If you are someone living with crooked, overcrowded, gapped, or misaligned teeth and braces just aren’t for you, don’t despair. There are other options out there for you. It used to be that braces were the only solution for such problems. At Central Texas Orthodontics in Austin, TX, there are now a variety of options available to you in order to meet your teeth straightening needs.
There is sure to be at least one treatment option on the list for you to improve your quality of life and get that smile you’ve always dreamed of. We offer everything from ceramic and metal braces to plastic trays for a more discreet option. Our experts are here to help you and we’d like to start by congratulating you on taking this crucial first step towards a better you.
What Teeth Straightening Options Are Available to Me?
Until fairly recently, braces were the only option for those wishing for beautifully straight teeth. Now that there are other options available, and we are starting to understand that not everyone will benefit the same way from those traditional metal braces.
Thankfully some of these options are less than noticeable and may provide relief and peace of mind for teenagers. These discreet options are also great for adults who wish for minimal embarrassment. Here’s what we offer:
The reason these are still the number-one treatment option is simply that they are very effective. These metal braces are cemented to the fronts of the offending teeth using metal brackets. Archwires (also metal) are strung through these brackets to hold them securely in place. Braces are typically worn for about two years with required period trips to the dentist. The dentist tightens the archwires at a slow rate to coax the teeth into their correct positions.
These wires cause pressure to the periodontal membrane (located below the gum line) through the teeth. They effectively stretch out this membrane so that the teeth have room to move small amounts to realign themselves properly. These classic metal braces are known for their discomfort due to pressure being put on the teeth themselves. This is especially uncomfortable during appointments where the archwires need to be tightened. They are, however, typically the most cost-effective solution for many.
Lesser known than their metal counterpart, ceramic-style braces operates in much the same way metal ones do. The main difference is that these are made of ceramic brackets instead of metal ones. Ceramic brackets offer more for customization as they can be made in just about any color. Many folks opt for clear or tooth-colored brackets. Keep in mind that ceramics are less durable and will suffer a lack of longevity compared to metal.
Ceramic braces can break much more easily than metal ones, so they are typically a better choice for adults. There may also be complications in treating certain orthodontic conditions. Those that require lots of pressure on the tooth in order to coax it to move (for example a tooth that’s rotated severely) may not hold up with ceramics. Ceramics are also more pricy but folks who want a discreet option feel it’s worth it.
Even less common on the list than ceramic or metal are the lingual style braces. These are more popular among adults who have waited longer to fix their teeth up. These are different in that they’re bonded directly to the inside of the tooth rather than the outside with traditional braces. This makes these the least noticeable solution. Those who get lingual braces report feeling more confident with their smiles. Most others won’t notice these braces unless the mouth is opened wide.
The lingual brackets required for these braces need to be custom-made. That makes these a more expensive option than metal. Many orthodontists are not qualified to adjust or fit these onto patients which narrows one’s possibilities of taking advantage of this type. This solution also tends to take longer to achieve desired results. Keep in mind that our office has the experience, training, and qualifications to fit you properly for them and ensure they are an effective solution for you.
This is a newer and totally different take on teeth straightening solutions. Invisalign trays are plastic trays designed specifically for each patient that go over the teeth. Over the course of the 20 to 30 trays, each tray is slightly changed from the last to gradually coax the teeth into their proper positions. This solution is by far the most appealing for teenagers and adults alike.
Your orthodontist will advise you to wear this tray for 22 hours a day. The cost of this treatment depends on several factors, such as how severely crooked the teeth are and how many trays a patient will need. This solution is not intended to fix severe tooth issues such as rotated teeth and sizable gaps. Remember, these trays are just plastic and don’t have the power to exert the proper amount of pressure to realign rotated teeth or gaps.
Some people live with orthodontic issues because they don’t have the time to undergo the full length of most treatments. If you are someone who feels treatment will take too long, Propel is here for you. Pairing Propel with another treatment is recommended as you may be able to cut down treatment time by half. Propel works by encouraging faster movement of the teeth to their desired positions.
