Many people wish to straighten their crooked teeth or close large spaces that they have, but they aren’t thrilled at the idea of wearing braces for years to accomplish it. Fortunately, there are a few proven orthodontic techniques that allow dentists to improve people’s smiles in a much shorter time than traditional braces, often without the need for lots of metal showing during their treatment. We offer two of these in our office: clear aligner therapy and short term orthodontics.
A lot of advancements have been made since companies like Invisalign first came on the scene. Clear aligners can be used to treat many cases that previously required metal braces. When you have just a small amount of crowding or small gaps to close, you can wear clear plastic trays that you switch out every few weeks until your teeth are in the final spots that we plan. These are worn 24 hours a day (but are removed for meals) and for many people can accomplish their goals within 6-9 months.
When you have a lot of crowding/spacing or rotated teeth, clear aligners often just won’t cut it. In this case, we use brackets and wires along with some very minor (and painless) slimming of your teeth to move them where they need to go. The thin wires are metal, but the brackets can be made from a clear or tooth-colored material to make them less noticeable. This treatment is usually closer to 6 months in most cases and can accomplish a lot more than with the clear trays alone.
For some people, traditional orthodontics done by a specialist is the only way to go. Situations like significant over/under bites and severely misplaced teeth can’t be corrected any other way. We also prefer that all our preteen/early teenager patients see someone with extensive orthodontic experience, since while someone is growing their treatment can be more complicated.
Our cosmetic orthodontic treatments are geared towards adults looking to make slight but substantial improvements to their smile without changing their jaw relationship or attempting to correct orthodontic issues that would require years in braces.
Particularly, our treatments can be helpful if you want your teeth a little straighter or want to close a few spaces. Another popular use is if you’ve had braces but haven’t worn your retainers in years and the teeth have “shifted back” a bit.
For all our patients considering braces with us, we do a detailed and thorough examination of your bite and its relationship to your overall appearance. We come up with a plan that estimates where the teeth can be moved and how long it will take. If we don’t think we can meet your goals for treatment, then we refer you to a qualified local orthodontist for your treatment to be completed. If you‘d like to learn more, call our Galloway office today.