A dentist is a licensed healthcare professional whose career focuses on helping patients maintain a healthy smile by preventing diseases that affect the teeth and gums, extracting teeth, filling cavities, and inserting artificial teeth. Unlike dentists, orthodontists obtain an additional two to three years of education and primarily focus on oral alignment and positioning.
Here are some common treatment options that orthodontists employ to help patients achieve a more appealing and functional smile.
- Traditional metal braces – Metal braces have the ability to align crowded, crooked, or unevenly spaced teeth. They can correct overbites, underbites, and additional misalignments. Metal braces continue to be a popular choice for orthodontic candidates because they are very resilient, effective, and may be cost-effective compared to some of the newer styles of braces.
- Ceramic braces – Ceramic braces, also known as clear braces, are much less visible than metal braces. Ceramic braces realign the teeth and bite just as effectively as metal braces.
- Invisalign – Invisalign uses cutting edge technology to help straighten teeth often without anyone knowing you have braces. Invisalign uses aligner trays that correct teeth without using brackets, metal wires, or rubber bands. The aligner trays are made of a smooth, clear plastic material specifically shaped to fit over the teeth. The trays are practically impossible to notice, and are removable for eating and cleaning.
- Lingual braces – Lingual braces, also called incognito braces, give the desired results using custom-made wires and brackets that are specifically created for each individual tooth. Brackets and wires are then attached only to the backs of the teeth, providing a virtually invisible appearance.
- Self-ligating braces – Self-ligating braces are comprised of brackets that contain “sliding doors” to hold the wires in place. Self-ligating braces can provide results as effectively as other types of braces, and there are longer gaps between adjustments since the wires are changed less often as metal braces.