BRACES – METAL AND CLEAR ALIGNERS
Your smile is one of the very first things that people notice about you. When your teeth are crooked, your smile is dulled and can leave a negative impression. Not only that, but crooked teeth can greatly impact your oral health. Your teeth may wear unevenly, you may experience significant jaw pain, and you are at an increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay. At National Dental Oakland Gardens, we can straighten your misaligned teeth with braces, both metal and clear.
WHAT ARE METAL BRACES?
Metal braces have been in use for decades to treat misaligned teeth and are still a popular option today. They consist of three major components:
- Brackets. Metal brackets are bonded to each tooth during your first visit and remain in place during your entire treatment period.
- Metal bands. These are placed on your back teeth, and help to anchor the archwire.
- Archwires. The archwires are responsible for the movement and stability of your teeth. They attach to each bracket with the help of elastic O-rings. They are different sizes available, which allow us to better customize your treatment.
There are several other components available for traditional braces that perform other functions as needed, such as springs and rubber bands. We will determine which components may be needed to provide you with the best possible results.
HOW DO METAL BRACES WORK?
Braces work to move your teeth into proper alignment. The archwires are responsible for the bulk of the work. They put pressure on your teeth, which then puts pressure on your periodontal ligaments. This causes your ligaments to widen and your teeth to become loose. The wires then work to guide your teeth where they need to go. Once in the proper position, the archwires hold your teeth steady while your jawbone and periodontal ligaments heal around them. It takes approximately three months for new tissue to begin to grow, and about a year for your teeth to stabilize in their new positions.
WHAT ABOUT CLEAR ALIGNERS?
While metal braces are a highly effective treatment option, they are not ideal for everyone. The visibility of the metal in your mouth can be a source of embarrassment, particularly for older teens and adult patients. With clear aligners, your teeth can be straightened, and no one will be able to tell.
Clear aligners consist of a series of rigid, plastic aligners, which are created based on 3-dimensional images of your mouth. These nearly invisible aligners are removable, and meant to be worn between 20 and 22 hours a day (for optimal results in the shortest amount of time). Ideally, they should only be removed to eat or brush your teeth.
Treatment with Invisalign® involves the use of a series of aligners, each one slightly different than the one before. Each aligner is worn for two weeks at a time. Depending on your specific needs, you may go through anywhere from 18 to 30 aligners. Instead of archwires, the plastic puts pressure on your teeth, widening your periodontal ligaments and guiding your teeth into proper alignment. Treatment usually takes between 9 and 15 months, with most patients seeing desired results in less than a year.
WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Clear aligners are an excellent option for patients who wish to avoid the “metal mouth” appearance of traditional braces. However, they are not right for everyone. If your teeth are seriously misaligned, or your jaw is also misaligned, traditional braces will most likely provide you with the best possible results. In some cases, you may be able to begin treatment with traditional braces and finish with aligners. We can help you to make the best decision for your needs.
With metal braces or clear aligners, your crooked teeth can be straightened, and your smile (and oral health) greatly improved. Call National Dental Oakland Gardens today at (718) 407-0574 for more information.