Whether you're talking about a teenager or an adult, the prospect of getting braces can be anxiety inducing. No matter how much sense it might make to straighten out your teeth, the change in personal appearance is uncomfortable to deal with. Thankfully, there are a few different approaches used by orthodontists to help make braces less visible, or appear to vanish completely. Though there are limitations to each approach, working with your orthodontist can help you find one that's right for you.
While not technically braces, clear plastic retainers can be custom made to align teeth, without causing a major change in appearance or speech. These bite trays are custom fit to your teeth so that they fit as tightly as possible, but can still be removed when eating or brushing. Over the course of treatment, several different appliances will be necessary until the desired result is achieved, though treatment time is comparable to traditional braces.
Work with your orthodontist to decide whether this approach is right for you, and to determine just what kind of treatment time you're looking at. With this method of treatment, it's critical to make sure that the retainers are worn as consistently as possible to avoid delaying the course of treatment. Typical costs for a full course of treatment range between $5,000 and $6,000, which is also on par with traditional braces.
Unlike other approaches to realigning teeth, lingual braces attach on the back side of the teeth, making them less visible to casual observers. This does complicate the initial placement of the braces and future adjustments or repairs, resulting in longer appointments during these procedures. This same factor will make it more challenging to effectively clean your teeth and braces when brushing, as it can be difficult to reach beneath or behind them.
Your orthodontist will need to determine whether you're a good fit based on the position of your teeth when you bite, as the placement of the brackets will make them more vulnerable. While treatment times are again comparable to traditional braces, the lengthy treatment times can impact your final cost. Lingual braces tend to be more expensive to place and maintain, largely because of the tight confines inside your mouth.
Invisible and hidden methods of realigning your teeth are excellent for moderate and minor adjustments. More severe cases may not be suited to this approach though, so be aware that your teeth may need a more traditional treatment option in order to achieve the results you're after.
Contact a professional like Gregory W. Jackson DDS Ltd to have more of your questions answered.