Dental braces are becoming more and more common, with an estimated 4 million people in the USA currently wearing them. Whilst they may be traditionally associated with children and teenagers, many adults now use dental braces. There are now many different types of braces that can still give you the perfect smile, but are more discreet than the traditional 'train-track' metal braces.
Ceramic braces are very similar in shape, size and design to metal braces. The orthodontist will fit an individual bracket onto each tooth, before threading a thin wire through the brackets. This will remain in place for 12 - 24 months, usually requiring slight adjustments every 8 - 12 weeks. However, unlike metal braces, the brackets are made from clear or cream coloured ceramic, allowing them to blend in with the natural colour of your teeth.
As they use the same design, ceramic braces share the effectiveness of metal braces, but are much less visible. However, they are more expensive than metal braces and can be prone to staining.
Like traditional metal braces, lingual braces use metal brackets and wires to adjust the position of the teeth. However, rather than being installed on the front of the teeth, lingual braces are fitted on the inside, keeping them fully hidden from view.
Lingual braces are even more discreet than ceramic braces, but they can be very costly, uncomfortable and difficult to clean. They also tend to be less effective than metal or ceramic braces, meaning adjustments can take longer and they may not be appropriate for severe cases.
Invisalign braces consist of a series of 18 to 30 removable clear plastic retainers. These retainers are custom-made from a special thermoplastic material to fit the patient's mouth. The retainers make slight adjustments to the position of teeth. Around every two weeks the retainer is replaced with a new set, that makes a slightly more extreme adjustment.
As they are made from clear plastic and are easily removable, Invisalign are the most discreet type of braces. Whilst for best effects they should be worn for 20 - 22 hours a day, their removable nature gives the patient more flexibility and comfort (e.g. they can be removed when eating). However, they are less effective than fixed braces, so cannot be used for severe cases. Invisalign treatment often takes longer than other types of braces, and they can also cause staining of the teeth should they not be cleaned correctly.
For more information about Invisalign, contact dental offices like Desert Dental: Ruintan Kamran D.M.D.