Braces – Metal and Clear Aligners
Crooked teeth do more than just affect your smile. They can also greatly affect your oral health and your overall quality of life. Crooked teeth can lead to excessive, uneven wear on the enamel of your teeth and can lead to significant jaw and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain. They can also increase your risk of developing cavities and tooth decay. At National Dental Williston Park, we can help to fix your crooked teeth with both metal and clear aligners.
Metal Braces have been around for a long time. They are very effective at what they do and are still a popular treatment for this very reason. Metal braces consist of three basic, but essential, components:
- Brackets: Metal brackets are affixed to your teeth during your very first appointment. They stay in place throughout your entire treatment.
- Bands: Metal bands are placed around each of your back teeth. These bands are used to anchor archwires in place.
- Archwires: The archwires are responsible for the bulk of the work. They are anchored to the bands and attached to each bracket, where they are held in place by elastic O-rings. The wires are available in numerous sizes, which allow us to help you achieve your desired results.
There are also other components that accompany metal braces, but their use depends upon your specific needs. These components consist of items such as springs, rubber bands, and headgear.
How Do Metal Braces Work?
With metal braces, the archwire is responsible for the movement and stabilization of your teeth. The wire places pressure on your teeth, which then places pressure on your periodontal ligaments (the ligaments that hold your teeth securely in place). This pressure eventually causes the ligaments to widen, and the teeth to become loose. The wires then guide your teeth into proper alignment and hold them there while mouth adjusts. It usually takes about three months for new tissues to begin to grow, and about a year for your teeth to completely stabilize in their new positions.
Metal braces may be a highly effective treatment, but they also stand out in your smile. This creates a “metal mouth” appearance. For young teens, who are the most common recipients of braces, this may not be such a big deal, but it can be a major deterrent for older teens and adults. The idea of metal mouth can be more embarrassing than having crooked teeth. For these patients, we offer an alternative – clear aligners.
Clear aligners consist of a series of clear, hard plastic aligners. These aligners are created based on a 3-dimensional mold of your mouth. Each aligner is meant to be worn for two weeks at a time, and each new set is slightly different from the one before it. Instead of archwires, it is the hard plastic that puts pressure on your teeth, loosening them and guiding them into proper alignment.
Along with being invisible in your mouth, clear braces have another major benefit – they are removable. For you to achieve the best results in the shortest amount of time, they should be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day. You should only remove them to eat and to brush your teeth. Results are typically achieved in 9 to 15 months, with most patients seeing results in less than a year. >> Learn more about clear aligners
Which One is Right for You?
Clear aligners offer several benefits over traditional metal braces. They are invisible in your mouth. You can enjoy all of your favorite foods. Brushing and flossing are easier. Treatment is typically shorter. Despite these benefits, clear aligners are not always the best solution for everyone. If you have severely crooked teeth, or you also have a crooked jaw, your only option may be metal braces. There are some cases, however, in which it may be possible to start treatment with metal braces, but finish with clear aligners.
If you are living with crooked teeth, call National Dental Williston Park at (516) 686-9780 to schedule your consultation today.