Several orthodontic treatment options exist today for people who are interested in improving their smile. From traditional braces, headgear, removable appliances, retainers to Invisalign® aligners, there are several options for you to choose from. It can be a challenge to decide which choice is the best for your particular needs. That’s why you should visit your dentist. They will refer you to an orthodontist who can work with you to explain what best suits your needs. We’ve put together some quick facts to help you along the way with your decision.
Are you a candidate for orthodontics?
If your top and bottom teeth do not fit together properly (this is known as a malocclusion or a bad bite) speak to your dentist. There are several things that can affect your bite such as thumb sucking or missing, crooked, crowded or protruding teeth. A bad bite can make it hard to chew some foods, cause your teeth to wear down, cause muscle tension and pain and make you more susceptible to chipped or broken teeth. Orthodontic treatments not only improve your smile and your health but also reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease as straighter teeth are easier to clean.
There are two types of braces offered: fixed, which are worn all of the time and can be removed by a dentist and removable, which you can take out of your mouth. The most common types are:
Braces consist of metal brackets being placed on your teeth with an adhesive and are connected by wire and rubber bands. Although they are still metal, you can get brackets that match your teeth enamel (making them more discreet), or choose the colour of your choice. They require periodic tightening so steady pressure can gradually straighten your teeth and align your jaw.
Who is a candidate for traditional braces:
- If you have a complex bite and alignment issues
- If you have extreme crowding, gapped or misaligned teeth
- If you need to address issues with your back teeth, need to rotate teeth or move teeth vertically
As an alternative to traditional metal braces, Invisalign is an orthodontic adjustment approach that uses a series of clear aligners or trays to gradually adjust your teeth. Invisalign is particularly popular with adults and teenagers that are concerned about the appearance of braces.
How does Invisalign work?
A series of custom-made clear aligners are made using 3D computer imaging technology that gradually shift your teeth. Rather than going to the orthodontist on a bi-monthly basis to have your wires tightened, you’ll be provided with a series of aligners to wear every day and change at home every couple of weeks.
Who is a candidate for invisalign:
- Those who suffer from mild to moderate bite issues
- Those who are self conscious about having a “metal mouth”
Key Differences between Invisalign and Traditional Braces
- Easy to Maintain: the plastic aligners are removable, so it’s easy to brush and floss regularly
- Shorter Duration of Treatments: Someone who wears metal braces might expect the treatment to take as long as five years. Invisalign normally takes about a year or year-and-a-half to straighten your teeth.
- Appearance: Some people (especially adults) are self conscious with metal braces as they are unsightly, and can get food caught in them without you being aware of it. Invisalign offers an alternative.
- Cost: Invisalign is normally more expensive than traditional braces…but both are costly procedures.
For more information about how you can achieve your dream smile, visit one of our locations and schedule your consultation today with one of our orthodontists.
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A version of this post was first published on Altima Dental Blog