For most people, a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics. After your braces come off, you'll feel more self-confident. During your treatment, we want you to feel as comfortable as possible.
How Orthodontic Treatment Works
Orthodontic appliances can be made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. They may be removable or they may be brackets bonded to the teeth. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to a corrected position. This is a great time to wear braces! Gone are the days when a metal band with a bracket was placed around each tooth. You can often choose brackets that are clear or metallic, and sometimes you can choose the color of the ties that hold the wire in brackets. Wires are also less noticeable than they used to be, and the latest materials move teeth faster with less discomfort to patients.
Duration of Treatment
Treatment time typically ranges from one to three years, depending on the growth of the patient's mouth and face, and the severity of the problem. Patients grow at different rates and will respond variously to orthodontic treatment, so the time until case completion may differ from the original estimate. The patient's diligent use of any prescribed rubber bands or headgear is an important factor in achieving the most efficient treatment. Interceptive or early treatment procedures may take as few as six months.
Types of Braces
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.
Gold braces are similar to traditional metal braces in many ways. They are made of stainless steel but are uniquely coated in gold. The gold coating may be considered a more cosmetic option than traditional metal braces.
Ceramic braces are made of clear or tooth-colored materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene, as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts.
Invisible (Clear) Orthodontic Appliances
Invisible aligners can correct some malocclusions. They are a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable aligners worn sequentially to straighten your teeth. Not only are the aligners invisible, they are removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment, plus brushing and flossing are less of a hassle. The aligners are comfortable and have no metal. It is difficult for others to know that you're even wearing your aligners!
Lingual braces are hidden behind the teeth, bonded to the inside surfaces of your teeth, and are therefore "invisible" when you smile. Lingual braces are 100% customized to match the shape of your teeth and therefore the metal appliances are created uniquely for you. Lingual braces are an option for athletes, models, actors/actresses, musicians who play wind instruments, adult professionals, anyone wanting to "hide" his/her treatment!