When you’re looking for orthodontic treatment but want an alternative to traditional metal braces, the good news is that there are a lot of other options to choose from. So, what treatment options are there? There are quite a few, and here are some of the most popular alternatives.
A retainer is a removable dental device that is a great option instead of wearing braces. It can be used, in some cases, instead of braces for adults and children. While there are hard plastic and wire retainers for aligner treatments, transparent retainers are also available (these differ from invisible aligners, which we’ll discuss next).
Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are the most popular alternative to braces for adults in cosmetic dentistry. The benefits of clear aligners are that they are, for one, clear–they do not look immediately like you’re wearing anything. You can also remove them. This makes them a very attractive option for adults who want to avoid the look of metal wire braces, which are often perceived to be a children’s option.
Clear aligners are also very good at straightening teeth. Straightening your teeth can solve any number of problems, even severe malocclusions. The clear aligners will be made from a mold of your teeth, and you will transition from one aligner to the next progressively as your teeth begin to move. Being virtually invisible, they are highly sought after by adults and teens alike.
Veneers come in a variety of makes and models, but the most lifelike are porcelain veneers. Veneers are not like braces, in that they do not actually adjust the position of your teeth. Instead, veneers are used to mask your existing teeth to make a smile that may have gaps, dips, or chips into a smile that looks picture perfect.
There are generally two categories of veneers. In the first, the dentist removes a layer of tooth enamel from the tooth and applies the veneer with UV resin. In the second, the enamel is not removed. These are called No Prep Veneers.
Accelerated orthodontics are a rapid way to make changes to the position of your teeth. Using a process called micro-osteoperforation, the jaw is weakened. This allows the teeth to move more rapidly than with traditional braces.
Accelerated orthodontics refers to the entire process, which includes the micro-osteoperforation, as well as the retainer or clear aligners which will be used to guide the teeth into the proper position. These are typically considered a good option for people who want to move quickly in terms of straightening their teeth, but don’t want to simply use veneers. They also have good health benefits.
Lingual braces are similar to traditional metal wire braces, except, as the word “lingual” suggests, the wires and braces are on the inside of the teeth–the sides touching the tongue. This makes the braces just as useful as traditional braces, but they are invisible to anyone looking at your mouth. Lingual braces are commonly used by celebrities, but also by adults who don’t want to look like they’re using braces.