Over the last few years, we’ve noticed an increase in the number of adults asking about their teeth straightening options. A smile plays a large role in an individual’s confidence and makes an impression on the people they meet.
If you’re thinking of straightening your teeth there are certainly plenty of options to choose from. A quick search online, for instance, results in a wide range of orthodontic treatments from traditional metal braces to Damon braces, to the Inman aligner, and even teeth straightening aligner kits that can be shipped straight to your door.
However, when all said and done, the options for teeth straightening come in two main types: fixed braces (metal or ceramic) and removable aligners.
Teeth Straightening Options – Fixed Braces
Fixed braces, as their name suggests, can only be removed by your dentist and for the most part, tend to be quite visible. Treatment time varies from 6 months to 2 years depending on the complexity of the dental issue.
Braces and other options for teeth straightening work similarly by applying pressure to the teeth to gradually move them into their correct positions. Traditional metal braces have been around for decades and that’s because they can fix everything from crowded teeth to crooked teeth to correcting overbites, underbites, and gaps. The good news is that fixed braces no longer entail a mouthful of metal and elastic bands. With advances in technology, there are several fixed braces options including:
- Metal braces – These are the traditional braces most people normally think of – metal brackets worn on each tooth threaded through with archwires secured in place with rubber bands
- Clear braces – Ceramic brackets and clear or tooth-coloured wires to match the teeth offer a more discreet straightening experience
- Damon braces – These utilise small, less bulky brackets with special clips that enable the archwire to move the teeth into place without any additional ligatures. This low friction, low force system moves the teeth more sensitively, is available in a clear form, and on average achieves results 6 months faster than traditional fixed braces.
- Lingual braces – Braces that are placed on the back of teeth rather than the front. They can be expensive and not all dentists supply them.
Patients wearing braces need to maintain good oral hygiene with regular brushing and flossing.
If you have a more complicated orthodontic issue such as a significant underbite or overbite, fixed braces are likely to be the best teeth straightening option for you.
Teeth Straightening Options – Removable aligners
Clear aligners such as Invisalign can cost less than braces for mild to moderate cases and are a great solution for self-conscious teens or adults looking for more discreet teeth straightening options.
Patients love aligners for their ‘invisible’ appearance and like that they can be removed to eat, drink, and clean the teeth. The downside of clear aligners is that they require a commitment to wearing them for the allotted time, which is typically a minimum of 22 hours a day. Failure to do this may mean the desired results are not achieved and a patient may have to start their treatment over again which ultimately means more time and money.
The treatment time for clear aligners differs from one patient to another and ranges from as little as 10 weeks to 2 years, although the average treatment time is around 12 months.
The Inman Aligner
This is simply a removable plate that is used to align front teeth safely and quickly. We use it as a standalone treatment or to pre-align teeth before further cosmetic treatments such as veneers.
The Inman aligner works by using nickel-titanium springs to press the arches of the aligner in opposite directions to bring the teeth to their new position. The movement exerts slight pressure throughout which results in an extremely fast treatment time – usually completed within 6 to 18 weeks. Generally speaking, it’s much faster than other orthodontic alternatives. The Inman aligner must be worn for 16 to 20 hours a day and combined with dental appointments every 2-3 weeks.
No matter which of the teeth straightening options you choose, retention is recommended by dentists once the treatment has been completed to prevent the teeth from moving back to their original positions.
So there you have it ….. all your teeth straightening options briefly explained.
If you are considering orthodontic treatment then why not book an orthodontic consultation with the experienced dentists at Beyond 32 Dental to discuss the best treatment for your unique dental situation. Call us on (02) 9158 6334 today.