More people than ever are opting to enhance their smile with orthodontic treatments, but they are increasingly embracing new alternatives to traditional braces. One study showed the impact dental disorders like malocclusion (teeth not aligned properly), tooth loss, etc. have on adolescents, leading to problems with self-esteem. Moreover, adults are not excluded from suffering low self-esteem either and have almost as many insecurities about their teeth as teens.
Besides vanity, there are several benefits to teeth straightening. According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), these include improved dental hygiene, fewer tooth injuries, and health issues.
When Braces Alternatives are Suitable
Anyone committed to straightening their teeth knows that it will improve their smile and confidence. However, traditional braces can affect their lifestyle for two years or more, and they are cost-prohibitive.
A mouth full of brackets or a wire brace may still be the best treatment for some major misalignment issues, but there are cases when they can be replaced by other orthodontic treatments. In cases where spacing issues or bite alignment are minimal, alternatives to traditional braces are ideal.
Discreet In-Office Clear Aligners
Clear aligners are a revolutionary and less visible teeth straightening option. Invisalign was the first to introduce them in the 1990s, and their technology made teeth straightening more accessible to adults who wanted to avoid traditional braces.
For people with major problems, in-office treatments are most reliable for major issues, but these are also suitable for minor spacing and crowding issues. Clear molds are worn over the teeth, and depending on the problem they are worn for +22 hours a day. Each set of molds is used for two weeks, after which a new set is provided to accommodate the changes. This process is continued for the duration of the treatment until the gaps are eliminated.
One of the most popular options, Invisalign, is also suitable for severe issues because it can also incorporate attachments. The treatment is faster than braces, but requires up to 18 months and is usually more expensive, depending on the problem.
Another in-office aligner treatment, ClearCorrect, is less visible because of the thinner plastic used. The average treatment time is between 12 and 18 months, and the treatment is suitable for severe issues. It is a relatively new treatment that is a cheaper option than Invisalign.
Six Month Smiles
Six Month Smiles originally offered clear brace treatments, but it recently moved into the clear aligners market. These allow the correction of minor issues in just six months and with fewer visits to the dentist. In more severe cases, a dentist may offer clear braces.
At Home Aligner Alternatives
Several home straightening alternatives are available for people with minor problems. The pros of using at-home aligners include a significantly smaller cost, shorter duration, are discreet, and don’t require frequent dental visits. Some companies offer a night-time option.
The two drawbacks of home aligners are that they are designed to treat moderate cases, and providers don’t have access to an X-ray to base the treatment plan on. Anyone contemplating using one of these alternatives should first consult a dentist to ensure there are no problems with the gums or teeth.
Smile Prep does extensive research based on reviews on the most popular home straightening options.
This is currently one of the fastest at-home treatments for minor alignments, taking only up to four months. Orthodontists and dentists are responsible for each treatment, but there are no physical locations where impressions are taken, meaning the customer takes their own. Byte also has a nighttime treatment for those wanting to wear aligners for only up to 10 hours a day.
With Candid, a customer can correct minor tooth alignment problems, even to the molars, in just 6 months. Orthodontists oversee all treatments, and customers send intraoral images through the CandidMonitoring service every 2 weeks for progress evaluation.
One of the cheapest aligner providers is AlignerCo. This alternative to in-house treatments takes anything between 6 and 11 months, but some customers don’t mind because of their good pricing. With only one physical location for impressions in Long Island, most of their customers must take their own after purchasing an impression kit.
Orthodontic treatments continue to improve, and in-home alternatives are increasingly becoming popular for people with minor misalignments. The treatments mentioned above are the latest, but other teeth straightening procedures also keep improving. These include the introduction of lingual braces, placed behind the teeth, and more sophisticated retainers. All these orthodontic treatments offer excellent teeth-straightening results, as long as the right treatment is chosen.