How Long Do Braces Take?

How long do adult braces take?

Once the question of money is covered , the next #1 concern that adults have with braces is “How Long Do Braces Take?”

While each situation is different, there are some general estimates for adult braces treatment length that will give you a good idea of what to expect.

How Long Do Braces Take? Well, It Depends...

Every mouth is different. Each person possesses a set of unique teeth and bite problems, each requiring their own custom plan to treat it. The total treatment length of any person in braces will vary widely based on where they start.

In general, limited treatment — or when we are fixing just a couple of teeth –might take as few as three months. If the patient is needing a comprehensive treatment plan that includes tooth and bite correction, that may take up to two years.

Most patients fall somewhere in between these two extremes…

Let’s look at a few examples below to help answer this ever-important question: “How long do braces take?”

How Long Do Braces Take? - Example 1

Patient 1

This patient…

  • Had braces as a teenager
  • Didn't wear a retainer as a young adult
  • Experienced shifting of his lower teeth

…and now he wants them straight again.

His bite was good and the upper teeth were already pretty straight. This patient completed orthodontic treatment in just 3 months and his teeth were completely corrected.

Because we didn’t have to change his bite or worry much about his upper teeth, the length of treatment was very short.

Now let’s take a look at an extreme example…

How Long Do Braces Take? - Example 2

This patient had…

  • Severe Crowding
  • An Underbite
  • A Crossbite
  • Missing Lower Teeth

…plus several other tooth alignment issues.

This patient was treated with a combination of braces and Invisalign in just under two years at Premier Orthodontics and finished with a fabulous result that looked like this.

How Long Do Braces Take? - Example 3

This patient had…

  • Severe Crowding
  • Damaged teeth due to a bad bite
  • A Crossbite

…plus several other bite issues

He had always wanted braces but his parents couldn’t afford it. When he was in his forties, he decided he could fit braces into his budget and he finally got the smile he’s been wanting.

He was treated with braces for 2 years at Premier Orthodontics and after he had some dental work to repair the damaged teeth, his smile looked like this.

Based on these three very different examples, you can see that the answer to “How Long Do Braces Take?”…

…really — depends.

Do Braces Take Longer For Adults Than Children or Teenagers?

Kids and teenagers’ teeth generally move faster than adults. This is just biology– teeth, when in the growing phase, tend to move and shift more quickly.

The age of the patient, however, isn’t the only factor that determines treatment length. There are times that adult braces can take less time than children or teenagers.

The length of braces treatment may be extended for children or teenagers…

  • If the orthodontist is still waiting for a child’s teeth to fully grow in.
  • If a child or teen’s jaw is still growing. (the orthodontist will often need to wait until growth is finished to complete treatment)
  • If a child or teenager does not wear their elastics or maintain good oral hygiene.

Because adults have their full set of teeth and their jaws are finished growing…

…and most adults are better at brushing their teeth than kids…

…the total treatment length of adult braces (on average) is actually less than braces for kids.

How Long Do Adult Braces Take Compared to Invisalign?

Some tooth and bite problems may be treated more quickly with traditional braces—others will be better treated with Invisalign.

The type of tooth and bite problems that are treated more quickly with braces would include:

  • Teeth that are high in the mouth that need to be pulled down
  • Missing teeth that require closing large amounts of space
  • Teeth that are really high up and need to be brought down
  • Patients who require tooth extractions or larger bite correction

For most patients, the length of treatment will be relatively similar whether they use braces or Invisalign. Teeth move at a certain rate in your mouth…

…regardless of the type of material moving the teeth.

As you have probably noticed,“How long do braces take?” is a difficult and complex question to answer.

It is typically only when a patient is seen for a consultation that one can know for sure how long braces will take. That’s why we offer free consultations at Premier Orthodontics

…you can get your questions answered and understand the time commitments required!

Now that you better understand how long braces take, let’s talk about how to properly take care of braces once you get them.

Click below to read Chapter 6: Take Care of Braces as an Adult

Schedule a Free Adult Braces Consultation

You can schedule a 100% free consultation with Premier Orthodontics to find out:

At your initial exam and consultation you’ll discover:

  How long your braces treatment will take
  The type of braces that would work best
  How much the treatment will cost