I have always wanted to get my teeth straightened and my family didn’t have the money for it when I was growing up. Now that I’m an adult, I don’t want to wear metal brace. They are ugly and there has to be better options available now. What is the fastest treatment option for an adult?
-Shannon in Nevada
Thank you for your question. You are correct. There are several treatment options you may be interested in to get your teeth straightened. Here are the pros and cons of each one.
Traditional Metal Braces
It sounds like you are familiar with metal braces, which have been around sine you were a child. This option does have some drawbacks. Obviously not everyone loves the way the look and the wires can be very uncomfortable. Keeping your teeth clean is challenging too. Also, you must go in regularly to have the wires and brackets adjusted.
However, metal orthodontics have been around for a long time and work well to straighten teeth. They are also more affordable than some of the other teeth straightening options available today. Each patient’s case is different regarding how long you would wear them to get your teeth straightened. Treatments can last for a couple years or more depending on the severity of your misaligned teeth.
Invisalign Invisible Braces
Invisalign is very popular right now. It has an extremely high patient satisfaction rating and will work well for most orthodontic cases. They look nice and from a conversational distance, no one will be able to tell you are wearing them. There are no uncomfortable wires or adjustments required.
Professional supervision is required throughout the process. Invisalign uses highly sophisticated computer technology to calculate the movements required to straighten your teeth. Several sets of clear plastic aligners are made and every two weeks, you start a new set. Gradually, you teeth are moved into the correct position. It is also much faster than traditional metal braces and Invisalign treatment averages a year, which is half the time as traditional braces. The aligners can also be removed for eating and brushing your teeth.
Invisalign is more expensive than traditional braces. Also, not everyone is a candidate. So, it all depends on the specifics of your case. Also, you must be diligent about wearing the aligners. So, if you don’t keep up with it, you won’t have the most timely results.
There is another option that delivers results in as little as two weeks. Cosmetic dentistry can be used as an option to correct minor spacing issues. Porcelain veneers are applied to the front of teeth to give the appearance of straight teeth. Not everyone will be a candidate for this option, since it only works for minor issues. Also, it does not correct the alignment issues. However, it does improve the aesthetics of your smile. Porcelain veneers can also fix the appearance of your teeth by making them whiter.
If you decide to explore your cosmetic dentistry options, make sure you see an expert cosmetic dentist in your area so they will be able to tell you if you are a candidate and make recommendations that will work for you. Not every dentist knows how to create beautiful porcelain veneers. An excellent cosmetic dentist, like Donald H. Currie, DMD in York, PA, requires extensive training and experience beyond dental school. Your family dentist may not be able to give you the results you’re after. So, be sure to find one you can trust that has done cases similar to yours. You can research their credentials and ask to see before and after images of their patients. Feel free to seek multiple opinions if you decide to move forward with porcelain veneers over Invisalign or braces.