Prosthodontics, Implants, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Dentistry

Teeth Straightening Options for a Beautiful Smile

Not everyone is lucky enough to have flawless straight teeth. Some people have dental abnormalities that affect the alignment of their teeth. Such defects can negatively impact the beauty of your smile, which consequently disadvantage you in your personal and professional life. The good news is that with the advancements in dentistry, there are many teeth straightening options for a beautiful smile that you can find at Tarzana Dental Care. Our orthodontists will guide you on the best teeth straightening option to ensure you are no longer embarrassed about your smile. Also, not only does straightening your teeth help in improving your smile, but it is also suitable for your general oral health.

Benefits of Teeth Straightening

The majority of people out there seek orthodontic treatment for self-esteem reasons. What they don’t understand is that the treatment has both esthetic and health benefits. Before you decide on the right option for straightening your teeth, it is crucial to understand the benefits of the procedures. Some of the benefits include:

  • Correction of dental abnormalities like misaligned, crowding tooth, and overbites help in restoring straighter teeth, a better bite, and healthier teeth.
  • The straightening of teeth enhances your facial look, thus boosting your self-esteem in social settings.
  • Teeth straightening improves your speech
  • Reduces the chances of cracked or chipped teeth
  • Ensures proper food chewing
  • It allows adequate brushing and flossing promoting good oral hygiene

It is important to note that misalignment of teeth can cause serious oral health issues, which become worse if left untreated. It will cost you more to seek dental treatment with an oral condition that has already worsened, hence the reason you should seek treatment early.

With the knowledge of these advantages, if your goal is to align teeth for a beautiful smile, it is essential to compare the various teeth straightening options so that you can pick the option that is bespoke for your oral needs.

Teeth Straightening Options

Some of the best options to straighten your teeth include:

  1. Traditional Metal Braces

Up to date, most children and teens opt for metal braces as a way of straightening teeth. Adults operating with a small budget are also slowly opting for this form of treatment because it is pocket-friendly. In this option of straightening teeth, small stainless-steel brackets are linked to your teeth, and then metal wires are used to attach the brackets. The metal wire connecting the teeth is adjustable and can be changed at steady intervals until the teeth are aligned for a beautiful smile. The good thing with metal braces is that they can be attached separately on each tooth, and the braces are affordable. The challenge with this option of teeth correction is that the braces are visible and, at times, can irritate the mouth. But with the advancements in oral health, metal braces have been made much smaller, fashionable, and more comfortable.

  1. Clear Braces

These are popular teeth straightening options for adults and older teens. They are very similar to metal braces, although ceramic braces are less visible because they have clear brackets or ones that are colored just like natural teeth, thus blending effortlessly. The results of the treatment are similar to metal braces. The difference is visibility. Clear braces provide people who want to straighten their teeth an excellent treatment option without changing their appearance. The disadvantage of metal braces compared to clear braces is that metal braces are visible, which might hinder the flawless smile that you are looking for in the treatment. 

Note that there are multiple options for clear braces. The first is the one that works the same way as the traditional metal braces. Brackets are attached to each tooth, and tooth-colored resin wire is used to connect the brackets. The difference in these two treatment options is that in clear braces, tooth-colored resin wire blends well with the color of natural teeth, making it difficult to notice. However, to keep them unnoticeable for an extended duration, you must observe proper oral hygiene by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth so that the brackets do not stain and turn color.

  1. Clear Aligners

These are used to correct less severe orthodontic conditions. They are an excellent alternative for fixed braces because they are removable and nearly invisible. Clear aligners consist of plastic materials that keep the color of the teeth unchanged, making them almost invisible. If someone looks closely, that is when they can realize you are wearing these aligners. When you opt for this option of teeth straightening, you must be ready to visit your dentist every two weeks for a new aligner. As the aligners continue being replaced, each replacement moves your teeth closer to the right alignment or positioning.

