Alternatives to Braces
So you’ve been thinking about enhancing your smile. You have always been bothered about that one tooth that sticks out a little more than it should. But, the thought of wearing braces it is just not an option!
Well, hun, I’ve got news for you. You can have straighter teeth without braces. Yes, it’s true.
Walking around with the brace face for two years doesn’t have to be your fate.
I want to share some options with you. But, please know that you must see your local dentist or orthodontist to find out your customized treatment plan.
You may have seen the commercials or the ads for Invisalign. You may even wonder if it really works. Let me be the first to let you know that it does!
I have completed some cases myself and have achieved beautiful results with Invisalign.
Invisalign are clear aligners that you wear for 7-14 days (depending on what your provider prescribes) all day, every day. The optimal time to wear the aligners and get results is 22 hours. That means, you pretty much have the aligners in all day and they only come out when you have to eat or drink something other than water.
Every 7-14 days you change to the next aligner and overtime with the changes, your teeth will slowly move and you will have the smile you wanted without the brace face.
Maintain good oral hygiene
The thing I love about Invisalign is that you can maintain good oral hygiene. So many times I have seen my own patients who take good care of their teeth have a hard time cleaning with the brackets and wires on. All you have to do is pop the aligner out and brush and floss your teeth and they pop them back in when you’re done. Easy!
The other wonderful plus with Invisalign is you can whiten with the aligners. The aligners pretty much act like a custom whitening tray. You will just need to purchase whitening gel from your dentist and apply the gel in the aligner.
Since we are talking about whitening, let me warn you on a few things.
- Be careful not to do too much. You can get some sensitivity that will make your life not so much fun. Make sure you are aware the amount of time you bleach and the frequency. Follow the instructions your dentist gives you for the particular brand and strength of the gel.
- Be careful not to add too much bleaching gel and it gets on your gums. It can burn your gums and leave white spots that are really uncomfortable. Follow the instructions your dentist gives you for whitening to avoid this.
Back to Invisalign. There are a few common questions about Invisalign that I initially get.
Will my insurance cover this?
If you have orthodontic coverage, your insurance may pay the agreed portion because Invisalign is orthodontic treatment. Be sure to check and see if you have orthodontic coverage on your dental plan. Financial coordinator at the dentist or orthodontist office should be able to help find out if you have coverage and how much.
Will my teeth hurt?
You may experience mild discomfort the first day you were the new aligner. The discomfort usually subsides after a day or so once you actively wear the aligner the teeth start to move.
How long will it take?
It depends. Every person is a little different and there are things that cause treatment to be longer or shorter. Definitely go in and have a consultation with your dentist or orthodontist to get a better estimate of the amount of time it will take to complete treatment.
Do I have to wear them every day?
Yes! If you want to get the results you have to wear them for at least 22 hours a day … pretty much all day.
Other brand names
Now there are other products just like Invisalign that do the same thing with a different name. Just like Kleenex is the big name for facial tissue, Invisalign is the big name for clear aligners. ClearCorrect is another big competitor with Invisalign that your dentist or orthodontist make use.
Do be afraid if your dentist or orthodontist uses ClearCorrect or another product. They are just as effective by trained providers.
There are some limitations with Invisalign. If you are told that you are not a candidate for Invisalign and you really don’t want braces, I would encourage you to get a second opinion. If possible, search for an Elite Provider on the Invisalign website. Elite Providers have experience with many cases. I have seen first-hand cases that I would never think could be done with Invisalign completed by a local Elite Provider.
Crowns and Veneers
For an instant smile makeover without braces, crowns and/or veneers are an option. Crowns or caps completely cover the tooth and are cemented into place.
Just like you put press on nails, veneers are a thin porcelain that goes on the surface of your teeth. The beauty of crowns and veneers is you can instantly straighten your teeth and whiten as well. You can completely change the appearance of your smile, straighten your teeth, close gaps, and whiten your teeth.
You definitely want to make sure that you have this done by a dentist that has experience with cosmetic dentistry. Be sure to have a consultation and to discuss what you want to change or improve so that you get the smile you want.
My only concern with crowns and veneers (not with Lumineers) is you have to trim away some tooth structure. I personally like to be conservative with dental treatment so that your teeth last a lifetime and do not require a fortunate over your lifetime. Crowns and veneers can fail over time. Meaning they can break, chip, come off. If you invest in a smile makeover, make sure to invest in a night guard and see your dentist regularly to maintain your beautiful smile.
I want you to have the smile that you are confident about. There are ways to have the straight smile without the braces. Talk to your dentist or orthodontist about what you want to achieve so that they can help guide you what option is best for you.
With lots of love,