Modern dentistry provides many options for treating decayed or missing teeth. Although dental restorations can improve oral function and appearance, patients often struggle to choose an appropriate treatment method. Fortunately, dentists have the knowledge and experience to help patients make a decision.Dentists can restore single or multiple teeth using various materials and techniques, including:Metal or…
What Are Alternative Forms of Teeth Straightening?
For many years, the only option available for teeth straightening was traditional braces. Though very effective, these have several disadvantages. Each adjustment to the braces could take a long time, and some people feel self-conscious about their appearance while they wear them. Fortunately, there are now alternatives available that can be just as effective at straightening your teeth without some of the disadvantages of traditional braces.
4 teeth straightening alternatives
If you are interested in teeth straightening but you have concerns about traditional braces, one of the following alternatives may be a better option for you. However, these alternatives are not right for every patient, and your circumstances may contraindicate the use of one or more of these alternatives for your teeth.
1. Self-ligating braces
Traditional braces consist of several components. The archwires put gentle pressure on the teeth to gradually guide them in place while the brackets hold the wires in the proper position. Traditional braces require elastic ties to connect the wires to the brackets, but self-ligating brackets have either sliding mechanisms or spring clips to hold the wires in place.
Self-ligating braces are just as visible as traditional braces, but they are easier to keep clean and do not take as much time to adjust. They may also cause less discomfort than traditional braces, but this is not always the case.
2. Lingual braces
While traditional braces are applied on the front of the teeth, lingual braces are applied on the back of the teeth, alongside the tongue. The main advantage of lingual braces is that they are invisible to outside observers. However, they do have disadvantages as well. They can cause irritation of the tongue and changes to speech. They can also be more difficult to keep clean.
3. Ceramic braces
Like traditional braces, ceramic braces are applied to the front of the teeth. However, while traditional braces are all metal, ceramic brackets are made of a translucent, tooth-colored material. Even though the archwires are still made of metal, ceramic braces blend into the tooth more and are therefore less noticeable to the casual observer.
4. Clear aligners
Clear aligners are plastic retainers that are custom-made to fit exactly to your teeth. Because they are made of a transparent material, they are practically invisible, even less noticeable than ceramic braces. They are removable, so you can take them out when you eat and clean your teeth. This means that you do not have to avoid any specific foods during treatment, and dental hygiene is much easier. Clear aligners are also much more comfortable than traditional braces because there are no metal parts to irritate the tissues of the mouth.
Every few weeks, you receive a new aligner. When worn consistently over time, the series of aligners gradually guides your teeth into a better position. However, clear aligners are only for people with mild malalignment of the teeth. They are not for people with severe orthodontic issues.
In addition to traditional braces, there are many other options for teeth straightening available. However, they are not all appropriate for every patient.
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