Orthodontic Treatment – Alternatives to Metal Braces
Orthodontic treatment is a cosmetic dentistry method of moving teeth and/or adjusting underlying bone. When most people think of getting braces, or an alternative to braces, you think of straight teeth and a new confident smile. While a beautiful smile and straight teeth do wonders for your mental health and on the attitudes of those around you, the functional benefits of orthodontic treatment can far outweigh the cosmetic benefits. A crooked or crowded set of teeth can become difficult to clean and take care of which is an open door for a lot of other problems including tooth decay and other gum disease. Jaw misalignment can cause unnecessary stress on your gums and bones supporting the teeth. This can even lead to headaches and neck pain, chewing and digestive difficulties, speech impairments and other dental injuries.
The dental world has progressed beyond a time when orthodontic treatment meant years of wearing metal braces, elastic bands, headgear and more. Metal braces are still a solid option, particularly for children, but there are now more modern alternatives available. If you are not interested in wearing braces, for whatever reason, here are some other options that may be available to you:
Clear aligners provide an ideal orthodontics solution for adults with mild to moderate spacing, crowding and bite problems. These aligners are clear, plastic trays that fit over your teeth and slowly move them into proper placement. They are nearly invisible so draw less attention than your standard metal braces would. They are also custom fitted so they do not irritate the soft tissues of your cheeks and gums like traditional metal braces. Clear aligners require less visits to the dentist’s office, do not require any diet changes, and can be removed for certain activities or occasions. A disadvantage to clear aligners is that it often can take a bit more time for your teeth to move and to be effective you must wear them as prescribed. The benefit of being able to take them out is also a negative as it allows you the ability to not wear as prescribed and poses risk for potential misplacement.
Invisalign is your most well known clear aligner and is the world’s most advanced aligner suitable for simple straightening to even bigger fixes. Both adults and teens can be eligible for Invisalign depending on the severity and complexity of correctional needs. Upload a picture of your smile here to see what your new smile after Invisalign can look like then contact Maestri Family Dentistry to see if you are a good candidate.
Clear Braces are an excellent option for those who are not good candidates for clear aligners but prefer a more discrete alternative to traditional metal braces. Clear braces are like traditional braces but with clear brackets and often clear wires.
Lingual braces are traditional braces that are fixed to the back of your teeth rather than the front. Because they are behind your teeth, they are the only truly invisible form of braces. Both brackets and wires for lingual braces require customization for each patient. Check with your orthodontist to see if you would be a good candidate for lingual braces as they are not a good fit for everyone. For example, patients with deep overbites may have issues with brackets coming off.
Although veneers are not going to work like traditional braces to correct your smile, they are an alternative cosmetic dentistry option. Veneers are thin shells of durable, highly translucent dental porcelain that are affixed to the front surface of your teeth. They can correct things like: severely stained teeth, misshapen teeth or uneven teeth, gaps between teeth, and chipped teeth.
If you or your child need braces and would like to further explore all available options, we would love the opportunity to improve your smile. Contact us today!