Dental technology is constantly advancing, and in recent years, many new orthodontic treatments and options have become widely available. Using state-of-the-art technology with a thorough understanding of the movement and growth of the teeth and jaws, we’re able to successfully treat many dental issues, such as:
- Crowded teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Protruding teeth
- Impacted teeth
A majority of the patients we treat here at Saddle Creek Orthodontics will end up opting for traditional metal braces as a way to straighten their teeth. While metal braces are the most common type of orthodontic treatment, there are actually several options to choose from. After your free initial consultation, Dr. Fagala will be able to discuss which treatment would be right for you, based on your unique needs and specific smile goals.
Fixed vs. Removable Appliances
In any discussion of orthodontic treatment, it’s important to understand the distinction between fixed and removable appliances. Fixed appliances, like braces, are attached to the teeth by metal bands or special cement, and aren’t taken off until treatment is complete. Removable appliances, such as Invisalign’s aligner system, are typically worn about 20-22 hours a day, but can be easily taken off if needed.
Aside from the obvious difference of fixed vs. removable, Invisalign aligners tend to be most effective when treating mild to moderate orthodontic problems, while fixed appliances are generally needed for more serious and comprehensive treatment.
Traditional metal braces are the most widely used type of fixed orthodontic appliance. Typically made of a mix of high-grade stainless steel, nickel, and other metals, they consist of bands that wrap around the back molars, and smaller metal brackets that are cemented to the front surfaces of the other teeth. The archwire is a thin, springy metal wire that runs through the brackets, and may be fixed to the brackets by flexible elastics, metal ties, or another type of clasp. Through this, your teeth will be gently guided into position over time.
>Having been around for about a hundred years in various forms, traditional metal braces are a reliable, effective, and economical option that have stood the test of time. Though past incarnations have been bulk, awkward, or even painful, today's metal braces are smaller, lighter, and more comfortable to wear than ever before. You can even personalize them by choosing your own set of elastic colors!
While traditional metal braces remain the most popular option for orthodontic treatment, ceramic braces can be a great choice for some patients. Sometimes known as clear braces, these are a new variation on the conventional system of braces, by provide a much less noticeable method of treatment. Ceramic braces utilize the same components as traditional braces, but instead of metal, the brackets on the front side of the teeth are made of a translucent ceramic material. This blends in with the natural color of your teeth, offering an incredibly discreet option for straightening your smile.
Although the technology behind ceramic braces is constantly improving, they currently do tend to be a little less durable than their metal counterparts and can sometimes be prone to breakage. They are also slightly more costly than traditional braces. However, for many patients needing fixed appliances - particularly adults - the benefit of having an inconspicuous source of orthodontic treatment is priceless.
Lingual Braces, also known as Incognito or Hidden Braces, are braces that fit on the inside of the teeth, and are completely invisible so you can confidently smile through every event that life has to offer. Incognito lingual braces are custom made from gold to fit only your teeth. Lingual braces can be a bit less comfortable for some patients and are more expensive than traditional metal braces, but are a good option for highly esthetically-conscious patients.
Unlike traditional braces, this form of orthodontic treatment does not rely on a system of metal or ceramic brackets and wires. The Invisalign system is made up of a series of fully customized, clear trays called aligners that are nearly invisible and completely removable. Their soft plastic also means no friction or abrasions inside the mouth, so they provide a more comfortable orthodontic experience. When worn the recommended 20-22 hours per day, and changed out weekly with the next in the set, these aligners will gradually move your teeth into the desired positions.
As mentioned, Invisalign works best with mild to moderate orthodontic issues, so it may not be a suitable choice for everyone. By scheduling a free consultation with Saddle Creek Orthodontics, we can find out if Invisalign is right for you!