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Braces or Invisalign

teeth with braces

Braces (in some form) have been used for centuries to help correct tooth misalignment and other mouth issues. Archaeologists have found mummies with metal bands wrapped around their teeth. The practice of orthodontics was formalized in the 19th century, and many dental practices devote the majority of their time to helping straighten patients’ smiles.

Braces work by applying force to teeth to move them to new positions within the mouth. As the tooth moves, gaps form between it and the bone holding it in place. The bone then remodels itself to support the tooth, giving it the “anchor” it needs to remain in its new position.

The two primary types of braces currently in use; traditional metal and new clear braces (Invisalign®) both have numerous applications. Metal braces can be more affordable for some patients, and they can also provide more controllable repositioning power for situations where teeth require significant movement. And compliance is always a concern with younger patients.

Invisalign clear braces have grown in popularity because of both cosmetic and comfort advantages. Since Invisalign trays can be removed by the user, they allow the patient to brush and floss easier, and they can provide “breaks” from mouth tension and discomfort periodically. They can also be removed for meals or special occasions.

And because they are clear, they are virtually invisible even when being worn, which appeals to many patients who may feel self-conscious wearing metal braces.

Practices that can offer patients both metal and Invisalign choices can be much more competitive in today’s marketplace and some offer them for the same fee; however, it is very important to make sure that patients understand the advantages -and disadvantages- of each type. At Charlotte Dentistry, we have had cases where a patient would prefer Invisalign but in actuality needed the more precise control of metal braces. We counsel these patients to choose the type that provides the best outcome.

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