Orthodontic treatment occupies a very important position in the promotion of full-mouth dental care and the improvement of facial appearance. The treatment generally utilizes fixed or removable braces to control bone growth and irregular arrangement of teeth, thereby improving the appearance of the face and enhancing occlusal functions so the teeth are easier to clean. This reduces the occurrence of tooth decay or gum disease.
On average it takes about 2 years or so. However, there will be different results due to coordination and each person’s skeletal response. Treatment for children is usually divided into two stages. The first stage is approximately 1 year to 1.5 years. The second stage is approximately 1 year. However, coordination and growth will both influence the length of time. If the first stage is completed, but the permanent teeth are not fully grown, the patient will enter a period of observation and wait for the permanent teeth to be fully developed before entering the second stage.
There is no age limit to general orthodontics. People usually think that it is suitable to begin orthodontic treatment after all permanent teeth have come in. However, many irregular teeth are formed gradually. It may be very slight at first. If children undergo simple and appropriate preventive or obstructive orthodontic treatment, they can avoid long and complex treatment after adolescence, and are exempt from unnecessary teeth extraction. Thus, we recommend that 6-11 year-old children receive an orthodontist’s examination so as not to miss the best time for treatment.
All patients need to undergo assessment on teeth, gums, and oral health by the family dentist. Sufficient data needs to be collected before patients discuss treatment plans with an orthodontist.
Orthodontic treatment only needs to be done once in a lifetime, so it is necessary to choose a physician carefully. Orthodontics is a very specialized field. It is the combination of craft, aesthetics, and technology. Orthodontic treatment is beyond the normal range of dental care. It has already become an independent branch approved by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. If you want to undergo orthodontic treatment, we recommend that you select a specialist physician certified in orthodontists by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Only with sufficient specialization can the effect and quality of care be guaranteed. In addition, the physician’s attention to detail and their sensitivity to aesthetics and literacy are also very important.
Whether teeth extraction is needed is based on the X-ray, facial shape, and teeth irregularity of patients. Orthodontic treatment does not necessary need teeth extraction. Going to a family physician for teeth extraction is not covered by health insurance. The expense depends on the fee of the individual physician. When making an appointment, you can first inquire about the fee for teeth extraction. Generally, teeth extraction is a simple process. An extraction usually removes the upper tooth and lower tooth of the same side, or one tooth is removed at once.
Dentures do not affect teeth correction. The correct approach is to correct malocclusion before making dentures. That way, it will be easier to make dentures, and the durability and effects will also be better. We will fasten correction material to the dentures, so it won’t influence the correction. The purpose of orthodontics is to achieve the target of comprehensive oral health. Thus, Dr. Tang will reconstruct the dentures into the treatment plan among the overall assessment.
Wisdom teeth do not generally affect teeth straightening. However, if special circumstances arise, Dr. Tang will refer patients to undergo extraction at an oral surgery department of a large hospital.  Like orthodontics, oral surgery is a very professional branch of medicine. Extraction is conducted on one side at a time, so the whole procedure must be divided into two extractions. The risk and fee should be answered by the oral surgery physician.
For people with severe overbite (receding gums) or underbite, or too much difference in the upper and lower jaw bones so good treatment results cannot be obtained by simply moving the teeth, surgery and correction methods may also be needed to treat upper and lower jaw bones using surgery or correction to obtain comprehensive beauty (facial shape and teeth) and functions. This is called orthognathic surgery. The physician that collaborates with us is Lai Sheng-Zhong, the director of the Department of Oral Surgery, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital. Before general surgery, patients need to consult with Dr. Lai first. The consultation fee is approximately $5000. For surgery costs, one bone (divided into maxilla and mandible) is approximately $150000, and two bones are approximately $200000. Patients should seek consultation for more details on their individual circumstances.