If you are thinking of having your dental alignment corrected, you may be considering a number of orthodontic appliances, such as traditional braces and plastic aligners. Each appliance offers unique advantages. Here is a bit of information to help you select the most suitable application for your needs.
Traditional braces are typically made from metal and include an archwire, brackets, and elastic bands. The archwire is attached to the brackets with the bands and applies the force needed to reposition the teeth. The brackets transfer the force generated by the archwire to the teeth to coax them into the proper alignment. Traditional braces can be used for a wide range of misalignments and bite problems. Additionally, they can be used to straighten pediatric or adult teeth.
Traditional metal braces are also often less expensive than many other orthodontic options, such as lingual braces. However, if you elect to have ceramic brackets, the cost of the braces may be a bit higher. Still, to mitigate the cost, your dentist can apply the ceramic brackets only to the teeth that are visible when you smile. Metal brackets can be applied to the remaining teeth. A treatment using traditional braces may take place over several years. Thus, if you choose this option, you may have to wear your braces for quite a while.
Plastic aligners reposition the teeth using fitted mouthpieces. Each aligner is a customized mouth tray that progressively moves the teeth into the desired alignment. Several sets of aligners are used throughout the course of a treatment plan. Each set is used for a couple of weeks and then replaced by the next set ordered by the plan. Once the final set has been used, the teeth have been reconfigured into the desired alignment.
The aligners are made of clear plastic, so they treat the teeth discreetly. Consequently, the aligners are often preferred by people who are uncomfortable with the look of metal on their teeth. In addition, the aligners are removable, so they do not hamper your ability to clean your teeth or eat. You can brush as you usually do and enjoy all of the foods that you did before your treatment.
Aligners may straighten your teeth in less than a year. However, they are best used for people with moderate to minor alignment issues. Additionally, plastic aligners can only be used for people with fully grown palates. Thus, they are not suitable for most children. For more information about available orthodontic treatment options, schedule an appointment with a professional like Hyten David W DMD.