This solution involves a minimally invasive procedure. The treatment increases the bone’s growth by causing small inflammation and increasing blood flow to the jaw. More severe conditions such as rotated teeth or large gaps can now be solved with discreet options like Invisalign. When you visit us for your initial consultation we will go over your specified needs (as we do all patients) to ensure this option will be a realistic choice for you.
Who Is a Candidate for Braces?
The vast minority are born with perfect teeth; most people can benefit in some way from treatment, whether basic or more in-depth. Below is a list we have provided so you can tell at a glance whether you’re a good candidate for one or more teeth straightening solutions out there:
- Gapped teeth (large or small gaps)
- Overjet (upper-front teeth protruding out)
- Overcrowded teeth
- Open bite (incisors have little to no contact)
- Missing teeth
- Misaligned teeth (crossbite)
- Fully or partially rotated teeth
- Overbite (top front teeth protruding out)
- Underbite (bottom front teeth protruding out)
Most people can tell if they have any alignment issues or bite issues. There are times, however, where an initial consultation is needed to catch those smaller hidden problems. The most important thing is to ask yourself if you feel you need treatment. If you’re reading this then you’re already taking the first step to bettering your orthodontic health. The smallest conditions may lead to jaw pain and headaches, so more often than not it’s worth it to address it.
It’s possible you may not even realize that your condition is complicating things and causing you discomfort. With the right teeth straightening treatment option you may find minor aches and pains in the head or jaw area a thing of the past. No one deserves to deal with discomfort, however minor, that could potentially become a bigger issue later on if left untreated. Don’t wait to schedule your initial consultation if you feel you could benefit from braces.
What Is the Best Age for Teeth Straightening Treatments?
Any individual who has no more baby teeth with all or most of their permanent teeth is a great candidate for braces, no matter the age.
There are typically no complications for adults who wish to straighten their teeth. It is, however, important to note that younger patients usually see a shorter treatment duration. This is because their jaws are still growing. The growth makes their teeth less resistant to change and more likely to move more easily.
Our experienced recommendation is to have children come in by the age of seven for their first evaluation of their orthodontic health. This will alert us to any possible complications or problems. The earlier we catch them, the easier it is to tackle them before they become severe.
Although younger patients will experience a shortened treatment duration, that doesn’t mean adults can’t take advantage of improved orthodontic health as well. Once the adult teeth start to come in it’s immediately evident where they will end up and how they’ll grow. Small solutions like spacers and maintainers can be used initially, but adults can enjoy the more discreet options listed here.
While spacers and maintainers sound like a far easier solution, keep in mind that the window for fixing orthodontic issues is not closed after a certain age. Adults and even the elderly can take advantage of these treatment options. Never think you’re too old, and never think you have to go with awkward, painful metallic braces. There are many more discreet options out there so you can get the smile you’ve always dreamed of without the embarrassment.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today!
Maybe your orthodontic conditions have been confirmed by a professional. Maybe you just feel as though you should take advantage of teeth straightening opportunities for a better quality of life. Either way, you have already taken the first step toward a brighter smile by reading this today. The next step towards that smile you’ve always dreamt of is scheduling a new patient consultation with the experts at our office.
Our Smile Assessment Page
Our team will give your teeth a thorough examination, discuss medical history with you, and go over your treatment desires and goals. We will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan that will allow you to get the results you’ve been wanting. Thanks to the wonders of technology we also have a virtual consultation option so you can get the personalized care you need without even having to leave the comfort of your home.
All you have to do is go to our Smile Assessment page on our website. On our site, you can upload pictures of your teeth so our team can evaluate and determine the best approach for you. Call us here at Central Texas Orthodontics in Austin, TX. Stop by or visit our website for that virtual consultation so you can get another step closer to a better smile, and a better quality of life, too!