Orthodontic Treatments

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One of the most common dental problems that many face are misaligned teeth or a misaligned bite.  Orthodontics offers many possibilities for treating such cases.  Among these treatments, braces, retainers, and invisible aligners are the most common solutions.  If you have any major alignment issues or gaps between teeth, you should ask your dentist to send you to an Austin cosmetic dentistry professional or an orthodontist.  Orthodontists specialize in these sorts of cases.


Braces are the most common tool used by orthodontists to fix teeth that are out of place.  They work by simply putting pressure continuously on the tooth causing it to slowly move into place.  The bone is usually altered by this process and re-forms around the tooth at its new position.  There are many different components that can be used as part of a set of braces including orthodontic bands which can then hold brackets, arch wires that attach to the brackets, ligatures to hold the arch wires to the brackets, and more.  Some bite adjustments may require headgear to be worn.  There are also newer versions of braces that are smaller and utilize retainers as part of a system for light to moderate corrections.

The most common type of braces are metal or traditional braces.  These include a system of wires and brackets and are what people usually think of when they think of braces.  While the wires and brackets have gotten smaller, these are still the most noticeable of the various types of braces.  Recent advancements have improved the speed of effectiveness with some metal braces.

Another option when considering braces, especially if only small adjustments are needed, are lingual braces.  These are basically the same as traditional braces with the wires and brackets but they are placed on the other side of the teeth.  The obvious advantage to these is that they are completely invisible however they are not as quickly effective.  They also are more difficult to maintain and clean and can be slightly less comfortable when first installed.

Ceramic braces are an alternative to the traditional metal braces with the primary benefit of being much less noticeable.  They work similar to regular braces but are colored to blend with the color of the patients teeth.  They work a lot faster than other solutions meant to make braces less noticeable but they also cost a bit more than regular braces and can stain if not cared for properly.



Invisalign is a brand of invisible alignment tools that are used primarily on adults or older teens for alignment issues that are not severe.  They work by using custom made trays or aligners that fit on the teeth and slowly move them to the desired position.  As the teeth move, patients will get new aligners every few weeks until they are no longer needed.  The obvious reasons for using invisalign include more comfort and cosmetically they are very difficult for others to notice they are being worn.  They also can be removed by the patient for eating and brushing teeth allowing for better care of the teeth.  There is very little if any difference in cost between traditional braces and invisible alignment systems such as Invisalign.

If your teeth are misaligned, you may want to think about more than just the cosmetic benefit of braces.  If teeth become too crowded or improperly spaced, it could be more difficult to properly care for them and keep them clean and healthy.  This could severely affect your oral health in the future and cause the need for more expensive dental work to be done.  However, of course the best benefit of all is being able to improve your smile.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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