Orthodontics has seen some exciting advancements in recent years, from innovative technology to more effective techniques. That means there’s never been a better time to straighten your smile! Not so long ago, the only treatment available to orthodontic patients was traditional metal braces. Today, there are more choices than ever before when it comes to improving oral health and correcting misaligned teeth.
If you’re unhappy with the way your teeth look or feel, you may be wondering how orthodontics can help you achieve a more confident smile. Whether aesthetics, cost, or treatment time are your main considerations, Krieger Orthodontics is here to help! To learn more about the pros and cons of each treatment option we offer, keep reading below.
Metal braces are the most popular orthodontic treatment, and have a long track record of effectively treating a variety of cases. They are especially useful for patients who have severe or complex issues that need to be corrected. The brackets are composed of a mix of stainless steel, nickel, and other high-quality metals, so they’re very durable and long-lasting. Far from their previous incarnations, modern metal braces are light, more aesthetically pleasing, and quite comfortable. They’re also customizable! Patients can choose from a variety of fun colored elastics to add a pop of personality to their orthodontic journey.
Since they don’t require some of the more complex technology or expensive equipment that newer treatments do, metal braces tend to be a slightly more affordable option. They do come with some limitations, however, including food restrictions. It can also be more difficult to brush and floss around the brackets and wires, so oral hygiene comes with a bit of a learning curve, especially in the beginning. Metal braces are the original orthodontic workhouse, though, and that’s why they remain the top treatment, year after year!
Clear braces are sometimes referred to as ceramic braces, tooth-colored braces, or esthetic braces. They function in much the same way metal braces do, but come with the added benefit of semi-translucent or tooth-colored ceramic brackets. The brackets are about the same size and shape as metal braces, but better able to blend in with the patient’s natural smile. When paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties, this can be an incredibly subtle way to get a straighter smile.
Clear braces are also durable, but the material they’re made from can be prone to chipping or cracking. Since metal braces can tolerate more pressure than ceramic ones, they may be a better option for those who require extensive corrections to be made. Clear brackets are often slightly more costly than metal brackets, as well. Since they can be more expensive and are a bit more fragile, we generally only recommend clear braces to our older teen and adult patients.
Lingual braces are also similar to traditional braces in several ways. Both have brackets that attach to the surface of the teeth, and both use wires and rubber bands to slowly move them into more optimal positions. However, the brackets used with lingual braces are affixed to the back sides of the teeth facing the tongue, rather than the front of the teeth. This makes them virtually invisible, which can be an especially attractive feature for teens and adults who are image-conscious.
Before lingual braces are put on, we’ll use a scanner to take a digital impression of the teeth. This allows us to customize the brackets and wires to fit each patient’s mouth perfectly. They are then placed on each individual tooth with wires connecting them. It’s essential to have the perfect fit from the very start when it comes to lingual braces, so we use a specially customized tray that allows us to cement all the brackets to the teeth at the same time. Once the lingual braces are in place, they work like traditional braces do to gently move the teeth into the desired positions over time.
Invisalign Clear Aligners
Invisalign is actually an alternative to traditional braces, but we think this cutting-edge system is worth knowing about, too! Invisalign consists of a series of clear removable aligners that are custom-designed to fit comfortably over the patient’s teeth. Like traditional braces, these customized aligners gently move the teeth over time, but don’t require any brackets, bands, or wires to do so.
Patient compliance is an important part of any orthodontic process, but it’s essential for success with the Invisalign system. Patients must wear the aligners 20-22 hours every day to move the teeth in a healthy way. Each aligner must also be replaced for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks in order to keep up with that movement. Failure to do can result in longer treatment times and less than optimal results.
Because they’re removable, Invisalign aligners do offer patients an extra measure of freedom and flexibility. They’re designed to be taken out when eating or drinking, so there are no food restrictions, and it’s also easier to maintain a good oral hygiene routine. Patients simply remove the aligner, then brush and floss as they normally would! When used as directed, Invisalign can be just as effective as braces for many of the most common orthodontic issues.
Find the right braces for you at Krieger Orthodontics
Dr. Krieger was a cosmetic dentist for 20 years before becoming an orthodontist, which means he’s able to offer each patient comprehensive care with an eye for detail. His treatment plans are based on a patient’s specific needs, goals, and lifestyles. You’ll never find any “cookie-cutter” treatment here!
From our Lewisville office, our talented team is able to serve patients in the Carrollton, The Colony, and Plano communities. If you’d like to learn more about how braces treatment can help you achieve a healthier smile, get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Krieger.