Before this treatment process commences, your orthodontist will begin by taking a CT scan on your teeth. After, he or she will estimate the movement of your teeth using CAD, then review the best treatment plan. Measurements of the teeth and molds will then be sent to the lab to help come up with a design. Invisalign aligners are then created and issued to the patient. If you are afraid of feeling pain, you don’t have to because it is only on the first day that you will feel slight pain. After that, the treatment doesn’t cause any pain or discomfort.

Because of their ease to remove and clean, clear aligners are the best option for people who are always on the move. The shortcomings of this option are that it can’t fix severe problems, and failure to wear aligners consistently or removing them often might interfere with the recovery process. If you are the type who will not wear them evenly, this form of treatment is not likely to work. To ensure the treatment works, make sure that you wear the aligners for at least 22 hours a day. You are only allowed to take off aligners when eating, playing, or when cleaning your mouth. Immediately you are done with these activities; make sure you put the aligners back in your mouth. Apart from when eating or playing, you can also remove the aligners when you intend to take photos, in an important meeting or when going out for a date.

When putting on clear aligners, they are certain factors that are essential to note. The factors include:

  • The treatment procedure is not for children because it requires a lot of responsibility, which children can barely keep up with. Children are likely to misplace aligners after removing them or forget to put them back after removing which might make the treatment to fail.
  • Keep your mouth clean by ensuring that you brush and rinse your teeth after meals. Failure to do so means that once you put the aligners on, the food in your mouth will be visible through them, which can be embarrassing.
  • Avoid taking the aligners out for an extended duration. The problem with removing aligners for too long is that the teeth might return to their old position making the treatment ineffective. For an effective treatment, ensure that you remove the aligners for not more than two hours a day.

To properly care for clear aligners, make sure you wash and rinse them with warm water daily. Aside from this, ensure every week you soak them in a denture cleaner then rinse them with warm water. Also, whenever you are removing them to eat or brush teeth, make sure you don’t wrap them on a napery because this will increase the risk of the aligner being thrown away. Instead, use a container that is issued to you by a dentist after Invisalign treatment. 

  1. Lingual Braces

These are completely invisible because they are placed at the back or the inside surface of your teeth. The brackets used in this process are tailor-made to follow the individual contours of your teeth for comfortability and effectiveness. The problem with these types of braces is that they take an extended transition period because they are situated near the tongue. It will take time before you get used to them, and during this time, you are likely to experience speech and eating problems. Due to this, people opt for other treatment alternatives. But if you opt for lingual braces, you can wax the brackets and the wires to prevent irritation when the tongue rubs against the wire or brackets.

  1. Space Maintainers

Your teeth might misalign if you lose one tooth prematurely, making the tooth adjacent to the gap to move towards the space left by the lost tooth. Space maintainers are used to cover gaps left after losing baby teeth, thus keeping your jaw in its natural position. By doing so, space maintainers prevent overcrowded and crooked teeth, which in turn helps maintain a beautiful smile. Instead of waiting for long before seeking treatment where you pay hefty amounts for orthodontist procedures, opting for tailored or customized space maintainers is an excellent way of keeping your teeth aligned or held in place at a low cost.  The most common types of space maintainers are permanent and temporary. Permanent or fixed maintainers are meant for more sophisticated spaces and often hold the area better. Removable maintainers, on the other hand, can be removed after the adult tooth grows. Note that space maintainers cannot fill spaces that are too huge. On such occasions, artificial teeth are used to hold spaces to prevent misalignment of adjacent teeth.

  1. Snap-On Smile

Under this option of teeth straightening, the orthodontist snaps or fits a customized device on an existing tooth, thus restoring a perfect smile. You can choose a temporary or permanent snap based on your needs. The process is, however, less invasive, painful, and expensive compared to other teeth straightening options. 

