Traditional metal braces is a common orthodontic treatment for straightening teeth, but it may not be the best option for everyone. Braces are very effective at straightening teeth, but there are alternatives and new innovations. If you are looking for an alternative to traditional metal braces, there are several options available that can help you achieve a straighter, more beautiful smile. From our patented Skarin System to clear aligners and lingual braces, this guide will explore six alternatives to traditional metal braces.
Clear aligners are a popular alternative to braces. They are made of clear plastic which makes them hard to see — unless they become stained from food and/or poor hygiene —making them a great option for people who want to straighten their teeth without drawing attention to their orthodontic treatment.
Clear aligners work by gradually shifting your teeth into the desired position using a series of custom-made trays that are changed every few weeks. They are removable, which means you can take them out to eat, brush, and floss, but patients must put them back on asap! Clear aligners have to be worn at all times in order to be effective. If aligners are not worn properly, it can and will significantly lengthen treatment time. Overall, clear aligners can be a good option for mild treatment cases and some moderate cases.
If you are looking for a braces alternative that offers the latest in tooth alignment technology, Skarin System might be for you. Skarin System Braces/Aligners comes in a clear option, which makes is very hard for people to see anything on your teeth, but there are two major features of Skarin System that set it apart from all other technologies.
Firstly, Skarin System allows us to move teeth independently from one another. This means, we only move teeth that need to move. In other systems, if a tooth needs to be moved, other teeth that may be in an optimal position have to be moved as well. Skarin System does not have that limitation. Less overall tooth movement means less pain for you, and also shorter treatment time.
We also finish treatment faster with a light and true continuous force that is a much healthier force on your teeth, gums, and roots. Aligners and braces technologies advertise light continuous forces, but the truth is, once you see how our patented technology works (please schedule a complimentary consultation for in-depth details), you can plainly see for yourself why our patients have reported almost unanimously having nothing more than slight pressure on their teeth. The same cannot be said for aligners as each new tray put on your teeth applies a strong and often painful force on the teeth. The way we apply force to the teeth is completely different than aligners and other braces systems. Also important to note, Skarin System is designed for the most mild to the most severe treatment cases.
If you are interested in trying Skarin System, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Skarin (he loves talking with prospective patients!). As this technology is newly launched, we prefer to meet in-person with prospective patients to discuss whether it is the right option for you.
Lingual braces are similar to traditional braces, but they are placed on the back of your teeth instead of the front. This makes them virtually invisible — even more “invisible” than aligners —which is a great braces alternative for people that absolutely cannot have anything visible on the front of their teeth. Aligners advertise being invisible, but in truth, even aligners require plastic bumps to be applied to your teeth (referred to as “buttons”). In many cases, these bumps are quite visible when wearing the aligner. Lingual braces can also be a bit more expensive as fewer orthodontists offer lingual braces as an option due to the increased difficulty of using the appliance on the back of your teeth.
Lingual braces work by periodically adjusting the braces and archwire to gradually shift your teeth into the desired position. They are a great option for people who have more complex orthodontic issues than what can be corrected with clear aligners. However, lingual braces can be more difficult to clean and may cause some discomfort or speech difficulties at first.
Ceramic braces are similar to traditional metal braces, but they are made of clear or tooth-colored materials that blend in with your teeth. This makes them a less noticeable braces alternative than metal braces and a great option for people who want a more discreet orthodontic treatment. Ceramic braces work by using brackets and wires to gradually shift your teeth into the desired position. They are a good option for people with mild, moderate, and severe orthodontic issues, but they may require more maintenance than clear aligners or lingual braces as ceramic or plastic braces are more likely to break or fracture. Ceramic braces can also be more prone to staining and may be more expensive than traditional metal braces.
Another braces alternative are retainers. Retainers are a popular option as they are much less expensive and much less invasive than any other treatment alternative on this list. Retainers are typically worn for a shorter period of time each day, usually at night, making them a convenient option for those who do not want to wear aligners or braces all day.
The downside to retainers is that they are only appropriate for mild orthodontic issues. Furthermore, retainers that effectively and precisely move your teeth rely on the experience and skill of the orthodontist. Dr. Skarin prefers the Hawley retainer as it can more effectively move teeth and with more options to the patient and orthodontist. Hawler retainers can also be adjusted and added to on the fly and usually last for up to a decade. Other orthodontists prefer using aligner retainers which must be replaced every six months or so.
Veneers are a popular cosmetic dentistry option that can help improve the appearance of your teeth. They are thin, custom-made shells that are placed over the front surface of your teeth to cover imperfections like chips, cracks, and discoloration. Veneers can also be used to close gaps between teeth and improve the overall shape and size of your teeth. While veneers are not a traditional orthodontic treatment, they can help improve the appearance of your smile without the need for braces. Keep in mind that veneers are a permanent solution and may require some tooth preparation before they can be placed. They are also more expensive than some other options, but can provide long-lasting results.
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