There are quite a number of choices for teeth straightening including traditional fixed braces, clear aligners, lingual braces, and self-litigating braces. But who is the right person to administer orthodontic treatment? Certainly it should be an orthodontist and not a regular dentist. Conventional dentists are trained and specialize in dental cleaning, filling cavities, diagnosis, and treatment of oral diseases.
Nowadays many dentists have started offering dental braces treatment, but depending on your specific condition, it may warrant you to go for orthodontic treatment if you have teeth malocclusions such as overbite, underbite or crooked teeth.
Reasons for Choosing an Orthodontist
Perhaps you’re asking why the need to consult an orthodontist instead of a regular dentist. Here’s why:
- Trained and specialized to address mild and advanced teeth misalignment issues
- Go for an additional 2 or 3 years in an accredited orthodontic residency program after graduating from dental school.
- Conversant with the treatment options and often choose the best one depending on your dental needs
- Can easily identify potential challenges during a procedure and easily avert it
- Exposed to new treatments and technologies so they can choose the best treatment for best results possible.
Even with additional training, a regular dentist may not be able to offer the same kind of service you’d get from an orthodontist as they often receive advanced training during their education. What are some of the orthodontic treatment -braces- used to straighten teeth and align jaws?
1. Traditional Fixed Braces
These are the most popular type of orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth and fix jaw misalignment. They are referred to as the traditional method because they use small metal brackets to adjust tooth into position for a beautiful smile. Ideal for both teenagers and adults, fixed braces can be found int two options —ceramic and metal braces.
An archwire or thin elastic bands are used to connect the individual metal brackets, and when slight pressure is applied by tightening the archwires the teeth slowly move into the desired position. Essentially, this dental treatment will take 6 to 24 months for any noticeable results but again this will depend on specific patient’s needs.
2. Clear Braces
If you’re looking for something more discreet, consider wearing clear braces which are often designed with the look for natural teeth. This makes them hard to notice, restoring your smile back and giving you confidence knowing that treatment is concealable. Like traditional fixed braces, this type of orthodontic treatment uses the same components for correcting teeth such as brackets and archwires. Clear braces are installed in the same way as fixed braces though they are not as their counterpart.
3. Invisalign Aligners
With emerging orthodontic treatment, patients can now wear Invisalign aligners instead of traditional braces. This treatment is effective in that it’s virtually invisible and the aligners are custom made to fit like a mouthguard. This, in turn, help straighten your teeth by pulling it back into position. Best of all, you can easily remove your Invisalign aligners to enjoy your food and brushing normally. But ideally and for best results, you’re required to have your aligners on for 20 to 200 hours per day.
Unlike traditional orthodontic treatments such as fixed braces, Invisalign aligners are effective in teeth straightening and they give quick results. Typically, it will take anywhere between 9 to 18 months for teeth to straighten properly using these clear plastic aligners. You are however advised to go for regular reviews after every 4 to 6 weeks to ensure the best results.
4. Lingual Braces
If you think that the Invisalign aligners are not concealable enough, lingual braces should do the job. Made with the same components used in traditional appliances, the only difference is that lingual braces are installed inside the mouth, behind your teeth. They are customized to fit your specific oral needs, which increases their efficiency and effectiveness in correcting teeth and even advance misaligned jaws. No surgical procedure needed meaning they are less intrusive.
Lastly, you can try using fast braces which are known to provide visible results within six months of regular use. It helps to restore a perfect smile by treating a range of misalignment issues. They use discreet brackets and archwires so you don’t have to be always conscious of them.