Having braces doesn't necessarily require highly noticeable metal brackets and wires. In fact, many of today's braces are made from either clear or natural tooth colored materials to provide patients with an attractive, less noticeable alternative to traditional braces.
What are clear braces?
Traditional braces use a system of bands, brackets, wires, tubes, hooks, ties, bands, and even the dreaded headgear, usually worn for a year or more to bring teeth into proper position. This form of orthodontics is effective, but also very noticeable and expensive, and carries risk of damage to teeth and tooth roots.
Dental Associates of Arlington is pleased to offer modern orthodontic options for adults who want straight, even teeth without an obvious mouthful of uncomfortable metal for an extended period. These methods are often referred to as clear braces.
How are clear braces conservative?
Porcelain veneers and dental crowns can disguise cosmetic alignment issues, but they require permanent changes to tooth structure. Clear braces are conservative because they bring your natural teeth into attractive alignment without the need for extractions or reduction of enamel. Clear braces are an excellent choice for the patient who has a healthy mouth, white teeth, and no significant bite problems. We can easily correct mild to moderate crowding, overlaps, turned teeth, and uneven spacing.
What are the advantages and disadvantages to clear braces?
As with any orthodontic treatment, it is important to choose the right option for your needs and lifestyle. Clear braces are a great alternative to traditional metal braces; however, you and your orthodontist will know if they are the right treatment for you.
Advantages to clear braces:
- Appearance: Ceramic braces and clear braces are much less noticeable than traditional metal braces. Clear and ceramic braces offer an aesthetic alternative for patients seeking options other than traditional metal braces.
- Confidence: Many patients who choose ceramic or clear braces feel more confident about their orthodontic treatment, especially knowing that people are focusing on their smiles rather than their braces.
Disadvantages to clear braces:
- Cost: Ceramic and clear braces may cost more than traditional metal braces. Your orthodontist may offer convenient payment plans to help control the costs of your treatment. Be sure to talk to your orthodontist about all of your financial options.
- Discoloration: The clear elastic ties that are used with clear and ceramic braces may become slightly discolored from drinking tea, coffee, wine, eating certain foods, or smoking. Ask your orthodontist about how you can keep your braces looking their best.
- Treatment Time: Orthodontic treatment with clear or ceramic braces may take longer than with traditional metal braces. If you don't mind investing a little more time in your smile, then talk to your orthodontist to find out how long your treatment time will be with clear or ceramic braces.
What are your options?
A number of clear braces are available to dental professionals. We carefully considered the options and selected those we feel provide the highest value to our patients – Six Month Smiles and Invisalign.
The Six Month Smiles system is similar to conventional orthodontics – with two big distinctions. First, the brackets are clear and the wires are tooth colored, so these braces are barely noticeable. Second, this method focuses on visible teeth, the ones that cause you embarrassment when you smile or laugh if they are crooked. Treatment time varies, but because we aren’t tackling complex bite issues, many patients get the smiles of their dreams in just six months.
Invisalign is a completely different approach to straightening. A robust computer program utilizes three-dimensional images of your mouth to create a progression of transparent aligners. About every two weeks, you change to the next set of aligners in the series, gradually moving teeth into beautiful position (in about 18 months for most patients). You wear the aligners day and night, but they are removable. That means you continue to eat the foods you love, and brush and floss normally for a sparkling smile.
Few gestures have more capacity to change lives than a sincere smile. Share yours confidently with the world while you straighten, with clear braces. Call Dental Associates of Arlington at (781) 648-0279 to get started. We serve Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Lexington, Medford, Somerville, Watertown, and Winchester.
By talking to your orthodontist, you can decide if clear or ceramic braces are the right treatment for you. Your orthodontist can provide answers to your questions and extra information explaining the benefits of each treatment. If you would like to learn more about clear braces, ceramic braces, and all of the options available to you, please contact our practice and schedule an appointment today.