What is the Best Cosmetic and Functional Option?
Invisibility is the new wave of orthodontics. Indeed, when we think about orthodontic appliances from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, advancements in orthodontics were somewhat slow.
Surprisingly, humanity waited for conventional metal braces as we know them today until the seventies decade. Before this time, braces were metal bands wrapped around the tooth’s surface.
Luckily for us, the significant advancement in comfort and progression control was the possibility to cement brackets, attaching them directly to the teeth’ front surface. But, then, a cascade of developments occurred immediately after.
Knowledge about mechanical forces control was a domain of orthodontists. So, from the seventies, invisibility or at least discreteness and enhanced comfort became the most significant considerations of the time.
In fact, a Beverly Hills Orthodontist, Dr. Craven Kurz, bonded brackets to the rear part of teeth, making them invisible to the naked eye. Unfortunately, one of the major drawbacks of lingual braces is the difficulties they present in practicing proper oral hygiene.
Nonetheless, we applaud having sophisticated developments in orthodontics concerning cosmetics. Therefore, this article addresses the advancements of clear ceramic appliances and clear alignment devices as referents for enhanced aesthetics in orthodontics.
What Are the Different Types of Cosmetic Braces?
Orthodontic advancements in the last fifty years don’t stop impressing us. Multidisciplinary developments in image scanning and materials research account for increased functionality and discreteness for orthodontic appliances.
A study confirms this statement. From 2000 to 2010, the number of patients seeking orthodontic treatments increased by 28.14%, and guess what? The main reason for this boost is aesthetics.
We are not saying this should be the patient’s main concern. In fact, we promote the use of orthodontic appliances for the dental and overall health benefits they produce and their positive impact on a patient’s quality of life.
However, aesthetics leads as the first reason patients look for treatment, as they see it as a vehicle to insert themselves in a competitive society. With this said, we compare the most discrete orthodontic appliances available in the market today.
We might first need to imagine traditional metal braces when we think of lingual ones. Yes, as a fact, lingual braces are no other thing than metal brackets attached to the back of your teeth. So, when a patient smiles, it might look like she has no orthodontic appliances at all unless you take a closer look, a very close one.
Lingual braces are definitely the most aesthetically sound option. However, we shouldn’t pay attention to aesthetics alone. The major drawback of lingual braces is that it is hard for patients to detect food residues that stick to the brackets and wires due to their position.
So even if you try hard to maintain good oral hygiene, getting rid of unwanted debris comprises an almost unfinished task after meals. Can you imagine having lingual braces for a year and a half and not being able to have good oral hygiene?
The accumulation of food residues is counterproductive in an orthodontic process. You might develop cavities or gum disease, which might result in costly dental visits, which is just what we want to avoid with successful orthodontics.
Clear Ceramic Braces
Traditional braces have clear advantages over any other type of braces system; they are the best option for severe orthodontic diagnostics. However, developments include last-generation clear ceramic materials braces that are sturdier and less prone to stains than their predecessors.
Yes, we know you want to know about the aesthetics part. Still, it is also important to note that clear ceramic braces offer other benefits for patients, like increased comfort, which also means less pain after adjustments.
Back to our discussion, clear ceramic brackets mimic teeth color; lately, wires are also tooth-colored. This makes clear ceramic braces a sound option for patients seeking a conservative approach that fits perfectly with a business or executive person.
In fact, smiling with ceramic braces defines a winning personality in an individual. It is a trait that demonstrates confidence while seeking to have a perfectly aligned smile. To make this point clearer, ceramic braces display care about oneself.
Additionally, survey results show that people with beautiful smile project an image of intelligence, success, and wealth.
What is Invisalign?
We appreciate the innovation and business development ability of brilliant people who came up with revolutionary ideas. In this story, a person was able to project in his mind a final solution to orthodontic cosmetics that was in front of our eyes, and we could not see.
The story begins with Zia Chishti, a person with zero orthodontic background wearing plastic retainers. At some point, he paused using the appliances noticing his teeth returning to their misaligned position. After he resumed using the trays, he made a brilliant conclusion:
“What if he could trace back the teeth alignment process with 3D and apply a specific strain to a series of plastic retainers that could work similarly to braces.” This means delivering a set of plastic appliances to replicate braces adjustment appointments.
The idea was brilliant, and today we can enjoy the benefits of an orthodontic system that provides several benefits for patients, including, of course, being aesthetically sound.
Invisalign includes several sets of transparent trays made of a flexible thermoplastic material, meaning that people will barely notice you have orthodontic treatment in progress.
Invisalign trays smoothly adapt to a patient dental arch. They have a polished surface that is gentle with the gums. As many say, the trays snuggly fit their teeth, exerting a tolerable strain that fades three days after tray set replacements.
Invisalign trays are removable, so you can detach your appliances before eating and practice your regular dental hygiene routine as you usually do. Despite patients’ need to clean their trays after meals and avoid eating while wearing them, having the chance to remove them highly facilitates their daily routines.
Depending on the type of malocclusion, an effective treatment plan with Invisalign helps solve most orthodontic issues in less than the average treatment times.
Custom treatment plans require patients to wear braces for 18-36 months. However, patients that consciously wear invisible aligners for 22 hours per day might be able to achieve a straighter smile in 8-12 months for mild cases and 18-24 months for more severe diagnostics.
Which Is Better, Ceramic Braces or Clear Aligners?
This is a tricky question we recurrently have from our patients. The answer is both systems offer astonishing results. However, today, many patients choose Invisalign thanks to the benefits provided concerning aesthetics, comfort, and hygiene.
Furthermore, Invisalign constantly invests in research and development, inducing key players in the industry to invest in innovative ways to counteract their market proposal, positively impacting getting better and more sophisticated products for patients.
As the industry moves forward to clear aligners, their price will decrease, making orthodontic appliances more accessible to the public. So, which is better, ceramic braces or clear aligners? Only time will decide, but so far seems clear aligners at least pair their ceramic counterparts.
Up-to-Date and Beyond Orthodontics
Silver Lake Orthodontics delivers the latest Clear Ceramic and Invisalign Orthodontic Treatments in Seattle. We are waiting for you at our orthodontic office. Visit us or schedule an appointment. We will be glad to help you get that beautiful and functional smile you deserve.