Say Goodbye to Crooked Teeth – How Orthodontists Are Restoring Your Beautiful Smile
Crooked teeth not only affect your appearance but can lead to a host of oral health problems. Food gets stuck in cracks or between overlapping teeth, which may cause tooth decay, gum disease, or temporomandibular disorders (TMD).
Orthodontic treatment can solve these issues. It involves using removable appliances or metal fixed treatments to retrain muscles and move or reshape the teeth and jaw.
If you want to fix your crooked teeth, but don’t have the time to commit to traditional metal braces, Invisalign may be the perfect solution for you. Invisalign uses clear plastic aligner trays to slowly and discreetly improve your smile while remaining virtually undetectable. Every one to two weeks you receive a new set of trays that make incremental changes to your jaw and teeth alignment. The process typically lasts between six and nine months, although your exact treatment timeline will vary depending on your specific needs and treatment plan.
Unlike conventional braces, which can cause soreness or bruxism, Invisalign is comfortable to wear and has no metal brackets or wires to irritate your cheeks and gums. You can also remove the aligners to eat and brush, which means you don’t have to commit to a list of foods that are off-limits or limit your diet during treatment. However, you do need to wear the trays for 20-22 hours a day, which can be difficult for some people, especially those who tend to lose track of their trays.
Straighter teeth are not only more attractive but can help prevent dental problems that can lead to serious health issues like heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, and issues during pregnancy. Crooked teeth can create pockets that trap food and bacteria, leading to decay and gum disease. Invisalign can correct these underlying issues, helping you enjoy a healthier mouth for life.
Invisalign is more affordable than many people think, as it’s often covered by insurance. It is also possible to use funds in a flexible spending account or health savings account to pay for this treatment. With a low monthly payment, you can finally achieve the smile of your dreams.
2. Clear Braces
Whether you have mild or severe crooked teeth, orthodontic treatment can improve the appearance of your smile and boost your self-confidence. It can also help improve your overall health by making it easier to maintain proper oral hygiene. Orthodontists are specially trained in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities including crooked teeth and bad bites.
While the majority of orthodontic patients are children or teens, adults can benefit from a straighter smile as well. Unlike children, adult mouths have stopped growing and the process of straightening teeth is more difficult, but it is still possible to correct misalignment issues with braces.
Clear braces are a great option for adults who want to straighten their smiles without the look of traditional metal braces. They work just like traditional metal braces, except they are made out of transparent ceramic material and are much less noticeable. In addition to being more discreet, clear braces can be used on upper and lower teeth simultaneously, which can speed up the treatment process. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before choosing clear braces. Clear braces can stain from certain foods and drinks, so it is important to brush your teeth and floss regularly to avoid discoloration. Also, because the brackets can trap food and cause more plaque buildup, it is important to stick to a strict cleaning routine during treatment.
Before deciding on clear braces, it is best to consult with an orthodontist to determine if they are the right fit for your needs. They can provide you with more information about the treatment, examine your teeth and jaws, and make a recommendation that will give you the best results.
3. Clear Aligners
Clear aligners, also known as invisible braces, are a more subtle alternative to traditional metal braces. They are a series of clear plastic trays that apply gentle pressure to the teeth, helping them move gradually into alignment over time.
Unlike conventional metal braces, clear aligners can be removed when eating or drinking, which makes them more convenient. However, they must be worn for the recommended amount of time (typically 20-22 hours per day) in order to achieve optimal results. If you’re not able to commit to wearing your aligners for the recommended amount of time, you may need to consider another orthodontic treatment option.
If you do plan on using clear aligners, make sure to choose a brand that is affiliated with a certified orthodontist. This will ensure that your aligners are fitted properly and can offer the best support and care throughout the treatment process. In addition, many clear aligner brands offer a variety of treatment options. For example, SmileDirectClub has hundreds of brick-and-mortar stores, called SmileShops, where patients can get a 3D dental scan in person and use at-home putty impression kits to speed up their aligner treatment.
Invisible aligners are a great choice for people who have mild to moderate tooth misalignment and can commit to wearing their aligners at least 22 hours a day. However, if you have more severe teeth problems, your orthodontist may recommend other treatments that are better suited for your needs. In addition, some clear aligner treatments require the use of small attachments on specific teeth to help them move into alignment more effectively. If this is the case, your orthodontist will talk to you about them during your regular appointment.
4. Dental Implants
Implants are high-tech replacement tooth roots that support a bridge or denture to restore missing teeth. They look, feel, and act like your natural teeth and can last a lifetime with proper care.
An oral surgeon inserts the titanium implants into the jaw bone during a surgical procedure. Then, the implant site heals through a process called osseointegration. Then, the dentist places a crown on top of the implant to replace the lost tooth or teeth. Dental implants are more expensive than other tooth replacement options, but they provide the most realistic and permanent results.
A missing tooth can cause many problems, including bone loss and shifting of adjacent teeth. These problems are usually easier to correct when they’re treated as soon as they develop. However, some patients don’t have access to or aren’t candidates for orthodontic treatment. Dental implants are a great solution for these patients.
They’re also a good option for people who wear partial or full dentures. These implants help stabilize the denture, reducing the need for glue or denture adhesives. Implants can even be used to support a removable implant overdenture, which snaps on top of the implants.
There are two types of dental implants: endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal implants are screws, cylinders or blades that surgeons place in the jaw bone to hold a dental prosthetic. Subperiosteal implants are similar to endosteal implants, but they’re placed on top of the jaw bone without extending into the gum.
Regardless of the type of implant, it’s important to choose a board-certified oral surgeon who has extensive experience with tooth restoration. An oral surgeon can evaluate your health and habits to determine if you’re a candidate for dental implants. Then, they can use X-rays and other imaging techniques to plan your implant placement.
5. Porcelain Veneers
Veneers are a more permanent treatment option than braces, and they can correct crooked teeth as well as other issues like small gaps and discoloration. They are crafted from porcelain and can last up to 10-15 years. Porcelain veneers are also more resistant to stains than the natural enamel of your teeth. However, it is best to avoid foods and drinks that are known to stain your teeth so you can maintain the beautiful appearance of your smile.
Porcelain veneers are custom-made to fit the front surface of your teeth, blending in with the surrounding enamel. This makes them a great choice for patients who want to address minor cosmetic dental issues, such as chipped or stained teeth, without the hassle of orthodontic treatment. Additionally, we use veneers to lengthen teeth that appear too short as a result of bruxism or other tooth damage.
During your first visit, we will evaluate your teeth and mouth to ensure that you are a good candidate for the treatment. Once we have determined that you are, we will take pictures and impressions of your teeth. In some cases, we will also administer X-rays to get a better picture of your teeth structure.
Once we have the information we need, we will create a mold of your original tooth surface and send it to our dental laboratory. Once your new veneers are ready, we will schedule a second appointment to cement them in place. During this visit, we may need to remove a small amount of your natural enamel to make room for the veneers. However, we try to keep this amount as minimal as possible. Because veneers are considered a cosmetic procedure, they typically aren’t covered by insurance.