If you have crooked teeth or misaligned bite there are a variety of treatments that can help straighten it like using braces and retainers. There are a variety of brackets in the market now including stainless steel, ceramic, lingual braces and plastic.
Metal braces are the traditionally used braces and they can correct severe cases where the force to be applied is more. The brackets are cemented into place and a stainless steel wire is placed within the brackets. Elastic wires are then used to pull and push the teeth within.
Duration of treatment will extend anywhere from 1 year – 3 years depending on the severity of the case. Monthly appointments will be given wherein the elastics will be replaced or tightened. It is important to take very good care of the braces as breaking them by chewing on hard foods or missing appointments can extend the duration of treatment.
Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as the metal brackets except that they are tooth coloured brackets that blend in with the teeth. We can even use tooth coloured wires to make it less noticeable. The force applied on the brackets will vary and they are more expensive than the traditional brackets. They also tend to stain easily if they are not taken care of while eating.
Lingual braces are the same as traditional braces except that the brackets are placed on the inside of the teeth hence invisible from the outside. They are more expensive and cannot be used in severe cases. The regular appointments needed will take longer and can cause uncomfortably after the initial placement. They are also harder to clean.
After completion of the fixed appliance of braces appointment a removable retainer or a lingual retainer will be given so as to hold the teeth in place once the braces are removed. The appliance will have a stainless steel wire that wraps around the 6 teeth in the front and two loop that rest on the back teeth. These loops are tightened according to need. The wires are embedded in an acrylic or plastic plate that rests on the palate in the upper jaw and on the gums in the space between the teeth and the tongue in the lower jaw. They must be cleaned with a brush and placed in water when not used.
Lingual retainers are single bands that are cemented on the lower and upper 6 front tooth on the inside. They cannot be removed and helps in permanent retention and is more costly. They need to be re-cemented onto the tooth if they come off and the patient must undergo routine scaling.
Invisalign straigntens your teeth using a custom made series of aligners created for you and only you. These aligner trays are made of smooth comfortable an virtually invisible plastic that you war over your teeth. They gradually and gently shift your teeth into place.
There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. You just pop in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks, until your treatment is complete. You will achieve a great smile with little interference in your daily life.