Many of us tend to lean towards the use of braces to fix our dental imperfections and help us to achieve our ideal smiles, but with more and more options being made readily available to us within recent years, we find it’s becoming increasingly harder to know whether we are making the right choice for us and our teeth.
So, what are the differences between the two most popular treatments? Which method should you opt for?
The most common type of brace used within orthodontic dentistry is the fixed brace. This is a method of treatment that can only be removed by your orthodontist and is known for being the most effective system when it comes to aligning teeth and fixing imperfections. Otherwise referred to as ‘train tracks’, this type of treatment consists of small, individual brackets fixed to the surface of each tooth, all connected by a thin wire that runs throughout. This process takes quite a long time to be completed, working to gradually move your teeth into the correct position. The overall time for this procedure can vary from person to person, but takes around 12 – 24 months on average. You will be required to attend regular trips to the dentist within this time so that the orthodontist can make necessary adjustments to your braces and assess the progress of your treatment.
There are certain precautions you should carry out when wearing a fixed brace, such as avoiding eating hard or sticky foods that can damage or, in some cases, even break your brace. You will also need to undertake a strict oral health regime for the home maintenance of your brace, ensuring that you utilise products such as floss and orthodontic brushes that will be recommended to you by your dentist. These help to better clean the small areas around your brace in which plaque and food could possibly build up, promoting good dental hygiene.
While your teeth and gums may feel tender when the fixed brace is first fitted, the results of this treatment is sure to make any initial discomfort worth it and soon, once used to them, you will forget they’re even there!
Despite this being one of the most effective treatments currently on the market, many of us, especially adults, are discouraged to opt for this procedure due its visual appearance. Of course, undergoing a treatment that involves having quite obvious brackets attached to your teeth may not be for everyone, but there are different variations of this kind of treatment that combats these issues. Clients wanting to see the effects of a fixed brace without the look of one can opt for Incognito Braces; a fixed brace fitted to the back of your teeth rather than the front. This results in a much more discreet look throughout the process, making it a great choice for anyone conscious about undergoing an obvious treatment method.
Another great orthodontic solution for those looking to fix the appearance of their smile comes in the form of removable braces; defined as clear and discreet plastic aligners that can be removed as and when required. This treatment is mainly used for adjustments to the upper row of teeth, working by applying pressure to your teeth that causes movement and thus corrects the alignment of teeth.
In general, treatment involving removable braces is completed quicker when compared to that of fixed braces. However, the time taken for this procedure varies from person to person and is dependant of various factors, such as the severity of your dental imperfection and whether you wear your removable brace as often as your dentist recommends. However, this treatment method is only made an option in cases where minor corrections are required, as the brace has a limited capability that is not well suited to problems of heightened severity. You will also be required to wear a retainer following this orthodontic treatment as to ensure the results are as effective as possible.
One of the most popular removable brace options currently on the market is Invisalign; a system that uses a series of clear, removable aligners that work to gently straighten your teeth. These are designed to be completely discreet, making it an option.
To conclude, there is no option in orthodontic dentistry that is exclusively better than the other, different methods working in similar ways and provide effective results; helping you to achieve the perfect smile. Which treatment you opt for is completely up to you and, ultimately, a matter of personal preference. If you’re considering braces and want to find out more, visit our orthodontics page to discover what our Dorridge dental practice can do for you.