Today’s technology on braces is widely different from when it was first developed several decades ago. Because of advances in research and development, people needing braces have better and varied options. And since there are so many types to choose from now, picking out what braces would be best to wear, requires some time and consideration. These choices also come with other factors, such as how much would dental braces cost and what sort of expertise does the orthodontist have with the braces you like.
Before getting the procedure done, your orthodontist may have already told you the extent of the work that needs to be done on your teeth. You may have been given options, but before you make an informed decision, below are some more details about the different types of procedures or braces appliances you can get.
- Metal.These are traditional-looking braces attached to your teeth with the use of wires and brackets. Metal braces are very obvious and wearing them will require a period of two to three years, without removal. Adjusting the braces is required every four to six weeks, since, as part of the treatment, the dentist needs to tighten this.Metal braces take hours to install on the teeth, and it will be painful to wear for a few weeks. Because the metal can also be bulky and heavy, some discomfort may take time getting used to. The adjustment period for wearing also takes weeks to process, as you will need to learn to eat food and clean your teeth, without damaging your braces.Cleaning the braces will need to be frequent and it will be a tedious chore, as you need to make sure there are no food particles lodged in between the wires, brackets and bands. In the past, metal braces used to be plainly steel in color. But lately, people have been wearing braces in different colors, which makes this a bit more pleasant to look at.
- Ceramic. Procedure for putting them on your teeth and the period of adjustment for ceramic braces is similar with metal braces. The difference, however, is that ceramics can be matched to the color of your teeth, so it may be slightly unnoticeable. Ceramics, however, can stain. Eating certain kinds of foods can easily turn them yellow. Treatment with ceramic braces also last longer than metal braces and the cost for this is usually more expensive.
Wearing traditional braces is a prime example of the saying, “No pain. No gain.” And those wearing will really need to have patience through this for a long period, but the end result is always worth it.
Invisalign is one of the most recently developed and patented technologies for braces. It makes use of clear, removable braces that work to align and correct teeth placement, even without the use of metal wires and brackets.
The technology is highly advanced and the one wearing it will not have any problems with appearance, as the braces are nearly invisible. And because it may be removed during the course of the treatment, there is no discomfort nor pain to wearing Invisalign, thus you can go about your usual activities, eat certain foods you want to eat, and clean your teeth the way you normally would. Treatment period using Invisalign only takes a few months.
There are a few drawbacks to wearing Invisalign, however, aside from the fact that it’s more expensive than traditional braces. Someone who is lazy about wearing this may eventually forget putting back the Invisalign in his mouth, thus affecting the whole treatment process. You need solid commitment if you want to wear this.
Not everyone may actually need to go with Invisalign, especially if the problems only concern some alignment, where the teeth no longer require spacers.
If you choose to go with a veneer procedure, then you are actually not going to need braces. Veneers may correct the alignment or fill-in the gaps and spaces that braces can do. But more than as a corrective measure, veneers are done for the aesthetic aspect. Dentists call this a “quick fix”.
Veneers are a lot more expensive than getting braces, with a porcelain veneer costing about $250 to $2500 per tooth. They can also last for only about 10 years, after which, you may need new veneers done.
The good news is, the procedure is a painless process and you can instantly see the results as soon as you leave that dentist’s chair and check yourself out in the mirror.