While most people associate the field of orthodontics with improved cosmetic appearance, this branch of dentistry has achieved a lot more over the last few decades. Broken, decayed, and misaligned teeth can significantly impact your self-esteem.
At Dougherty Laybourn Menashe Dental, our specialists Dr. Dougherty, Dr. Menashe, and Dr. Laybourn and Dr. Scott Dougherty, Dr. John Dougherty and Dr. Andrew Laybourn can help you manage the abnormal positioning of your jaw, teeth, and face and restore your confidence once again.
What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a field of dentistry that aims to improve your appearance by providing cosmetic correction, a functional bite, and the right tools to prevent diseases of the gums and teeth. Some malocclusions that this field aims to correct are crowded teeth, an open bite, crossbite, spacing, and increased overjet, among many others.
It isn't uncommon for people to assume that orthodontic services are all about metal braces. However, they comprise so much more for people in all age brackets. It's important to know your options when it comes to your oral and general health.
Orthodontic services have come quite far from when metal wires and brackets were the only options for braces. Today, they comprise metal braces, Invisalign, ceramic braces, and retainers, among other services.
Among the most popular dental tools to help you correct your teeth-related problems are braces. Whether your teeth are out of alignment or crooked, braces can help correct the problem.
They are meant to straighten and align your teeth gradually so your normal bite is restored. However, some people also get them to adjust their smile. Fortunately, there is a diverse range of treatments available to straighten your teeth these days. The list of solutions is endless, from retainers and Invisalign to other custom-made tools.
Types of Braces
If your dentist believes braces are the right solution for you, they will most likely suggest a need-specific appliance too. However, it's important to understand that there is no single method that works for everyone.
The most common braces are metal ones with brackets attached to the front of your teeth. They may also consist of flexible wires that hold the bands together. If your dentist believes that you need something to exert greater pressure on your teeth, they may use rubber bands to link the wire to the brackets.
Ceramic braces mimic the color of your teeth so no one will notice them. They're usually made using of gold, clear materials, and stainless steel.
Lingual braces aren't easy to see. This is because your dentist attaches them to the back of your teeth. This is one of the many reasons behind their growing popularity.
Last but not least, clear aligners, as the name suggests, are as invisible as they can be. Essentially, they're plastic trays that your dentist or orthodontist fits onto your teeth. Clear aligners assert pressure to move your teeth into the right position gently. However, holding them in place may require your orthodontist to place tooth-colored attachments onto your teeth.
How Do Braces Work?
Braces exert constant pressure on your teeth for prolonged periods. This way, your jaw also conforms to the pressure and adapts slowly.
The membrane underneath your gums is surrounded by the bones that connect your jaw to the teeth. The same membrane also responds to pressure and controls the position of your teeth.
How Long Do Braces Take?
It isn't possible to get a straight smile and perfect alignment overnight. Your average orthodontic treatment duration depends on a number of factors. Your budget, needs, types of braces, and overall dental health play a crucial role in determining how long the treatment should take. Generally, the duration falls somewhere between 16 to 18 months or more.
Invisalign Clear Aligners
Invisalign clear aligners are among the top contenders in the market when it comes to correcting teeth alignment. The brand has come a long way in establishing its dominance in the industry, particularly because of the benefits it offers over traditional approaches.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a brand name for clear and thin aligners used in a plethora of orthodontic treatments. The aligners are made using SmartTrack, a thermoplastic material. While these aligners aren't completely invisible, they are much less noticeable than traditional metal braces.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Invisalign clear aligners also apply pressure to align your teeth properly, just like traditional braces. However, instead of metal, they're made of flexible and clear plastic.
The movement doesn't occur overnight and is usually divided into different stages. Each stage requires you to wear a certain number of aligners or trays to fit over the top and bottom teeth. However, it usually depends on your dentist's recommended plan.
Is Invisalign Worth It?
There are a number of benefits that Invisalign carries. For one, it's practically invisible and doesn't draw attention. Secondly, these types of aligners can also be taken off when you're about to have a meal. However, as with any other treatment, this one also has its own limitations. The ability to take your aligners off isn't always a plus point.
It means that your treatment duration will be prolonged. You would also want to avoid having beverages like black tea and coffee because they may stain the aligners and defeat the entire purpose of the appliance's discreetness.
Furthermore, Invisalign cannot treat a wide range of problems, unlike traditional braces. While the benefits certainly outweigh the costs, Invisalign's effectiveness isn't guaranteed for everyone. Hence, you want to rely on your dentist's recommendation and guidance before reaching a conclusion.
Schedule An Appointment Today!
Choosing the right course of treatment for your teeth alignment depends on various factors. From your budget to your requirements, a number of aspects come into play. Moreover, it's important to be aware of the risks and benefits each approach carries before you make a leap.
If you're unsure about what course of action to take and the treatment approach, it's best to consult one of our dental professionals here at Dougherty Dental Orthodontics.
If you are around Portland and looking for the right dentist to provide you with braces, Invisalign, or any other orthodontic services, contact Dougherty Laybourn Menashe Dental at 503-334-1141 today!