Crooked teeth have a significant impact on the quality of your smile and can also affect your confidence. In addition to the aesthetic effects of crooked teeth, misalignment can also lead to oral health issues, including an increased risk of cavities and gum disease, bruxism, and temporomandibular joint disorder. Fortunately, crooked teeth can be corrected. Traditionally, misalignment has been treated with metal braces. While effective, metal braces are very visible and can cause much embarrassment. At Pacific Modern Dentistry, we can help to correct misaligned teeth in a less obvious way with invisible braces.
Ceramic or Clear Braces
Ceramic, or clear, braces are very similar to traditional metal braces. The biggest difference between the two is that ceramic braces have brackets that are made from a tooth-colored material, allowing them to more easily blend in with your teeth. The archwires are often still metal, although they can also be made from a tooth-colored material as well. Even if the wires are metal, the ceramic brackets help to make the appliance more discreet.
Just like with traditional braces, ceramic braces use ligatures to hold the wires in place. These ligatures are white or clear, which can become stained. Ceramic braces are also available as self-litigating, meaning the wires are held in place with a small door and sliding mechanism. While discreet, the ceramic brackets are more prone to damage.
Traditional braces sit on the outsides of your teeth, where they are very prominent. Even ceramic braces sit on the outsides of your teeth. While more discreet, they are still visible. A way to make braces even more discreet is with lingual braces. Lingual braces are braces that are set on the backs of your teeth. Also called I-braces, these braces are much more effectively hidden from view. With state of the art dental equipment, we can custom tailor your treatment just for you. Each bracket is custom designed for each tooth, which helps to ensure maximum comfort. While a highly effective treatment, and very discreet, there are some situations in which lingual braces may not be ideal. For instance, if you have an extreme overbite, the forces of chewing can cause lingual braces to dislodge.
Clear aligners are one of the most discreet orthodontic treatments available. Rather than brackets and wires, this treatment uses clear plastic aligners that sit on your teeth much like a mouthguard. Because they are clear, they are practically invisible. The aligners are made from impressions of your mouth and are designed to help your teeth move where they need to go. Clear aligners involve the use of several sets of aligners, which are made to be worn for two weeks at a time. Because there are no brackets and wires, they are much more comfortable. Additionally, clear aligners are removable. They are made to be taken out when you eat, allowing you to enjoy all of your favorite foods. They are also taken out to brush and floss, making oral care much easier during orthodontic treatment. While very effective, they are not ideal for every situation.
The thought of correcting crooked teeth often conjures up images of a shiny metal smile. These images can often keep patients from getting the necessary treatment they need to restore their smile and their oral health. For more information on invisible braces, and if they are right for you, call Pacific Modern Dentistry today at (206) 607-9822.