Questions about which orthodontic treatment is best are very common. There are more options now than there used to be, as orthodontic treatment continues to progress with the rest of the world.
While options are nice, it can be hard to make a decision when there is so much invested, so we’re here to help you sort it out.
Traditional braces are the most common type of orthodontic treatment and are what we typically think of when we hear the word “braces”. They have come along ways in recent years, using high-grade stainless steel with metal brackets and archwires, which are adjusted over time to gradually move your teeth into the ideal position. We now use smaller hardware than the old days, so traditional braces are more comfortable and less noticeable than before.
The good thing about going the traditional route is first, versatility. Metal braces will be a workable solution for a greater number of individuals that might not qualify for other types of braces. They tend to be more effective at moving teeth than other options, too, so for either faster results or significant problems they might be the way to go. The common downfall to traditional braces is you also have to watch what you eat, as some foods are difficult to remove and others can even damage your braces.
While these are usually the most affordable option, they do require regular visits for adjustments as we gradually move teeth into position. Typically, you can plan for about one office visit every 6 weeks where we will make adjustments and check progress. Your time in braces will vary depending on the complexity of your situation.
Ceramic braces are another option. These are like traditional braces in that they are glued to the teeth, however, they are clear and intended to be less noticeable.
Invisalign is a system that aims to achieve the same goals as traditional braces, but also includes a few perks. Firstly, they are invisible. This fact alone has helped dramatically increase the number of adults in the US who follow through with orthodontic treatment, and as you might expect, most teens desire this option as well (this system is not an option for children.) Invisalign will also permit you to eat whatever foods you desire, so there are no real dietary restrictions so long as you keep your teeth clean.
Patients wear a series of clear, removable aligners that fit perfectly over their teeth and gradually move them into position. Every few weeks, you simply swap out your aligner for the next one, moving your teeth just a little bit more. Generally, you will repeat this process anywhere from 10-30 times, but you won’t have scheduled office visits that often – we will send you home with several aligner trays at a time. But there is more to consider.
Invisalign is a great option for those with mild, horizontal corrections needed to their teeth. It may not be the best option for every circumstance, though. If you have vertical alignment problems, bite issues, or severly rotated teeth, alignment trays may not be able to get the job done. Generally speaking, they also tend to cost a little more, as the trays are all custom made for you in advance.
There’s Not One Right Answer for Everyone
If appearance during treatment is most important and your corrections are minor, Invisalign might be preferred. For many, traditional braces are still the optimal choice. The best form of treatment for you or your child really depends upon your needs on a case by case basis.
After reading this article, if you’re still confused or unsure about which style of braces is best for you, give us a call and schedule an appointment. We’re always more than happy to help discuss which method of treatment will fit you best!