There’s no denying it: People want to look good. One way to make the most of your appearance is to ensure that you have the best smile you can. If you aren’t eligible for or interested in wearing braces your orthodontist might recommend an alternative to achieve the results you’re looking for. We explore the reasons why braces may not be the right fit for you and what those alternatives are.

When aren’t braces an ideal fit?
There are several reasons why braces might not be the right option for you. These include:

  • Mild to moderate spacing or crowding issues
  • Minimal bite alignment problems
  • Inconvenient length of time for treatment
  • Financial cost of braces

If any of these apply to you, other opportunities are available for achieving the smile you desire. So, what are the alternatives to braces and how do they all work?

These are typically removable and most often used to maintain the correct position of your teeth after treatment with braces. The Essix retainer, fits over the entire arch of your mouth. But if you only need a small amount of correction, they can be used alone to achieve minimal tooth movement. These appliances are inexpensive and easier to wear than braces. Your dentist may advise you to use a mouth rinse product to protect your teeth throughout the process.

Typically, headgear is only a realistic option for a younger adolescent. Correction of the jawbone usually must be done while the bones still allow for some movement, before fusing as an adult. I’m not sure I would Include this, as even If a patient had headgear, the appliance would not correct any misalignment of teeth.

Clear Aligners
Invisalign is one of the best-known clear aligners available and is a popular alternative to braces for adults. The aligner can correct anything from a mild case of crooked or protruding teeth to a more serious malocclusion, overbite or underbite. In this program, your dental professional will provide you with a series of clear, removable “trays” which we refer to as aligners that fit over your teeth. You’ll be required to wear each aligner for 20 hours a day for two weeks, after which you’ll progress to the next tray in the series. Each aligner adjusts your teeth a little more while you wear it. Patients who have gaps between their teeth are good candidates for clear aligners, because they need minimal force for correction.

Porcelain veneers or “caps”, are ideal for patients who have gaps between their teeth, fractured teeth or where the teeth have developed poor color, shape or contours. The dentist removes a thin layer of tooth enamel, then fixes the veneers to your teeth using light-sensitive resin. You may also opt for no-prep veneers, which are attached without removing any of the tooth enamel.

Accelerated Orthodontics
This is a process of “fast-tracking” orthodontic treatment, which uses a system called micro-osteoperforation to weaken the bone. These methods loosen your teeth just enough so that they move under pressure – which causes an increase in activity– allowing bone remodeling to assist movement of teeth to their final positions faster. Used in conjunction with clear aligners or retainers, it makes for an effective alternative to braces for adults.

For anyone looking to achieve a better smile and straighter teeth, these options offer you a chance to realize your best look without the drawbacks associated with a traditional braces routine. It is important to consult your dentist about these other options and make sure they would be right for you.

Do you have any questions about the alternatives to braces? Call Westermeier Martin Dental Care to schedule an appointment with your dentist 716-508-4547.