What Is the Best Alternative to Metal Braces for Unaligned Teeth?

Braces and clear aligners are just some of the orthodontic appliances available for your treatment.

Although orthodontic treatment and appliances can be tedious and bothersome at times, it’s something you’ll be glad you did in your later years. Ann Arbor Orthodontic treatments prevent any present issues from developing into more severe problems. Lack of treatment could not only lead to an uneven and crowded smile but also to regular pain and discomfort in your mouth during your daily activities. Avoid future regrets by taking the treatment you need and doing it with the appliance that best fits your lifestyle.

What Types of Orthodontic Appliances Exist?

There is a great variety of orthodontic appliances that target a whole plethora of different orthodontic problems at different stages of a patient’s lifetime. Here we’ll explain some orthodontic appliances and their purpose briefly.

Orthodontists usually use palatal expanders on kids who are still developing their mouth’s bone structure. A palatal expander’s purpose is to widen the upper jaw of a patient. It attaches to the upper molars and maintains constant outwards pressure on them. Your orthodontist will gradually open the gap until it reaches the desired size. Afterward, they leave the palatal expander to maintain the newly acquired size until the bones in the area finish developing.

If your orthodontists need your back molars to either stay in place, rotate, or move to a different position, they’ll most likely do it using a nance appliance. A nance appliance consists of two metal bands around your top back molars connected to a metal wire with an acrylic pad at the end that pushes against the back of your two front teeth.

Of course, traditional metal braces are by far the most common and well-known type of appliance. However, with so many variations of braces and other appliances, it’s hard for someone without dental knowledge to know which one is best for their specific situation.

Here, we’ll explore the differences between a couple of types of braces and Invisalign.

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces have three components, the archwire, the brackets, and the ligatures. The archwire is a metal wire that goes along your upper or lower teeth row, attaching to the brackets at each tooth. The brackets are small metal pieces stuck to your teeth. They have the function of holding onto the archwire to pull the teeth to their desired position. Ligatures are tiny rubber bands that hold the archwire and the brackets together. They create pressure by pulling your brackets toward the archwire and vice-versa.

As the name implies, metal braces’ main component is stainless steel and, thus, are quite resistant to outside forces. However, patients must follow a strict diet if they want to avoid orthodontic emergencies.

Clear Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are almost identical to traditional metal braces, with a noticeable difference in visibility. The ceramic nature of clear braces allows the patient to have a much more natural-looking smile while still working towards their desired results. Of course, they aren’t perfect. They are more delicate compared to metal braces and more expensive as well. But the extra cost and care they require are more than worth it for many teenagers and adults who wish to see their lives impacted as little as possible by the change in appearance braces represent.

In addition, ceramic braces are as capable as traditional braces in fixing various orthodontic problems. Something that doesn’t apply to clear aligners that are less noticeable but don’t have the strength necessary to fix various malocclusion-related problems.

Invisalign Clear Aligners

Ann Arbor Invisalign clear aligners are a set of two clear plastic molds that fit snuggly on your top and bottom set of teeth. The molds, also known as trays, apply constant pressure to your teeth. Every couple of weeks, the patient will have to change their trays for new ones that will keep pushing their teeth to the desired location.

The appliance’s removable nature allows the patient to be free of any strict diet as long as they remove their clear aligners before eating or drinking anything that isn’t water. Additionally, they are virtually invisible and allow teenagers and adults to live their lives free of self-conscious thoughts regarding their appearance with an appliance.

One of the few drawbacks to Invisalign clear aligners is that they are not for everyone. Some patients may have an orthodontic issue that requires more pulling strength than the aligners can provide and thus cannot use them. Since they aren’t permanently attached to the patient, losing them is a possible scenario. Invisalign users must be responsible with their aligners if they wish to see results in the given timeframe.

Are Standard Braces Still Preferred to the Invisalign System?

As with most health questions, it will ultimately depend on your specific situation. Your Ann Arbor orthodontist will always give you a list of treatments available to fix your orthodontic problem. From here, you will have to analyze which one is better for you. If it’s important for you to keep a natural look for your smile but worry about the cost, you might want to avoid Invisalign and go for clear braces instead. On the other hand, if you don’t really care about a metallic look and wish to spend as little as possible, traditional metal braces might be the better option.

Get the Appliance Best Suited for You

If you think you need orthodontic treatment or wish to have a regular checkup, schedule an appointment with us at SBK Orthodontics. We’ll be happy to give you the best treatment available with the appliances that fit your lifestyle best.