There are many problems which can be cured with a visit – or a few visits – to your dentist. Chipped and damaged teeth, gum disease, decay and even teeth which have been knocked out altogether can all be rectified through a combination of different treatments, and the technology has now reached such an advanced stage that an orthodontist can put together a plan to completely transform your smile. One of the most important parts of any such transformation, and a form of treatment which people are often reluctant to consider, is teeth straightening. Many adults tend to think that they are too old to have their teeth straightened, and that the procedure will be too cumbersome, obtrusive and uncomfortable to be worth the effort. The truth, however, is that modern treatments, such as Invisalign, clear braces and even standard orthodontic braces, have moved on in leaps and bounds from those which used to be offered, meaning that it’s never too late, or too much trouble, to have your teeth straightened until your smile is as even and true as you’ve always wanted it to be. Some patients only need their teeth shifting slightly in order to adjust the bite, whereas others require major movement due to teeth which are badly misaligned, crooked or overcrowded. Following your initial consultation, your orthodontist will discuss the various types of treatment on offer and decide which is best suited to you personally. Amongst the options when it comes to teeth straightening are the following:
Orthodontic Braces This is the most traditional form of straightening treatment and is the one which has most frequently been used on young children over the years. The treatment uses metal wires which are attached to metal brackets cemented to the front of the teeth. Over the course of the treatment, these wires are gradually tightened, a process which slowly shifts the teeth to the required position. The length of time required for treatment depends upon the degree of movement required.
- Tried and tested
- Achieves gradual and natural looking results
Lingual Braces Lingual braces work along the same lines as traditional orthodontic braces, with the difference being that the brackets and wires are attached to the back of the teeth, and are thus hidden from view. Although they can take longer than standard braces to become accustomed to, they are perfect for those patients who worry most about the appearance of braces, and can deal with more severe cases than other forms of ‘invisible’ treatment.
- Stop concerns about the appearance of braces
- Can deal with severe cases
Invisalign Invisalign braces are often described as ‘invisible braces’ and with good reason. They take the form of lightweight transparent plastic retainers which slot quickly and easily onto the teeth and gradually shift their position, with a new retainer being supplied approximately every two weeks. The retainers can be removed for eating and drinking or when you wish to clean your teeth, and are so unobtrusive that other people need never know you’re wearing them.
- No embarrassment caused by the appearance of the retainers
- Can be removed when convenient – i.e. when eating and drinking
- Ideal for patients who feel self-conscious about wearing braces
Inman Aligner The Inman aligner is basically a hybrid of conventional orthodontic braces and the Invisalign system. The retainer which shifts the position of the teeth is made of metal rather than being transparent, and can thus be seen, but can also be removed when the patient needs to eat, drink or clean their teeth. The other difference is that the Inman system requires just one appointment at the surgery.
- Treatment takes less time than Invisalign – usually between 6 and 16 weeks, depending upon how many hours a day the appliance is worn for
- Aligner can be removed to facilitate thorough cleaning of the teeth
- A single aligner can achieve the required results
- Generally less expensive than the Invisalign system
Damon Braces Conventional braces use elastic ties to create the tightening effect of the wire, but Damon braces are the most up to date and discrete version of this type of brace. Rather than using elastic ties the braces adopt friction free technology to shift the position of the teeth.
- Quicker treatment – Damon braces generally take 4-6 months less to shift than conventional braces.
- Comfort – the fact that the wire doesn’t require metal or elastic ties means that that are much less cumbersome and far less likely to cause irritation of the soft tissue of the mouth
- Hygiene – the lack of ties means that the braces are much less likely to allow plaque and other debris to collect
- Appearance – although not virtually ‘invisible’ like Invisalign braces, the lightweight make up of these braces does mean that they are much less obvious than traditional metal braces.
Six Month Smile This is a brand new teeth straightening treatment which concentrates on moving those teeth which are visible when you smile, using nickel wires mounted on tooth coloured brackets.
- Cuts treatment down to as little as 6 months
Fast Braces Fast Brace technology utilises a brace consisting of a single thermally activated wire mounted onto clear ceramic braces. As well as being more comfortable and less visually obtrusive the Fast Brace works much more quickly, because it moves the root and crown of the tooth at the same time, rather than the root first and the crown after as is usually the case. Most courses of treatment run for between just 3 and 9 months.
- Quicker than standard treatments
- More comfortable in the mouth due to being smaller
- Less likely to cause irritation in your gums, tongue and cheek
- Faster treatment time reduces the cost
Porcelain veneers Veneers are often referred to as ‘false nails for the teeth’, as they consist of wafer thin porcelain shells which are attached to the surface of the teeth, creating the illusion of perfect straightness without actually shifting any of the teeth. They can be used to treat teeth which are only slightly crooked, by covering rather than repairing the problem. The downside of veneers is that some of the healthy surface of the tooth has to be ‘shaved’ off to accommodate them.
- Speed – can be fitted over just one visit to the clinic
- Appearance – can also improve the look of the shape and colour of the teeth being treated.
If your teeth are crooked, overcrowded or don’t meet properly, thus ruining the appearance of your smile, then you might think it’s too late to do anything about it. Think again, however, since the range of straightening options on offer means that anyone can have their teeth shifted into the correct position. Visit Perfect smile for teeth straightening treatment and one of our experienced orthodontists will outline exactly what we can do for you.