So, you have decided to find your perfect smile or give that gift to your child, and you've had your consultation with an orthodontist. Now comes the decision - what tool do you use to help get the smile you want?
Generally speaking, there are 3 main types of orthodontic treatments, which each have their own subcategories of options. Let's explore...
The trusted classic. Luckily things have changed from the old days! Metal braces are now smaller, lower profile, and much more esthetic. They come in silver and gold options. Braces also come in clear, transparent options - in which brackets are made of a porcelain sapphire material that is extremely esthetic. Clear braces can even be custom-designed like LightForce - a type of 3D designed clear braces system.
PROS OF BRACES
The advantage of braces is that the orthodontist does the work for you. You don’t have the hassle of taking clear aligners in and out. Braces are bonded to your teeth and you see your orthodontist regularly for adjustments. They are also a great option for those looking to express their style with color ties on their brackets.
CONS OF BRACES
They are visible, and can make your teeth sore for the first 3 to 4 days after placement, and slightly tender after some adjustment visits.
Metal braces tend to be the most affordable.
INVISALIGN, SPARK, CLARITY, CUSTOM ALIGNERS, ETC.
What if you don't want metal braces? Or clear braces? Another option to consider is clear aligners. Invisalign® tends to be the most well-known since they have been around the longest, but technology has allowed other companies to design alternative aligner systems such as Spark™ (from Ormco), or Clarity™ aligners (from 3M). Some providers even design their own premium in-house custom aligners.
PROS OF ALIGNERS
You don't have braces or potential pokey wires. Aligners are a very esthetic option. They tend to provide gentler force on teeth, resulting in less discomfort. Because aligners are removed when you eat, there are no diet restrictions.
CONS OF ALIGNERS
You still have little "attachments" bonded on your teeth. These attachments are small and tooth-colored, so they blend in as much as possible. Aligners MUST to be worn consistently, a minimum of ~20 hours/day for this type of treatment to be successful. If you are someone who likes to snack or drink your coffee all morning, this may not work for you. For significant treatment, aligners come with “refinements” – a mini-series of trays after your first set. The first round of trays gets to ~85%, then refinements get you to 100%.
Aligner treatment tends to be either the same cost or more expensive than braces.
InBrace has been a more recent orthodontic option. InBrace uses lingual (tongue-side) braces which are bonded behind your teeth, so it is truly hidden.
PROS OF INBRACE
It's completely hidden behind your teeth. There are no aligners to remove, you can snack and drink your coffee all morning. InBrace also has a wire with a looped design, making it easier to floss your teeth.
CONS OF INBRACE
There tends to be more of an adjustment with this type of braces. Speech may also be affected.
This treatment also tends to be more expensive than braces.
HOW TO MAKE THE DECISION
Work with your orthodontist - they will recommend what might be your best option to help you make the decision. Every person has different needs, and every treatment provides different advantages. Think about what fits with your lifestyle.
Don't forget - all types of braces and aligners are tools. They require someone knowledgable and trained to use them properly and successfully. This is one reason you should trust your smile to an orthodontist.
NOW FOR YOUR BEST SMILE!
Enjoy your journey of self-improvement and smile transformation. Making the decision to give yourself the amazing smile you deserve can be a big one -- but also a life changing one, with so many wonderful benefits.
Visit our Zionsville office for a complementary consultation! Godley Family Orthodontics treats patients of all ages and is conveniently located on Michigan Road north of Indianapolis.