Choosing to invest in your smile is a fabulous decision. After all, straightening out your teeth is more than just an act of vanity. It is an investment in your personal health. When you seek out medical help to straighten out your smile, you are potentially addressing a bevy of dental health issues. Weighing your braces options depends entirely on your personal needs.
With the help of an orthodontic professional, braces can fix a lot of dental concerns. The main function of braces is to move teeth into the desired position — but it can address a host of other dental problems in a safe and effective way as well. Braces are tools used to target just the teeth you want to move in the amounts you want to move them.
Meaning it is a perfect solution for people who have issues like compromised bites and periodontal conditions, and they can manage very complex bites, including open bites and situations where tooth removal is essential. Even overbites and underbites can be fixed with the help of braces.
But what is the best method for you? Determining which braces options works best for you, you have to consider a few major factors: What is your goal, what are your dental needs, and what is your budget?
Determining Your Needs
When it comes to choosing and adult braces option, you want to be sure that you are considering more than just the desire to have straight teeth. You want to be sure that your teeth are healthy and have no other dental needs that must be fulfilled, and if you do have them, that they are fulfilled properly.
The best way to do this is to consult with a professional. From that initial appointment, doctors can guide you to not only what your needs are, but also how to best fulfill them.
Your doctors are likely going to present you with at least these four options.
Whatever your medical needs are when it comes to straightening teeth, traditional metal braces are the method most commonly and basically employed. Traditional metal braces are probably the first thing you picture when you think of braces. Because their design is simple and effective, they are the most affordable option too.
The biggest drawback, especially for adults, lies in their general aesthetic. They are comprised of visible brackets and wires which are routinely tightened by an Orthodontist in order to move teeth slowly over time. They can be uncomfortable and even somewhat painful to install and maintain, but overall they work very effectively.
If you’re looking for something more discreet, but with the results of traditional braces, ceramic style is the one for you. Ceramic braces operate much like traditional braces. The only difference is the “brackets” are ceramic colored and therefore blend into natural teeth color to create a less visible look. Unfortunately, ceramic braces tend to lead to discoloration and can sometimes have unsightly stains (say goodbye to coffee). It also means that they can end up costing quite a bit more for their discretion.
Lingual braces are also like traditional ones as well; only they are “flipped.” Instead of going on the front side of teeth, they are behind teeth, and therefore the most expensive. While they are technically invisible, they come in direct contact with the tongue and are not very comfortable. Also, they aren’t as effective and are hard to keep clean. Lingual braces absolutely aren’t a popular way to straighten teeth.
Clear aligners are the least visible option and have a lot of nuances when it comes to choosing the best provider. After initial check-ups and 3D scans to determine treatment, all a patient needs to do is change their trays every two weeks. The aligners will move the teeth a few millimeters every two weeks and will ultimately lead to a straight smile is typically under a year. Plus, they are virtually undetectable.
Within the umbrella of clear aligners, there are a variety of ways to go. Choosing a clear aligner provider involves some research. There are two basic categories clear aligner braces fall into. First, there are direct to consumer models that have little dental professional involvement. What will happen is after the initial scans, medical professionals step back, and you manage the pre-prescribed treatment on your own.
Then there are brands like Invisalign which have heavy doctor involvement – meaning you’ll make several progress trips to the orthodontist. And then there are brands like Dandy that offer a healthy balance between the two. Medical professionals are consulted from the get-go, and you aren’t required to make several trips to the office.
You simply send progress photos to your doctor, and if there are issues, there is the ability to go in and visit them. The cost varies depending upon the provider and generally starts around $1,9000 and caps around $8,000.
The best option
What it boils down to when picking the best option for straighter teeth, it is important to really weigh individual needs. From an abstract point of view, of all the options for adults, clear braces are likely the most sound option.
Considering that they can effectively treat tons of issues, are virtually undetectable, and cost-efficient, clear aligners check a lot of boxes for a wide range of potential patients. Just be sure to go with a provider that values the art of medical dentistry and as well as the value of your time.