I want to straighten my teeth but I feel embarrassed by the look of ‘metal teeth’. Are there other options?
More and more adult patients are seeking orthodontic treatment but the look of braces has always been a concern. Most adults prefer treatment appliance that are invisible or near invisible to achieve a beautiful smile without aesthetic impairment during the treatment period. So what are the aesthetic options available?
Traditional braces are made of stainless steel, which is aesthetically unappealing. However, technology has advanced tremendously over the years and tooth-colored braces are widely available and work as reliably as traditional metal braces.
Ceramic braces are a type of tooth-colored orthodontic appliance that works in the same way as metal braces but are considerably less visible as compared to metal braces. However, the metal wires used together with the braces system will still be visible to the patient.
Invisalign® is a method of orthodontic treatment which uses a series of clear, removable teeth aligners used as an alternative to traditional metal dental braces. This is the cosmetic option, as the aligners are completely transparent, therefore far more difficult to detect than traditional wire and bracket braces. This makes the method particularly popular among adults who want to straighten their teeth without the look of traditional metal braces, which are commonly worn by children and adolescents.
The orthodontist will take a detailed impression of your teeth, X-rays and photographs during the first visit. A careful computerized treatment planning will be done to create a series of removable teeth aligners. These aligners will be issued to the patient. Patients are required to wear the aligner for at least 20-22 hours per day, removing it only for eating, drinking and cleaning of teeth, or to have the checked by the orthodontist. Patients wear each set of aligner for two weeks before changing to a new set of aligners in their treatment series. The aligners apply a gentle force of the teeth to move them to the desired position.
Because patients are able to remove the aligners, there are no restrictions on foods that could damage the appliances. It is also easier for the patient to clean their teeth, so reducing the chance of tooth decay and gum disease. The aligners give less force per week and less pain than do fixed appliances (traditional metal braces).
However, Invisalign® does not work effectively in all patients. To find out if Invisalign® is suitable for you, come down for a consultation with us.