With the advances in modern dental technology, many new exciting treatments and options are available for those in need of alignment. These new treatments provide clients the ability to fix their smile without a mouth full of steel. Many times these treatments are barely noticeable, giving patients the ability to laugh and smile without the feeling of self consciousness. While not all patients are candidates for this type of treatments, you should consult your dental professional to see what options are available to you.
Invisalign® is apart of these great, new types of treatments that can be used to straighten some people’s teeth without the use of conventional braces. Invisalign® uses a series of clear removable aligners to straighten teeth. Each aligner is worn 20 hours per day (with the exception of eating and brushing) for a period of two to three weeks.
- aligners are almost invisible
- can be removed to eat, brush, floss
- can correct problems in adults and teens
- studies (although relative discomfort is hard to quantify) have shown Invisalign treatments cause less discomfort than traditional appliances
Providing treatments for an extensive number of Invisalign patients and our exhaustive training, make us one of only four Invisalign® Premier Providers in Austin.
Treatments with Clear Braces
Another one of our alternative treatments to traditional metal braces are known as “clear” braces. These braces are often preferred by our adult patients, as clear braces are less noticeable than conventional metal braces. When “aesthetic” braces were new on the orthodontic scene, many different clear treatment options were experimented with, some of which discolored over time. Modern clear braces do not discolor and remain attractive throughout treatments.
Today’s braces are generally less noticeable than treatments of the past when a metal band with a bracket was placed around each tooth. These days the front teeth typically have only the bracket glued directly to the tooth, minimizing the “train track” look and significantly improving patient comfort. Brackets can be metal or clear, depending on the patient’s preference. Modern wires are also less noticeable than earlier ones. Some of today’s wires are made of special metals and exert a gentle but long lasting pressure on the teeth, so that the tooth moving process is less traumatic and requires fewer appointments than in the past.
Temporary Anchorage Devices
Miniature implants or temporary anchorage devices, are titanium-alloy mini-screws that are attached temporarily to the bone. Placement of these mini-screws is minimally invasive and relatively painless. They can be used to intrude or extrude teeth, rapidly move teeth, or close spaces in areas previously thought impossible.
In about 20% – 25% of patients, it is necessary that the orthodontic treatments plan consist of an early (Phase I) and a later (Phase 2) treatment to correct various growth or tooth eruption problems. Most of these complications are related to either anterior/posterior crossbites or aesthetic concerns of the patient or parents.
There is a risk associated with doing two phases of orthodontic treatments because the longer braces or other appliances are left on teeth, the greater the chance of increased cavities and root loss. This is why, when considering early treatment, it is important to weigh the risks vs the benefits.
In the past, two phases of orthodontic treatments were considered the norm. Contemporary research has suggested more concise protocols for early (Phase I) treatments. The American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists have both stated that the scientific evidence demonstrates that for most patients early treatments are not absolutely necessary and may even extend the overall treatment time. It is important to remember that not every child requires the same type or length of treatments, and that what is appropriate for one person is not for another.