Orthodontic treatments are used to correct the position of the teeth. Having straight teeth can not only help boost self confidence, but can also help improve oral health. There are different types of orthodontic treatments available, including braces, Invisalign, and other alignment options. Each treatment option has its benefits and drawbacks, which you can learn more about here.
When Is Orthodontics Necessary?
Orthodontics is a specialty in dentistry that focuses on straightening your teeth and/or aligning your jaw and bite. When teeth are aligned correctly, not only can it enhance a smile aesthetically, it can also significantly improve oral function and hygiene, such as preventing uneven wear on teeth, improving chewing function, and reducing your risk of health issues including cavities and gum problems.
The most common orthodontic treatments include braces, clear aligners, and removable retainers. These are specially made devices that straighten and realign the teeth and jaw. The type of treatment that is best for you will depend on the problem you have and your individual needs and personal preferences. Orthodontic problems can include:
- Overlapping teeth
- Gapped teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Rotated teeth
- Overbite or underbite
- Crowded teeth
- Impacted teeth
What Orthodontic Treatments Are Available?
Braces are an age-old solution to aligning teeth, and they’re still a popular choice today. Braces use brackets, wires, and bands to apply gentle pressure on teeth and gradually shift them into the desired position. Traditional braces are made of metal and are visible when you smile, but there are other options available that are less visible, such as ceramic (clear) braces. Braces can take time to work, and the timeframe they are required will depend on the severity of the misalignment. In most cases, this is between 1 and 3 years, with regular adjustments every few weeks. Braces require good oral hygiene, as plaque and tartar can build up around the brackets and wires, which could lead to cavities and gingivitis. Braces may cause some discomfort, particularly initially and when tightened, however, they are a highly effective treatment for many orthodontic issues and can improve the function, health, and appearance of your teeth and smile.
Ceramic, or clear braces as they are sometimes known, are similar to traditional braces, but instead of metal components, ceramic braces consist of ceramic brackets and frosted wires. These are designed to better match the color of the teeth, making them less noticeable. Much like traditional braces, ceramic braces are highly effective for a range of orthodontic issues, however, they have less strength than metal braces, which may mean they take slightly longer to achieve results.
Clear aligners, also known as invisible braces, are an alternative option to traditional braces. The most popular aligners used are Invisalign, SureSmile, and ClearCorrect. Instead of traditional braces that use wires and brackets, these custom-made aligners use a series of transparent, removable, and virtually invisible trays that are designed to progressively straighten the teeth into their ideal position.
Clear aligners, made of BPA-free plastic, are simple to use and are typically more comfortable than metal braces. Designed to fit your lifestyle, aligners allow for easy oral hygiene, since they can be removed during meals and brushing. Clear aligners can be a great option for people who don’t want visible braces and are looking for an affordable alternative to braces and other orthodontic treatments.
Lingual braces are another option for people who want braces but don’t want them to be visible. These braces are similar to traditional braces, but the brackets and wires are fitted on the inside of the teeth, rather than the front, making them practically undetectable. Lingual braces are more difficult to clean and are typically more expensive. They are not as commonly available as other types of braces, but they can be a discreet way of straightening teeth.
Retainers are often used after braces or other orthodontic treatments to ensure that the teeth remain in the correct position. They may also be used to correct minor orthodontic problems. There are different retainers available, which can be removable or fixed and can be either clear or metal. Retainers are important for maintaining the effects of previous orthodontic treatments. Your orthodontist will let you know how to maintain your retainer and how often and when you need to wear it to achieve desired results.
Orthodontic treatments are an important way to realign your teeth and can help prevent oral health problems in the future. Traditional braces, clear aligners, and retainers are just some of the treatment options available to you. Each treatment has its own benefits and drawbacks depending on your budget, needs, and objectives. The right orthodontic treatment for you depends on the severity of your orthodontic issue, preferences, and lifestyle. Always consult a dental specialist to discuss all your orthodontic treatment options. This will allow you to make an informed decision about your care.
Top Orthodontist in Eugene, OR
If you would like to learn more about the orthodontic treatment options that are best for you, such as clear aligners, visit Dr. Binder at 360 Dental today. Our family-friendly dental practice is conveniently located in Eugene, Oregon. We provide high-quality care and a comprehensive range of dental services and treatments, including SureSmile clear aligners, dental implants, general and restorative dentistry, and professional teeth whitening treatments, to help you achieve optimum dental health.