It is estimated that nearly 4 million people in the U.S. are undergoing orthodontic treatment at any one time. If you’re considering braces for yourself or your child, you have many options. If your smile needs straightening, you will need to seek a referral to a reputable orthodontist from your general dentist.
I Song Orthodontics specializes in orthodontics and we stay on the cutting edge of our profession, utilizing first rate technology.
But before you make your orthodontic consultation with us, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with the treatment options available to you. This will give you a headstart on the conversation and help you with the decision-making process.
There are 4 primary types of orthodontics.
1. Metal braces
Fortunately for today’s orthodontics patients, modern metal braces are smaller and less noticeable than the infamous “metal-mouth” braces of last century. A small metal bracket is cemented to the teeth and a bendable metal wire is threaded through the brackets in order to apply pressure to the teeth and move them into alignment. Treatment is typically 18 to 36 months and requires monthly visits to change the wire and the rubber bands that hold the wire in place.
2. Ceramic braces
Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces, except that they have clear or tooth-colored brackets that are less noticeable than their metal bracket counterparts. Some orthodontists also use tooth-colored wires to make the appliance even less conspicuous. Either way, in keeping with the low-profile nature of this type of brace, clear rubber bands are used to hold the wire in place.
3. Self-ligating braces
Self-ligating braces also use the bracket and wire system. However, the main difference is that the brackets are designed to clip the tension wire into place rather than rely on rubber bands. This allows for consistent pressure to be applied to the teeth because the clips don’t lose their ‘grip’ the way rubber bands do. The benefit of this type of brace is that fewer appointments are required and results may be achieved more quickly.
Many adult orthodontics patients appreciate the simplicity and discreteness of Invisalign. The Invisalign system does not rely on brackets and wires. Instead, patients are fitted with a series of 18 to 30 custom-made, mouth guard-like clear plastic aligners. The aligners are removable and replaced every 2 weeks. With Invisalign, there are no food restrictions and keeping your smile clean is much easier than compared to traditional bracket-and-wire systems.
There are also quicker options available, like Accelerated Orthodontics, which we can tell you more about during your consultation.
Regardless of the system you chose, your orthodontic treatment will typically involve some use of retainer or mouth guard to maintain the new position of your teeth. Whether you decide to have your retained installed permanently or if you go the more traditional route of a removable retainer, following-up your orthodontic treatment with a retainer will help preserve your smile and protect your investment.
Contact ISong Orthodontics today to schedule your initial visit and we’ll put you on the footpath to the smile you’ve always wanted.