the issues obviously isn’t the reason.

Treatment Types Can Impact Treatment Times

Orthodontists may offer the same products and procedures, but that doesn’t mean they will approach every issue the same way. Depending on the type of treatment, more or less time may be required. For example, sometimes Invisalign treatment can take more time than traditional metal braces depending on the issue that Invisalign is treating. Whether or not teeth are extracted during the process also impacts how much time the treatment will take.

Every Treatment Time Is an Estimate

Anytime an orthodontist provides you with a treatment time, it’s always an estimate. They don’t actually know how long it will take because everyone’s teeth react differently to treatment. Orthodontists 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 what you are told.

How to Choose the Right Orthodontist

It’s 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. Instead, find an orthodontic staff you are comfortable with that and that offers you the treatment you want at a cost you can afford.

At Charleston Orthodontic Specialists, we try to give our patients a realistic timeframe for how long they’ll be in braces. However, the best we can do is give estimates based on different orthodontic issues and choice of treatment.

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