Adult Braces: What Choices Do I Have?

To some people braces are like root canals – a dental procedure to be avoided no matter what. Actually, root canals are not the painful treatment our grandparents had to undergo, as dentistry has made such large strides forward in technology and patient comfort. But many continue to regard braces in a less-than-positive light because of the appearance of metal in the mouth and a fear of discomfort.

Unlike the old days, we now have some choice in what type of braces we wear. Traditional braces have stainless steel brackets and wiring and are affixed to the front surfaces of teeth. Other possibilities are:

• Clear braces – which are transparent. That makes them virtually invisible so that only the wire is visible when you smile. In some cases a clear wire can also be used.
• Ceramic braces – which are white. They match your tooth enamel, which makes them blend in with the rest of each tooth. Then only the wire is visible.
• Colored braces – which can make a fashion statement. They can be different colors on each tooth. You can use our Brace Painter to see how this would look. Just click on a color and then on a bracket.
• Gold braces – which are sometimes chosen when a person is allergic to stainless steel. They give a jewel-like appearance to each tooth.
• Titanium braces – which are another choice if you are allergic to stainless steel. They look like traditional braces but are more light-weight. Titanium is also used for dental implants because of its strength and affinity for bone tissue.
iBraces™ – which are attached to the back surfaces of teeth. These braces are entirely invisible when you smile although in a yawn or big laugh they might be somewhat visible.
• Invisalign® – a choice that avoids all brackets and wiring and instead uses clear plastic aligners. You can read more about the many advantages on our Invisalign page.

If you are feeling reluctant to see an orthodontist, consider that braces are temporary, but misaligned teeth and all the discomfort and dental ill-health they can cause are long-term. If your crowded or misaligned teeth are difficult to clean well, or if the biting force is causing undue wear and tear, you could end up with more discomfort and expense for gum disease treatments and lost tooth replacement than braces would have required.

If you would like to learn more about braces and how they might be done in your particular case, please call or email our orthodontics office today for a personal consultation.

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