Learning More About Orthodontic Appliances and Treatment
Many people get dental appliances to get a more aesthetic look and smile by moving their teeth into the correct position. While there is nothing wrong with that, it’s important to remember how beneficial fixed and removable appliances are for our oral health and why you should look for treatment if your condition threatens your oral hygiene.
Moving your teeth into position or fixing a deep bite will make brushing and flossing all areas of your mouth much easier, thus avoiding the accumulation of bacteria and food residues in difficult places to reach.
What Are the Types of Braces?
Orthodontic braces have many variations. Some are removable, some are fixed, some are more visible than others, and some don’t even use metal at all. All of them aim to fix many different orthodontic problems. However, there will be an appliance that best fits your specific condition and lifestyle. For example, while you may prefer a less noticeable appliance, your orthodontic problem may require a type of orthodontic appliance that exerts more force.
Here are a few of the most common braces among orthodontic patients.
Traditional Metal Braces
When people think about orthodontic treatment and appliances, traditional metal braces are the first to come to mind. They have three main parts, the brackets, the archwire, and the ligatures. The brackets are small metal pieces that orthodontists cement onto each tooth with a special mix, the archwire is a metal wire that goes along your lower or upper teeth, and ligatures are small rubber bands that attach to both the brackets and the archwires, creating the pressure needed to move the teeth into position.
Ceramic braces are very similar to traditional braces, with some exceptions in materials and colors. As the name implies, ceramic braces use clear ceramics for the bracket material instead of metal. Coupled with white or translucent ligatures and white archwires, ceramic braces are much less noticeable than traditional braces and offer a more natural-looking smile.
Unfortunately, they do have some drawbacks. Ceramic braces are not as durable as traditional braces, they cost more than metal braces, and the transparent ligatures can stain to a yellowish color.
Invisalign® Clear Aligners
Invisalign is the most different type of braces so far. They consist of a pair of clear aligners molded to your lower and upper teeth. They work by snapping in place and exerting constant pressure on your teeth to move them to their desired location. Every few weeks, you will have to change to a new pair of aligners that will push your teeth even further into position. With them, you won’t have to worry about food particles getting stuck in between the appliance or following a strict diet that forbids you from hard and sticky foods.
However, not everyone is eligible for Invisalign. If you have a severe orthodontic issue, the aligners may lack enough strength to fix the problem. You will have to consult with your orthodontist to find out if Invisalign is the best orthodontic treatment for you.
What Are the Other Types of Functional Orthodontic Appliances and Treatments?
The Miniscrew-Assisted Rapid Palatal Expansion (MARPE) is a type of palatal expander designed to expand the upper jaw of a patient who has a fused upper maxilla. When used, the orthodontic device allows for better airflow, avoids crowding, and expands the nasal cavity.
Also known as a preventive treatment, two-phase treatment is a long-term oral health plan that takes place in two different stages of a patient’s life. The first phase takes place at around seven years old when the patient has a healthy mix of baby and permanent teeth, while the second phase starts when most of the permanent teeth have already developed.
During the first stage, the orthodontist in charge will check for signs of any issues present or developing. According to their findings, they can have the patient wear some type of appliance like a palatal expander, or they can have them wait for a few years before any intervention. During the second stage, orthodontists usually employ braces to fix the orthodontic issue.
How Much Do Braces Cost?
Given that different types of braces use different materials and techniques, the price will vary significantly among them. Usually, traditional braces will be the cheaper option costing you anywhere between $3,000 to $7,000. Ceramic braces, on the other hand, can be more expensive at around $4,000 to $8,000. Invisalign comes to a middle ground with prices ranging from $4,000 to $7,400.
Remember that these prices will change depending on your location, orthodontist, and insurance. Of course, your levels of compliance along the treatment can also affect the final cost. If you don’t follow your orthodontist’s instructions and cause delays in your treatment, the cost will be higher than originally planned.
Find the Correct Appliance for You
With us at Abraham Orthodontics, you’ll find the treatment best suited for your specific orthodontic condition. When you are ready, schedule an appointment with us here and start your journey to a healthier smiler.