Gaining an ideal smile is faster and easier than ever thanks to modern orthodontic equipment options. Today’s orthodontic approaches aren’t just about achieving a desired result. The entire process is also very customizable, which allows each child, teen, adult, or senior to make wearing dental braces fit seamlessly into their individual lifestyles and aesthetic preferences.
Your Options For Dental Braces
The world of braces is no longer confined to a single treatment option. However, all options aren’t suitable for all orthodontic problems, and each choice has pros and cons over its counterparts that may be specifically applicable to your unique needs and wants.
Let’s explore some of the most commonly used applications to realign and straighten your teeth with dental braces:
1. Traditional Metal Brackets And Wire
This type of braces is what most people are familiar with or envision when they think of braces. They involve cementing stainless steel brackets to the teeth. A metal wire is run through the brackets and secured by elastics.
Sometimes, metal orthodontic bands are also needed with traditional braces. The band is fitted so that it surrounds a tooth, usually a molar, to offer a more secure anchoring point for the orthodontic wire.
At each orthodontic appointment, the rubber elastics are changed. You can choose from a rainbow of colors, including neon, metallic, and clear. The wires are also changed to different sizes as your treatment progresses.
One of the biggest pros for traditional metal dental braces is that they’re applicable to almost any patient with any orthodontic problem. They’re also one of the most least expensive options for braces. It’s a faster orthodontic treatment than with aligners.
The biggest con is that the metal equipment makes treatment highly visible.
2. Ceramic Braces
This option is technically very similar to traditional braces. The difference is in the materials used. Ceramic braces use much less obvious ceramic brackets and silver or white wires. Most wearers opt for white or clear elastics to keep the discreet look.
One of the biggest pros is that the braces aren’t so aesthetically obvious to onlookers. They also feature a faster and more inclusive treatment than aligners.
A major con, however, is that ceramic braces can be almost twice as much traditional braces. They’re less strong than metal brackets, which leave them more prone to breakage and replacement. They’re also less stain-resistant than stainless steel, which requires the wearer to be very conscientious about oral care.
3. Lingual Braces
Again, the technical aspects are similar to traditional and standard braces. You’ll have brackets, wires, and elastics as your main three components of your braces. The difference here is in where the dental braces are applied. Lingual braces are applied behind the teeth facing the inside of the mouth.
A huge pro is that onlookers never know they’re there. They’re also ideal for those participating in contact sports and other activities where the braces could cut the lips upon impact to the mouth. With other bracket and wire applications applied to the front of the teeth, you’ll need to invest in a mouth guard for contact activities.
But, the advantages come at a cost. Compared to other bracket and wire applications, lingual braces can cause more mouth soreness as friction occurs between the braces and tongue. They’re also not applicable for major alignment and straightening problems with the teeth.
4. Self-Litigating Braces
This is becoming a very popular option because the bracket application can be clear or metal, but it completely eliminates the need for elastics. The braces system has a door or closures the bracket that holds the wire in position.
Because of the self-litigating feature, you’ll spend less time in the orthodontic chair and patients typically say they’re easier to clean and less painful than traditional braces. There’s also less friction, which allows for possible faster treatment times.
A con, though, is that you may pay slightly more for self-litigating systems than traditional braces. The cost is between $3,500 and $8,500, depending on your treatment plan. Yet, the wire in still metal, meaning you still have highly noticeable braces. If the door or hinge on the bracket wears out, then you’ll be facing a bracket replacement.
There are several brands of clear plastic aligners on the market today. Each feature a series of mouth-guard like aligners that you wear for a prescribed amount of time.
Aligners are the most discreet and least invasive braces treatment option. There’s little impact to any extracurricular activities. Ease of use is a big pro, and there’s not a worry about teeth discoloring around a bracket due to inconsistent, difficult oral care.
But, aligners can get quite costly depending on how many you need to wear to reach your orthodontic goals. Since they’re removable, you also run the risk of damage or loss. They’re not applicable to major corrections, and they can only be used on adult and teen patients.
Call Today To Further Discuss Your Dental Braces Options
We are here to make your journey to a beautiful smile with dental braces as productive as it is comfortable. The above five options for braces all have their own pros and cons. What worked best for someone you know may not be the most ideal for you. Contact our office today to discuss which braces application best suits both your personal preferences, lifestyle, and orthodontic needs.