Everyone wants a confident smile, which is why so many people get braces in Thornton, CO, and around the world. In many cases, the reasons for doing so aren’t purely cosmetic. Crooked teeth can cause crowding in the mouth, which can lead to decay if the teeth are more difficult to clean. The position of your teeth may be making it difficult to chew, bite, or even speak. A misaligned bite puts extra pressure on the teeth or the jaw; this can lead to pain, grinding, and other problems unless you get orthodontics to fix it.
An orthodontist is a dentist who continues his or her training after dental school to become a specialist in moving teeth and aligning the jaw. A dentist offers general care in terms of oral health: he or she helps you with cavities, gum disease, crowns, root canals, and more. However, when it comes to moving the teeth and adjusting your bite, your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist.
At Barron Family Dental in Thornton, our experienced, compassionate dentists will examine your mouth and help you determine what type of treatment is best for your situation. For children and adults who are considering braces, there are many more options available today than there were a few years ago.
If Invisalign is the best option for you, our Invisalign-trained dentists can offer that treatment as well as clear braces, which are a less-obtrusive alternative to metal braces. If you have a more complicated situation that requires traditional braces, we can refer you to an outstanding orthodontist.
Are At Home Orthodontics a Good Fit for Me?
When comparing prices and processes, some people may consider at home orthodontics. It’s a tempting proposition: you take an impression of your teeth right there at home, then you mail it in and aligners are sent back to you. You save time by avoiding dental appointments and you may save some money, too. But is this what’s best for your teeth?
Let’s take a closer look at the process of correcting your teeth and what type of orthodontics are right for you.
What’s Involved in Teeth Straightening?
Getting braces starts with a consultation. This is when we take a close look at your mouth, using X-rays and images, and decide what type of braces is best for you. We’ll go over the entire process and you’ll be able to ask any questions you might have.
If Invisalign is the best choice, we’ll take a 3D image of your mouth and make your custom trays, which you will wear every day. Every couple of weeks, you’ll get a new set of trays to keep your teeth moving in the right direction. People love Invisalign for a variety of reasons:
- Comfortable: There are no brackets rubbing against your gums.
- Removable: Although you should wear your aligners most of the time to ensure best results, you can take them out for special occasions and to eat, brush, and floss.
- No Food Restrictions: Because you can remove your aligners, you can eat whatever you’d like!
- Inconspicuous: Because they’re clear, many people may not even notice you’re wearing them.
However, Invisalign isn’t always able to give you the results you need. For correcting misalignment and issues with the jaw, clear or ceramic braces will probably be the solution.
In this process, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned and prepped. The ceramic or plastic brackets will be cemented to the surface of your teeth; tooth-colored ties will be attached to the brackets. Every few weeks, you will visit the orthodontist to get the ties replaced (as they tend to discolor) and adjusted.
Clear braces do the work of traditional metal braces, but they are less noticeable since they are clear or tooth-colored. They cost roughly the same, though they are more susceptible to breakage, and the initial appointment to install them takes a little longer than metal braces. While many people like the idea of clear braces because they are less noticeable, there are still situations when the more durable metal braces are the best choice:
- You play contact sports or otherwise risk trauma to the face that could damage the ceramic pieces.
- You’re expecting a long orthodontic treatment with lots of adjustments.
- You want the shortest possible treatment time. Adjustments to clear braces are often smaller than what can be made with metal braces.
- Your insurance only covers certain treatments.
After examining your mouth and discussing your lifestyle and what you hope to gain from the treatment, we’ll take a close look at all three options and decide which is best for you.
Why See an Orthodontist in Thornton, CO?
An orthodontist goes through dental school and an additional two or three years of specialized training. Straightening teeth isn’t as simple as it may seem, and not everyone is a candidate for orthodontics—even if you happen to have some misalignment in your mouth. An orthodontist considers your overall health, the current condition of your teeth (including cavities and gum disease), and the strength of your jawbone and your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). In some cases, you might need other types of dental treatment before you can begin orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontics isn’t a “set it and forget it” process. Throughout treatment, your orthodontist will examine your mouth to make sure your teeth are responding as expected. He or she may adjust your treatment plan to fit your needs. This ongoing supervision is essential to a successful orthodontic treatment.
The Risks of Teeth Straightening with At Home Orthodontics
As the American Association of Orthodontists points out, “The reality is that the health of your gums, teeth and jaws cannot be monitored during treatment if you are never seen by a qualified orthodontist. Even the most carefully planned treatments need to be closely monitored to ensure that your treatment stays on course.”
There is a lot to consider when deciding on your orthodontic treatment. Completing an orthodontic treatment before ensuring your teeth and gums are healthy could lead to bigger issues and long-lasting damage to your teeth. Even with a healthy mouth, if your teeth are moved too quickly, it could result in loose teeth or damage to the roots or gums. You may end up saving money on orthodontics and then spending much, much more in an attempt to correct new dental concerns.
We live in a society where we like things to happen quickly, but the truth is your teeth cannot be rushed! This is why the orthodontic process can take months or, in the most complicated situations, years. Your orthodontist monitors your progress and only adjusts the braces when your teeth and jaw are ready. He or she is also watching for any issues that may arise during treatment. These are things that cannot be seen by the person or computer who is creating your at-home treatments.
The whole process starts in our office. If you have any concerns about your teeth, schedule an appointment at Barron Family Dental for an Invisalign consultation. If you need a more extensive orthodontic treatment, we will refer you to an experienced orthodontist who can answer any questions you have about the process and how it can help you achieve the healthy, confident smile you’ve been looking for.