Did you know that, at any time, approx. four million Americans strive towards achieving the perfect smile using braces? Moreover, these numbers are not including would-be patients considering braces for their dental aesthetic goals. Perfect, straight teeth are no longer a matter of aesthetics but also of confidence and self-esteem; after all, “a smile goes a long way,” as Hellen Keller tells us.
If you’re reading this blog, then congratulations – you must be ready to start your own perfect teeth journey! However, due to the number of different teeth straightening approaches and products available on the market, making a decision is not as easy as it sounds – “What product should I choose?” “What treatment form ensures superior results?” “Whom should I consult?”
Here at Loudoun Orthodontics, our mission is to separate superior options from the rest and put you on the path that will get you to a lifelong perfect smile. For that reason, in today’s blog, we will discuss the concept of teeth shifting and the reason why we believe that a particular treatment can genuinely bring your dental aesthetic goals to fruition – Invisalign!
The 101 on Why Teeth Move, and How We Fix Them
It’s not hard to understand why we perceive our teeth as immovable entities; after all, the teeth are connected to the upper and lower jawbones by the periodontal ligament and cementum, which keep our teeth in place during regular activities such as food chewing.
However, this view is far from the truth – teeth experience constant movement, though it is more evident during childhood. Several factors cause teeth shifting during our adult lives:
- The changing shape of the jaw
- Mouth injuries
- Teeth grinding (scientifically known as bruxism)
- Dental conditions such as tooth decay or gum disease
- Gaps from missing teeth
Achieving Perfect Teeth That Will Last a Lifetime
Due to the natural aging process and external forces, our teeth are continuously on the move. Fortunately, the world of dentistry has managed to find good ways to prevent such tendencies and to restore the teeth to their original places, recreating the perfect smile of our dreams! However, no two treatments are created equal, which is why we shall compare the dental market’s best-known treatments with braces:
The Pros and Cons of Good, Old Fashioned Braces
We know – you probably imagine those metal devices that make children seriously consider oral hygiene. For a long time, metal and ceramic braces were the sole options for teeth straightening. However, what’s their degree of efficiency, and how do they fare against one another?
Let’s start with metal braces. Made from high-grade stainless steel, metal braces are bonded to the teeth and the use of wire and rubber bands helps to hold them in the desired position to allow for movement. They deliver constant pressure to the teeth for a straightening effect and to correct biting and crowding issues. In terms of price, metal braces are a superior choice; however, aesthetic aspects might deter would-be patients from choosing them.
Next, we have ceramic braces, which are more popular with older crowds due to being less visible than metal braces. Simultaneously, however, the higher chance for breaks and cracks, coupled with a higher price tag, makes ceramic braces less attractive than their metal counterparts are.
The Pros and Cons of Invisalign
Instead of relying on treatments that come short of combining solid results with aesthetic aspects, here at Loudoun Orthodontics, we introduce to our patient a revolutionary approach to teeth straightening, which not only promises but also delivers perfect, straight smiles – Invisalign!
Using state-of-the-art technology, Invisalign braces are made out of 18 to 30 aligners (akin to mouth-guard templates) generated by computer simulation. Suitable for both children and adults, these braces take teeth straightening to the next level while dealing with other dental conditions, such as overbite, underbite, crossbite issues, open bite, gap, and crowded teeth.
Together with a perfect smile, Invisalign brings numerous benefits to the patient, such as:
- Superior aesthetics: Invisalign braces are virtually undetectable, which puts them above metal and ceramic braces.
- Removable: if needed, Invisalign braces can easily be removed.
- Easier teeth cleaning: the moment you remove the braces, you can adequately care for your teeth without having to worry about working around wires and brackets.
- Fewer maintenance issues: it is not uncommon to hear about patients whose brackets fell off or whose wires broke, leading to an unexpected visit to the orthodontist. With Invisalign, you are sure to stay away from such issues.
The Pros and Cons of Mail-Order Teeth Aligners
Aside from the treatments recommended by dental practitioners, several companies are offering “miracle-worker” braces at home without paying any visits to the dentist. Using software algorithms, these companies supposedly create custom treatments for each patient. Sounds too good to be true, right?
Unfortunately, in a world where a correct assessment of the patient’s needs is essential, mail order teeth aligners are nothing but a futuristic wild guess, and for good reasons. First, a dental practitioner, whose expertise is the cornerstone for any treatment, does not create the treatment plan, nor can they modify it along the way.
Second, the techniques employed might be outdated, leaving you with unsatisfactory results or, in some unfortunate instances, with additional dental issues. In that case, the money you save through mail-order teeth aligners will go to dental treatments, defeating the purpose.
That being said, choosing a mail-order treatment provides an unsatisfactory pros and cons ratio, enough of a reason for you to choose an orthodontist for your teeth straightening goals.
Meet the Doctor: Choosing a Certified Orthodontist is Key
You’ve already set your eyes on the Invisalign treatment, and that’s fantastic. Now, what’s next? As we can see in other medical fields, your results are directly correlated to the technology and the practitioner’s level of expertise. For that reason, knowing how to choose the right orthodontist is vital.
In the U.S., orthodontists are spending years of arduous work to become Board-Certified by the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO), whose sole mission is to promote excellence in orthodontics by gathering the best of the best in this field. To receive their certification, orthodontists are required to become experts in more than just teeth straightening; understanding the complicated relationship between facial growth, development, and form and all the elements that harmoniously create the perfect smile is essential. Furthermore, Board-Certified Orthodontists dedicate themselves to constant growth and education and must renew their certification every ten years.
For these reasons, entrusting your smile in the hands of a Board-Certified Orthodontist is a rule of thumb for any dental treatment.
Here at Loudoun Orthodontics, your perfect smile is our chief concern, and we want to make sure that your teeth straightening experience is as pleasant as you can imagine. Are you ready to regain your perfect smile with us? Make sure that you schedule a complimentary consultation with us, or check out our blog!