Having straight teeth is something that most people desire, but unfortunately is not a feature that many people can naturally enjoy. Dentists are able to provide many different ways to straighten a patient’s teeth and the techniques have vastly advanced over the years to ensure the most streamlined and effective path.
Traditional fixed braces which consist of wires and brackets are still in common use, especially for those people with complex cases, but for a lot of people, this kind of device has a lot of extra features that are simply not necessary for their personal situation.
Thankfully, there are other styles of devices that are in common use that enable teenagers and adults alike to enjoy a more convenient and comfortable teeth straightening journey. One of the more popular versions of these is Invisalign.
How does this treatment differ from traditional braces?
Firstly, this treatment uses a removable device, meaning that a patient has control as to when they wear it. This freedom should be taken with one proviso however, because for the device to work correctly, it does need to be worn for at least 20 to 22 hours each day.
It is only removed when a patient eats, giving them the ability to enjoy eating whatever they want to during this time. There are other situations in which it might be suitable for them to remove it for short periods of time as well, as long as they stick to the recommended wearing time frames for the majority of the treatment.
For those people who are concerned about their motivation and commitment, but wish to use this treatment for their teeth straightening journey, there are indicators that can show to the patient whether they are wearing their device for the prescribed amount of time.
It also differs from traditional devices as it is a clear, plastic aligner that fits over teeth snugly, pushing them into their correct position over a period of time and straightens teeth gently and gradually. Fixed devices however are designed to pull teeth into position, which has the same effect but using more force.
How long will treatment take?
This differs from patient to patient, but most dentists indicate that between 12 to 18 months their patients will be able to finish with the programme. They will need to wear a retainer after this however, in order to hold the straightened teeth in place and allow the ligaments to relax into their new positions. The retainer can be worn only during the night which, after a lengthy time wearing aligners for the majority of the time, is an easy step down on the commitment scale for most.
If this style of treatment sounds appealing, then it is important that a patient seeks the advice of their dentist, so that they can together determine whether they are a suitable candidate. It is recommended that plastic aligners are used for those with mild to moderate misalignments.
A smile is perhaps the first feature that is seen in one person by another, so it is important that individuals take the time to ensure that their smile is the best it can be.