Are you living near Billings, Montana, and wondering if you or your children would benefit from straighter teeth?
You might be wondering if your child’s overcrowded teeth might resolve over time. Have you considered braces?
The different types of dental braces can be overwhelming when you don’t know the advantages of each. Regardless of your choice, one often overlooked benefit of braces is that misaligned teeth are not just a cosmetic issue. Since crooked teeth are harder to clean, you are at an increased risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
If you want to increase your self-confidence and have straight teeth that are easy to clean, then you need to consider braces. We’re going to explain the different types of braces’ so you can make your mind up about which ones will suit your lifestyle. Read on!
Types of Dental Braces
First off, why are there different types of braces and cost? There are two main needs for patients investigating their options. Some may be most concerned about appearance, while others may be more motivated by affordability or comfort.
Speed of treatment may be of primary importance to those who prefer the treatment appointments to number as few as possible. Think about which factors are most significant to you or your children when evaluating your options. This will make it easier for you to decide on the most convenient braces to fit the criteria that matter to you most.
How do braces work? They exert pressure on the teeth and bone around them to alter their position over time. The method or materials used to achieve correct dental alignment is slightly different for each of the types of braces mentioned below.
These are the traditional wire braces that you are probably most familiar with. That’s because they’ve stood the test of time and have been around the longest.
They are usually the most affordable, often using stainless-steel brackets cemented to the teeth. Other metals like titanium, gold-plating, or combinations may also be used.
Elastic ties (O-ring rubber bands) fasten the wire to the brackets. These can be used even for more severely misaligned teeth. They perform their function fast and with less discomfort than with some other options.
Due to their positioning on the outside of your teeth, some adults and teenagers are not keen on them. Children may be more receptive and enjoy choosing the colors of the elastic ties.
A ceramic composite alternative is available to metal braces. These can match the tint of the brackets to your tooth enamel coloring. The brackets can sometimes be semi-translucent in appearance, with both the wires and elastic ties also matching your enamel color.
A patient opting for the ceramic variety is likely more concerned about how easy it is to notice metal braces. Another benefit of these is that some patients find them more comfortable in their mouths since they irritate the gums a little less.
The increased invisibility does come with a slightly higher price tag, but adults often find it a worthy extra expense. Older teens may be more likely to agree to this option, though it’s usually better suited to mild or moderate spacing and bite issues.
Due to their coloring, they are prone to staining if not properly cared for, and they are also more delicate. Extra caution is therefore necessary with food restrictions.
These braces function the same as the two options above, but the key difference is in the wire that links the brackets. While traditional metal braces use elastic ties to keep the wires fixed to the brackets, the Damon system uses a self-ligating method.
Because the system adjusts teeth on its own, fewer appointments are required, and results can be achieved faster. This option might better suit those who don’t have a great availability of time for orthodontic visits.
Instead of the rubber bands, the brackets allow the wires to slide between small sliding doors. ‘Stops’ are placed on the wires to prevent deviation from the intended result. Damon/self-ligating braces are suitable for mild to moderate spacing and bite issues and are slightly less obvious than traditional metal braces.
Lingual braces have metal brackets and wires too but are installed on the back of the teeth instead of the front-facing surface. Because of this, they are hard to see, though they are often less comfortable.
Each bracket must be custom made, and they require longer and more frequent appointments. Because of this, they are a more costly option. Patients who are more concerned about appearance will often opt for lingual braces, but they are only appropriate in straightforward cases.
They are more challenging to clean and more commonly chosen by adults who require near-invisible braces.
Now you’ve seen all the types of braces for teeth, you should know about a popular alternative to braces. We say alternative because although they achieve the same result, Invisalign differs significantly in function and appearance to braces.
These consist of clear plastic trays, or ‘aligners,’ and are custom made. Often these trays are replaced every two weeks as your treatment course progresses.
Because they are transparent, they are much less noticeable than braces and can be removed while eating. This means that there are no eating restrictions, unlike with braces.
As with lingual braces, Invisalign is often only suitable for less-complex alignment cases. As with braces, the price can vary depending on the severity of the straightening issue. Dental insurance may cover a large portion of treatment costs, so ask an orthodontist about the types of dental braces you are leaning towards.
Which Braces Best Suit You?
We’ve run through all the types of dental braces that you can consider when weighing up your personal needs. Don’t be confused by the number of options available to straighten crooked teeth.
If you’re a parent or an adult looking for a solution to misaligned teeth, we can help you pick the right option. We are a leading orthodontic group serving patients throughout Billings, MT. We specialize in braces and Invisalign and offer comprehensive care in a warm, welcoming, and friendly office environment.
Contact us today to request an appointment.