Learn about the variety of braces options available and deciding which one is best for you can be tough. In today’s podcast, Dr. Cooper discusses four options for orthodontic treatment and outlines what kind of issues you should consider before you have to make a choice. Fortunately, Dr. Cooper has used all four treatments and lets you decide which option works best for you.
There are four basic orthodontic treatment options:
- Traditional metal braces
- Clear braces
- Clear aligners (which includes Invisalign)
- Lingual braces.
Most people ask, “Dr. Cooper, what would you recommend?” The best type of treatment will depend on your priorities.
Traditional braces are common and well-understood. In fact, metal brackets used to straighten teeth have been around since the 1700s! Just talk to anyone that had braces anytime prior to the last decade and they’ll probably tell you they had metal braces. Some people like that you can put colored bands on the braces to show a bit of personal flair. And dentists and other professionals are used to cleaning around and seeing metal braces.
Clear braces might be made from ceramic or sapphire materials. Neither material seems to work significantly better or worse than the other, based on current orthodontic studies. As long as the treating orthodontist places the brackets properly, they work about as well as traditional metal brackets. Occasionally, the clear braces can discolor a little (turn yellow). Fortunately, the discoloration is usually on a portion of the braces that might not be necessary if you’re seeing an orthodontist (like Dr. Cooper) who uses self-ligating brackets.
Lingual braces are attached to the back of your teeth so they typically aren’t even visible to anyone but you and Dr. Cooper. Lingual braces can also be custom-designed for your teeth. Dr. Cooper uses custom brackets and custom wires to ensure consistently excellent results. Occasionally, using lingual brackets can take a bit longer in treatment, due to some difficulty with mechanics inside your mouth.
Invisalign is a lifestyle option. You’ve probably seen lots of advertisements on television about clear aligners, where the advertisement seems to imply anyone can have straight teeth by wearing a clear retainer for a few months. Don’t let those commercials confuse you – clear aligners are a significant commitment. To see significant results quickly, you’ll need to wear the clear retainers 22 hours each day over the course of several months. You’ll need to take the retainers out to eat and drink. On the other hand, clear aligners can be more comfortable than the other options. Each set of aligners will be discomfortable but you’ll adjust quickly. It’s also easier to keep up your oral hygiene with clear aligners, since you can take out the aligner to floss and brush.
If you want to compare two or more types of braces, Dr. Cooper has models in the office so you can see your options side-by-side. And if you have more questions, Dr. Cooper and her staff are happy to help answer those questions. Call the office today to schedule a free consultation to explore how Dr. Cooper can implement a custom solution using your orthodontic treatment of choice.