With so many new options now available to treat orthodontic problems, it’s no wonder that there are feelings of being a little overwhelmed.
In an age of far and wide orthodontic options, metal and ceramic braces are still the most common treatment option for teens and kids. With this type of treatment, very small brackets are glued to the teeth and are then connected with a thin wire, which is adjusted or changed at regular intervals to gradually straighten the teeth and correct the bite - making braces an effective and reliable treatment option.
Modern braces are much smaller and more comfortable than ever before. You’ll often see metal or ceramic braces jazzed up with clear or colourful elastic modules to make them fun and fashionable for your teens or kids!
Whether you’re considering traditional braces or an alternative to braces, only an orthodontist has the training, experience and expert knowledge to be able to offer you the full suite of treatment options and give you or your teen or child the confidence that you’re in the best hands. Another important component of the orthodontic process once treatment is completed, orthodontic retention appointments at agreed intervals/appointments with your orthodontist to ensure appropriate maintenance of the teeth following the completion of active orthodontic treatment.
Here are the main treatment options available:
Metal Braces > Stainless steel or gold-plated brackets are available. Whilst these differ in appearance, there is lower incidence of metal allergy to gold-plating versus stainless steel. > Metallic wires used. > The full colour palette of elastomeric modules (small rubber rings that hold the wire into the brackets) are available. > Available to all ages. > Suitable for use on both upper and lower teeth. > Mechanical functional capability is the same as with ceramic braces. > Cleaning teeth more difficult when compared with Invisalign. > Less patient compliance for bite correction required than with Invisalign. > Same elastics wear use and compliance as with ceramic braces or Invisalign. > Retainers are the same as those used after ceramic braces or Invisalign. > Less cost
Ceramic Braces > White ceramic brackets. Advised for patient's that have metal(s) allergy. > White-coated or metallic wires can be used. The coating of the white coated wires can come off in patches. > The full colour palatte of elastomeric modules are available. > Available to all ages. > Suitable for use on upper teeth mostly. Sometimes not suitable to use on the lower teeth due to increased opposing teeth wear capability (in comparison with metal brackets); particularly in patient's with deep overbites. There is the option of having an upper teeth ceramic brace and a lower teeth metal brace. > Mechanical functional capability is the same as with metal braces. > Cleaning teeth more difficult when compared with Invisalign. > Less patient compliance for bite correction required than with Invisalign. > Same elastics wear use and compliance as with metal braces or Invisalign. > Retainers are the same as those used after metal braces or Invisalign. > $800 more for full ceramic braces instead of full metal braces; OR $400 more for upper ceramic brace + lower metal brace instead of full metal braces.
Invisalign, clear aligners > White attachments on teeth; they look like small white bumps. > Clear plastic aligners (instead of wires) are used to move teeth. Additional costs apply if aligner replacements are required due to losing or damaging aligners. > No colour palate elastomeric modules are used. > Available to teens and adults > Suitable for use on both upper and lower teeth. > Mechanical functional capability can be similar to or vary from braces. It depends on the patient's specific treatment requirements. > Cleaning teeth easier that when compared with braces. > More patient compliance for bite correction required than with braces. This is because the clear aligners are removed when eating or drinking and then immediately placed back in; they need to be worn 22 hours per day consistently for treatment to work. > Same elastics wear use and compliance as with braces. > Retainers are the same as those used after braces.
A sequence of clear plastic aligners can provide an alternative to fixed braces for less severe orthodontic problems. Clear aligners are removable and virtually invisible, but are not suitable for children as their design is such that they can only move teeth efficiently in a fully developed adult dentition. Furthermore, if clear aligners are not worn responsibly or are removed from the mouth too often, the treatment will not work. Fixed braces, on the other hand, eliminate any temptation to be removed and are almost guaranteed to produce excellent treatment results.
Jaw expanders and bite jumping appliances Braces or clear aligners mostly move teeth into position, but generally cannot treat most face bones problems. Some face bones problems can be treated if the child or teen patient is still growing by additional appliances such as jaw expanders or bite jumping appliances. Braces or clear aligners are usually still required for treatment because the teeth are usually out of correct position to compensate for the bone/s problem/s. Facial shape can be affected in very positive way by jaw expanders and bite jumping appliances.
*Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
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