The cost and appearance of traditional braces can be quite an ordeal. Braces can be very expensive, take a long time to achieve results, and lower one’s self esteem. Fortunately there are a few ways to fix your teeth without braces.
Aligners are virtually invisible and can be removed which makes keeping them and the teeth clean much easier. Taking advantage of today’s technology, X-rays, images, and impressions are made of the teeth. This information is used to create a computer generated appliance that straightens the teeth. It’s typically given in a series of 24 individual aligners. Each is consecutively worn for roughly two weeks and moves the teeth approximately 1.2 millimeters towards the desired results.
A specially designed piece can correct minor problems. Retainers work with springs, and they focus on the top four teeth along with the front bottom ones. The orthodontist will evaluate the situation to determine if retainers will work. Impressions are made of the teeth which are used to design them. Retainers need to be worn at least 18 hours each day. There may be soreness and a lisp in speech at first, but these symptoms reside as the treatment progresses.
Contouring works especially well with overcrowding. You may have heard of it being called the “Hollywood Smile.” It involves relatively no pain, and it consists of reshaping each tooth. Contouring usually takes one to three dental visits to complete. Small amounts of the tooth’s enamel are removed so that the length, shape, and surface of the teeth are transformed into a more desirable appearance. This procedure is often combined with bonding to re-sculpt the teeth.
Veneers will provide you with an instantly beautiful smile. In this system, the old teeth are covered up. Imperfections are hidden underneath the veneer that is made of porcelain composite (Source: SmithFamilyDental.com). These extremely thin, custom designed shells are bonded to the fronts of the teeth. According to Dr. Steven Smith, they can be used to improve not only the look of crooked teeth, but also discolored teeth, odd shaped teeth, or those with an unusual shape or length.
When facing the challenges of correcting crooked teeth, consider all of your options before deciding on a treatment. Braces are effective, but there may be an easier and more affordable method that will work. Discuss these choices with your orthodontist in order to find the best one for you.