We generally think of orthodontic treatments as cosmetic in nature. Proper teeth alignment is a major contributing factor in how beautiful and attractive our smile appears to others. Having straight and evenly spaced teeth can also have many oral health benefits. A few of the advantages of straight teeth include:
- Better jaw and teeth alignment
- Lower risk of wearing of teeth
- Easier at-home cleaning
- Lower risk of gum disease
Maidu Dental in Auburn, CA offers multiple orthodontic treatments. To better help you understand your orthodontic treatment options, we offer this overview.
Orthodontic Treatment Options
Before one of our doctors recommends an orthodontic treatment, he or she will conduct an exam of your mouth and teeth. The severity of teeth crowding may be one factor in determining whether traditional braces or Invisalign will be a more effective treatment, for example. X-rays, digital images, or a mold of your teeth may be taken or made during your first appointment.
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces are what we think of when we hear the word “braces.” Braces consist of bands, wires, and other fixed or removable corrective appliances. Brackets (small metal squares) will be placed on each of your teeth. One early step may include the placement of spacers to allow for orthodontic bands. Arch wires connect the brackets and help gently pull your teeth into better alignment.
Once your traditional braces have been placed, you will need to return for periodic tightening of your braces. Braces are considered more effective than Invisalign for treating extreme overcrowding or large gaps in teeth. Braces may be a better option for teenagers, in some cases, because teenagers may be less likely to fulfill the 22- to 24-hour compliance rule.
Ceramic braces work like metal braces but have tooth-colored brackets that blend with your natural teeth. This option offers cosmetic benefits over metal braces. Ceramic braces generally have a higher treatment cost over metal braces, and the ceramic brackets can still become stained if not cleaned regularly.
Lingual braces function like traditional metal braces, but the brackets and wires are placed behind teeth. From the outside, the braces are invisible. This orthodontic treatment is harder to clean, generally more expensive than traditional braces, and not appropriate for all cases.
Invisalign and other clear aligner treatments are a popular alternative to traditional braces. The treatments use clear trays that fit snuggly over both rows of teeth. Each aligner tray is designed to apply pressure to gently nudge your teeth into better alignment. The treatment timeline for Invisalign is typically shorter than the time commitment for undergoing traditional braces (usually several months to just over a year). Patients should be willing to commit to wearing their trays for 20 to 22 hours per day with few exceptions. Patients who undergo this treatment prefer the discrete appearance of the clear trays. Invisalign treatments are generally considered more comfortable than metal braces.
Which Treatment is Right For Me?
When considering which treatment to undergo, ask yourself the following questions:
- Which treatment option fits my budget?
- Am I willing to commit to wearing aligner trays 20 to 22 hours per day?
- How much of a concern is the appearance of my treatment?
- How long do I want my treatment timeline to last?
- Will my oral appliance interfere with my daily activities?
Orthodontic Treatment Options
You have questions. Our friendly dentists have answers. No matter what your cosmetic goals are, there’s an orthodontic treatment that’s right for you. If you are ready to take the first step toward a brighter, more attractive smile, contact our office online or call (530) 823-8771.