As uncomfortable or as unsightly as they may seem, dental braces are the safest solution to fixing crooked teeth and improving dental health. They're mainly worn by children who permanent teeth has grown although people who did not have the opportunity to wear braces as children may also wear them well as adults.
There exist different types of braces whose function is almost all the same but whose appearance is completely different. Some cause fewer allergic reactions in users. Here's a look at what choices an orthodontist will present you with on your next appointment.
Removable and attached
There are two types of braces which have subtypes or styles. Removable ones are worn on the upper teeth and stay in place using metal clips. They're worn through the day and removed during cleaning and when playing contact sports.
Attached braces are permanent and can be removed only by a dentist.
Metal braces are those which we're most familiar with. They're visible and wired and have metal brackets ad wires which are held in place by a rubber band. Self ligating braces are a type of metal brace which does not use a rubber band but rather have the wire hold the bracket in place. They're more comfortable than traditional braces and have a faster treatment time.
Titanium braces are another type of metal device. Where most metal braces are made of nickel, they use titanium and are recommended for patients allergic to nickel. Another type advised for patients with nickel allergies is gold-plated stainless steel.
Ceramic braces are built like metal braces but use ceramic instead of metal. The main reason for the choice is appearance as ceramic has the color of teeth. The brackets do not stain though the wires do but they're changed every month so that's not a problem.
Ceramic braces do not last as long as metal but are more expensive.
Lingual braces are not visible as they're attached behind the teeth. This invisibility comes at a higher price than traditional braces but since aesthetics is held in high regard, they're very popular.
One of the drawbacks of lingual braces as well as the cost is getting them fitted. Unlike traditional braces which can be attached by any dentist, lingual braces need orthodontists and dentists to have specialized training. The cost of getting them installed is also higher. Initial discomfort is common as the tongue tries to adjust with the new device.
Invisalign is a brand of transparent, removable aligners. It's currently one of the largest makers of clear, removable dental braces.
What sets Invisalign apart is that it eliminates many of the drawbacks that come with traditional braces. For example, it's barely visible and can be easily removed by the wearer during mealtimes. Unlike other braces, gums, supporting tissue and the tongue are less irritated and root absorption is not rapid or widespread. Traditional braces also prevent x-rays from being taken as they have to be removed by a dentist. Not so with Invisalign.
A lot of the effectiveness of Invisalign depends on the wearer's care. For example, habitual grinding of the teeth can wear down the aligners and not removing them prior to eating can cause debris to lodge. However, the same can be said for other removable aligners as well so it's not a problem so much as it's the need for proper care.