Straighten your smile – without braces!
Alternatives to Braces for Adults
Your teeth are one of the most important aspects of your appearance. A mouthful of straight, even teeth gives your smile an aesthetically pleasing and professional look. Plus, if you have great teeth, you’ll want to show them off — meaning more smiles and a happier, more confident overall demeanor!
Though many people endure the “metal mouth” phase of braces during their adolescence, recent developments in tooth-straightening technologies mean that traditional orthodontics using metal are no longer the only way to achieve the perfect smile you want. Particularly for older people who wish to correct their smile, the option to do so without braces can be a real game changer.
The professionals at our practice can help you learn everything you need to know about tooth straightening options such as using clear aligners to straighten out your smile and get you fitted with the device you need. Read on for more information about a range of tooth straightening options and treatments that you and your dentist can choose from.
Teeth Straightening Options Without Braces
Clear aligners or “invisible braces” are ideal for older teens or adults, whose teeth are fixed in position and no longer subject to much shifting. They’re typically used for mild to moderate crowding and spacing issues. You may have heard of them by the popular brand name Invisalign. The biggest advantage, of course, is that they are practically invisible, so you can easily maintain your appearance and your day-to-day life while undergoing this treatment. Another bonus is that, being removable, they are easier to clean and can help you maintain better overall oral health. Most patients agree that they are also more comfortable to wear than other tooth-straightening options. This is very important because, as with any treatment, it is necessary to wear them as much as your dentist tells you. Not wearing them enough will not correct your problem quickly and will result in a longer overall treatment period. However, if used as directed, your “invisible braces” can correct your smile in ten to 24 months.
Clear aligners are great, but they’re not for everyone. Individuals with more severe spacing issues (moderate to extreme) may not be eligible for the treatment. Luckily, there are still other alternatives to traditional braces available. Lingual braces function similarly to traditional braces, but they’re a great choice because the hardware is placed on the back of the teeth. This makes them harder to see for a nice, discreet option.
For younger patients, palatal expanders may be a good option. This treatment is a way to widen the upper jaw, allowing the upper and lower teeth to fit together better. It’s available to children 15 years of age and under, and can sometimes be less expensive — as well as less obvious — as traditional braces.
Retainers are typically used to maintain the newly corrected position of your teeth after braces or invisible aligner treatment, but they can also be used alone to correct less major problems. For minor misalignments, you can wear a removable retainer or a fixed one, which is discreetly adhered to the back of your teeth.
Your dentist may recommend dental veneers, also known as porcelain veneers or caps, if you have gaps in your teeth, fractured teeth, or discoloration. This procedure involves removing a thin layer of enamel from your teeth and adding light-sensitive resin on top. The best part about dental veneers? The results are often immediate, so you can forget about waiting a year or more to have the smile you want. Veneers are typically recommended for adults only.
Another tooth straightening option that’s great for adults with slightly crooked teeth is dental contouring, or tooth reshaping. In this procedure, your dental professional can sand away areas of your teeth and/or add resin to correct the shape and appearance of the teeth. Like dental veneers, dental contouring delivers instant results.