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Understanding Modern Teeth Straightening Options

"Una Luu" (2019-07-25)

Thanks to the advances of modern dentistry you now have more options for teeth straightening at your disposal than ever before. And that’s important because the statistics show us that the demand for adult orthodontics is increasing at a steady rate.

Orthodontic treatment can help with under bites, crooked or crowded teeth and improving the spaces between your teeth. Braces can also help with protruding teeth and improving facial harmony and symmetry. Straight teeth mean healthy teeth, so let’s take a look at your straightening options.

Gone are the days of traditional metal braces being your only option. Modern braces are much more subtle and may actually help boost your self-confidence instead of making you feel self-conscious about wearing them. There are different options on offer, depending on your age, lifestyle and personal needs.

Clear Aligners
invisalign bracesClear aligners, known most commonly under the Invisalign name, are one of the most popular options for adults today because of their subtlety. Clear aligners are fitted to the surface of the teeth as overlays, and they work well for patients who have problems with their bites. They do not always as work well for patients who have extensive alignment issues.

Clear aligners are transparent in appearance, and can also be removed from the mouth when you eat and drink. They do require special care and cleaning, and they must be worn for at least 22 hours a day or they may not be as effective.

You will need to brush and floss your teeth before you put your clear aligners back in, every time. And, when you’re out and about, you will need to look after them, because replacing them can be pricey. But, on a comfort level most patients agree that Invisalign is the least invasive option.

If you are interested in clear aligners your friendly dentist will advise you on the pros and cons, and how long you can expect to wear them for.

Lingual Braces For Teeth Straightening
Lingual braces are enjoying increased popularity because they are fitted to the back of your teeth, not the front, and are thus a lot less noticeable. They really are invisible because, unless someone is looking at the back of your teeth, they won’t know that they’re there. This is why they are also extremely popular with adults.

Some experts believe lingual braces are a little less effective than external braces while other studies state that they exert the same amount of pressure as their traditional counterparts.

You can also expect some tongue irritation at first, because they are on the back of your teeth and may get in the way initially. Some people say their speech is a little affected until they get used to wearing lingual braces. It is worth noting that lingual braces will probably affect your speech more than other orthodontic options.

Some patients find it difficult to keep lingual braces clean because they can’t see the back of their teeth while brushing so this is something to think about before making your mind up.

Your friendly dentist will help you evaluate the merits of lingual braces and whether you are a candidate for this course of treatment.

"Traditional" Braces
orthodontic bracesEven though they are still made out of metal, today’s traditional ‘bracket and wire’ braces are not that traditional anymore! You can look forward to clear or tooth coloured options for teeth straightening for a more aesthetically pleasing experience. Ceramic braces are better suited to adults than younger children and teenagers as they are quite fragile and do require special care to look after.

Modern braces are smaller and a lot less invasive than their early metal predecessors, and more enjoyable to wear.

Metal braces are comprised of two parts: the metal bracket that is placed on the teeth, and the metal wire that is filed through the brackets. This wire exerts the pressure that makes the teeth move into position.

Traditional metal braces are still the most popular teeth straightening option because of their affordability and the speed at which they can move your teeth into the right position.

Tooth coloured and clear orthodontics are more expensive than metal braces so if your budget doesn’t allow for either of these, you can rest assured that today’s metal braces are much smaller and lighter weight than they used to be.

Ceramic Braces
Implants do have a high success rate and are expected to last a lifetime but they are also significantly more expensive, particularly if you need an implant in more than one location. They also tend to be more complex procedures which can take longer to complete, and longer for you to heal afterwards. It could take up to six months to heal fully after the implant procedure.

Dental bridges also have their own set of shortfalls, most notably the wear they can cause on the supporting teeth, as well as making the natural teeth more susceptible to decay.

Dental bridges that are ill-fitting are more uncomfortable to wear, and can move around when you eat, creating irritation. Sometimes patients feel less confident with a bridge because of its unpredictability.

It is sometimes necessary to combine the two options, such as in cases where a patient is missing multiple teeth in succession and a bridge is anchored into place using two dental implants.

What’s the right solution for you?
Ceramic braces are a bit more expensive than metal orthodontics but they are also less noticeable than metal and can offer a speedier solution than lingual braces. It’s important to note that they do not need to be kept really clean because they can stain.

Fast Fixes For Teeth Straightening
Yes, today it’s even possible to fix your smile in a hurry. There are other brace systems, consisting of brackets and wires that can help to straighten your six front teeth. Known as self-ligating braces, this quick fix solution won’t correct your bite but it can straighten what are called the ‘social six’ teeth at the front of your mouth.

Self-ligating braces capture less food and are reported to be less painful than full braces but they are not suitable for everybody. If you need extensive adjustment, a longer term treatment plan will be recommended.

When you have completed your course of treatment and your braces are removed your dentist is likely to recommend you wear a retainer. You may wear it at night or for a few hours a day, but it’s important that you wear it as instructed. Some patients who are less disciplined find their teeth move back into the original position if they do not wear their retainer.

A lot of patients delay orthodontic treatment because they don’t want to wear braces. Remember that you have plenty of options available today and the sooner you have correctional treatment, the better for the outcomes of the program.

The best course of treatment for you should be discussed with your friendly dentist. Contact Ava Maria Dental today at (03) 8797 5078. for professional advice.