Comparison Between Braces and Invisalign Clear Aligners

It’s a tight race to compare braces and removable clear alignments. Some of the differences between these two treatments are:

  • Invisalign has clear aligners that are invisible to the naked eye, while braces have brackets and wires, some of which are noticeable.
  • Clear plastic aligners are smooth and comfortable; thus, do not irritate. Braces, on the other hand, have metal wires and brackets that might irritate when the tongue rubs against the wire.
  • Invisalign are removable and easy to clean while braces make it difficult to brush and rinse the teeth.
  • Also, with clear aligners, you get to eat what you want, while with braces, there is a lot of food restrictions.

With each of these options has its pros and cons, it is challenging to pick what suits you best. If you are an adult who is ready to remove the aligner whenever you are eating, brushing, and flossing teeth, then Invisalign is the best way to straighten your teeth. But if you feel removing the aligner all the time will cause inconveniences, then drop this option.

On the issue of success rate on treatment, removable clear aligners have not been around for a long time, so it’s challenging to approximate its success rate. Also, the fact that it is removable means its success rate is dependent on the beholder and the period you keep the aligner on your mouth. For braces, it’s challenging to give the exact success rate, but the fact that you don’t have the choice of removing the braces when you feel like increases the chances of them straightening your teeth. 

If you have dental abnormalities that require being addressed from the inside surface of your teeth or teeth need rotation, you shouldn’t opt for Invisalign. Lingual braces are the best option in such a case.

Teeth Straightening Options and Costs

If you opt for braces as a way of straightening your teeth, you should be willing to part with an average of between two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) to seven thousand dollars ($7,000). The cost of treatment, however, depends on the length of treatment. The average time for straightening teeth using braces, either metal or clear, is eighteen to twenty-four months.

Invisalign is currently the most preferred option for straightening teeth, which might scare some people who might assume the treatment is expensive. Surprisingly, the cost of braces is quite comparable to that of removable clear aligners. Invisalign will cost an average of five thousand dollars ($5,000), with the minimum charge being $3,500. Remember that these prices are not fixed for every dental office. The prices are varying, so it’s vital to evaluate market prices before making a decision. Try shopping around for rates and pick a dental care facility that is providing quality orthodontist services at a discounted rate.

In case you are lucky to have dental insurance, reach out to your insurer and find out whether the policy you purchased covers the teeth straightening option that you want. Dental insurance plans cover most orthodontic treatments, so you should not be afraid of parting with hefty amounts of money to attain a beautiful smile.

In the event you are not fortunate enough to be covered by dental insurance, you should not be worried about hiding your smile. There are other ways you can make your dream of having a perfect smile come true. One of the methods is through health care financing plans. An example of these plans is CareCredit, which allows the patient to make monthly payments on dental and other health treatments. The plan works just like a credit card where you can spend a certain amount of money receiving treatment and then amount spent repaid later by making monthly payments. Remember that even if you qualify for this plan, sometimes your credit limit might not be enough to foot the entire cost of treatment. In such a situation, you will need a family member to co-sign.

The other way you can pay for teeth alignment is through a credit card. The majority of dental clinics, including Tarzana Dental Care, accept credit card payments. With the flexibility in payment options, you have no reason to hide a smile in social settings because multiple teeth straightening options are available.  

Find a Tarzana Dentist Near Me

Deciding on the best tooth straightening options for a beautiful smile is not a cakewalk. Many decisions must be made based on your budget and the quality of esthetics. The best thing to do is to consult with an expert in orthodontics or teeth straightening so that you don’t regret your decision in the long run. Tarzana Dental Care is committed to helping you get a flawless smile by straightening your teeth. We provide a manifold of choices for teeth straightening like traditional metal braces, hidden braces, Invisalign, Snap-on smile, space maintainers, and clear braces to ensure our clients have a pool of options to choose from. During the decision, our dentists are available to discuss all the available treatment options so that they can give you their professional opinion after evaluating your oral condition and allow you to decide on a straightening option that will provide you with the desired outcome. To schedule a zero obligation consultation, call us today at 818-708-3232.