For many of us to have perfectly aligned, bright teeth are our topmost dental concern. The transformation from crooked protruded teeth to straight teeth and a beautiful smile often involves dental braces as the most obvious option. However, some of us might not be ideal candidates for braces, while others do not like the look full-braces give. To aid your decision-making, this article lists some of the most popular alternatives to traditional metallic braces.
Need for Braces
Before we dive head-first into the sea of orthodontic appliances and devices, we should know what situations can be resolved by these fixtures. Conventional braces aid to correct:
- Crooked, crowded teeth
- Deep bites, open bites
- Poor oral hygiene from improperly cleaned, misaligned teeth
- Gap between teeth
When Braces are not the Ideal Solution
Sometimes braces might not be the most suitable remedy for your dental concern. Even your orthodontist may advise against them and suggest an alternative. These scenarios include:
- You find the look of metallic braces unmotivating.
- You have minor crowding or space issue.
- You have a minimal bite alignment problem.
- Braces for the long-term are too heavy on your pocket.
Alternatives to Braces
Invisalign is the latest and most sought-after alternative to braces, world over. These are a set of customised, clear, plastic aligners that fit over all your teeth. They are changed now and then as the treatment progresses. Since they are virtually invisible, patients are very comfortable wearing them for most of the day (approx. 20 hours). These aligners are fabricated after making accurate 3D analysis and recording your measurements from a digital Scanner. Each aligner will gradually adjust your teeth to complete the treatment in as early as six months. The fact that these aligners are removable and transparent makes them a popular choice among young students and working adults.
Ceramic Veneer is another effective alternative over braces. These are thin-shelled porcelain made from materials that have high-grade strength and translucency. These veneers can quickly cover up minor gaps, cracked, chipped or slightly crooked teeth to reveal perfectly aligned and natural-looking teeth. The ability of these veneers to provide immediate and permanent results makes them an ideal choice for mildly misshapen or gapped teeth.
Ceramic braces have the same function and structure as metallic ones but their clear or tooth-coloured appearance provides them superiority over the traditional braces. The brackets and the wires are made from clear plastic and are not visible until a close distance. These provide good alternatives for individuals who have to go for treatment that only conventional braces can provide but they are uncertain about the metallic look.
Lingual Braces will perform the same function as traditional braces nonetheless, the difference lies in their placement. These braces are positioned at the back of your teeth against the front, making them virtually invisible. These braces will require fewer wire adjustments but can cause some difficulty while cleaning.
These are removable dental devices with the primary function of maintaining the teeth at their corrected position after the treatment is complete. These, however, can be used to correct slightly crooked teeth or minor overcrowding. Hence for minor tooth movement or small adjustments, they are an ideal alternative to full-fledged braces.
Presently, Traditional Metallic braces are not the only solution to attain straight, aligned teeth. There are abundant options and alternatives, best advised by your orthodontist. However, given that 25% of braces are worn by the adult population, the orthodontic concerns should be addressed as early as possible to prevent more serious outcomes.