BRACES – METAL AND CLEAR ALIGNERS
Crooked teeth can have a serious impact on your life, affecting both the appearance of your smile and your oral health. Crooked teeth can cause excessive, and uneven wearing on your teeth. They can cause serious jaw and temporomandibular joint pain. They can also significantly raise your risk of developing issues such as gum disease and tooth decay. At National Dental Sunnyside, we offer both metal braces and clear aligners to fix your misaligned teeth, allowing you to get your life back.
WHAT ARE METAL BRACES?
Metal braces are the traditional treatment for correcting crooked teeth. They are highly effective and have been used for decades. Metal braces consist of three main parts:
- Brackets. The brackets are bonded to the fronts of your teeth during your first appointment. They remain in place throughout your treatment.
- Bands. Metal bands are attached to your back teeth and are the anchors for your archwires.
- Archwires. The archwire is attached to each bracket, held in place by elastic O-rings. They are responsible for the movement, and stabilization, of your teeth. These wires are available in different sizes and are often changed to help you achieve the desired results.
There are also other components that may be used, such as rubber bands, springs, headgear and more, but these are only used if necessary for your specific situation. We will be able to determine which components will help you to achieve the best possible outcome.
HOW METAL BRACES WORK
Braces rely on the archwire, which is the main component responsible for the movement, and stabilization, of your teeth. This wire puts pressure on your teeth, which then puts pressure on your periodontal ligaments (the structures that hold your teeth in place). Your ligaments widen, loosening your teeth. The wires then guide your teeth to where they need to go and hold them in place while they stabilize. It usually takes about three months for new tissue to begin to grow, and can take up to a year for your teeth to completely stabilize in their correct positions.
WHAT ARE CLEAR ALIGNERS?
While metal braces are extremely effective, they are not the most aesthetic treatment. Older teenagers and adults who have crooked teeth that they want to correct can often be deterred by the idea of “metal mouth.” Clear aligners provide an alternative.
Clear aligners are plastic trays, which are made from 3-dimensional images of your mouth. They are made from a hard, clear plastic that fit over your teeth. You go through a series of aligners, each new set being slightly different from the one before it. Rather than archwires, the plastic puts pressure on your teeth and guides them into correct alignment.
Clear aligners are removable as well. They are meant to be taken out to eat and to brush your teeth, but they should be worn between 20 and 22 hours each day to achieve optimal results. Clear aligners often provide shorter treatment times, varying between 9 and 15 months (with most patients seeing their desired results in less than a year). Depending on your specific circumstances, you may go through anywhere from 18 to 30 sets of aligners.>> Learn more about Invisalign® clear aligners
METAL OR CLEAR – WHICH IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
While clear aligners provide an aesthetic advantage, they are not for everyone. If your teeth are severely misaligned, or your jaw is misaligned as well, metal braces may be the only way to give you the results you seek. However, there are some cases in which we can begin your treatment with metal braces and end with clear aligners. We can help you to determine what course of action will provide you with the best results.
Don’t let crooked teeth impact your life. Call National Dental Sunnyside today at (718) 925-3365 to learn which option is best for you.