Invisalign® & Braces
Metal & Tooth-Colored Braces
There are a couple of ways to correct crowded teeth or spacing of the teeth. The number one way is to use traditional braces. These braces come in tooth colored or metal brackets, which are like little metal studs on the teeth. A wire will be attached to the brackets with tiny rubber bands. The wire slowly moves the teeth. The patient will have to visit the office every four to six weeks to have the wire adjusted. The length of treatment time depends on how difficult the case is. Traditional braces are ideal for young children or people who don’t want to be bothered with remembering to wear a device. The braces are attached to the teeth so there is nothing that can be lost.
Invisalign is another way of straightening teeth. Invisalign involves wearing a series of clear plastic trays that are virtually invisible. The trays have to be changed about every two weeks to keep making adjustments in the movement of the teeth. Depending on the severity of the crowding or spacing of the teeth, this process could take anywhere from three months to more than a year to complete. Generally, spaces in teeth are easier to take care of than crowding. The procedure is done by taking imprints of your teeth and sending the imprints to a lab. The lab will process the impressions and enter them into a computer. The computer will then generate the trays that will move your teeth. In some cases we will also need to place small studs on the teeth to create tooth retention. The retentions or attachments are placed to help move the teeth faster. It takes about four to six weeks to have the trays made. We will then place any necessary attachments and teach you how to use and care for the trays. You will need to come to the office every four to six weeks during treatment for follow-up and slowly your teeth will move into place.
The choice to use braces or Invisalign is up to the patient. But with either procedure I will recommend permanent retention on the teeth. Retention consists of a small metal wire being placed on the back of the teeth once treatment with braces or Invisalign is complete. This will prevent the teeth from shifting and relapsing. Using some type of retainer is important so that you will not need to repeat the process of braces or Invisalign again in the future.
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