Today there are many orthodontic treatment options. There are traditional or metal braces, ceramic or clear braces, self-ligating braces, lingual braces and clear aligners.
The most common orthodontic treatment uses traditional or metal braces. Metal braces do a wonderful job moving your teeth, tend to be the most affordable and allow you to change the rubber band color to add some personality to your braces. The only drawback is they are the most noticeable.
Ceramic or clear braces are the less noticeable option in the “traditional” braces category. They do an excellent job moving teeth and move the teeth quicker than clear aligners. Clear braces do require more care as they can stain easily, are more brittle than metal braces and are more expensive than traditional braces. Often they are only used on the top teeth and with older patients.
Self-ligating braces are similar to traditional braces, but they do not require the use of rubber bands. Self-ligating braces require fewer appointments than “traditional” braces, put less pressure on the teeth, come in clear or metal brackets and cost roughly the same as traditional braces. Self-ligating braces were around in the 30’s, began to gain some popularity in the 80’s and are experiencing a resurgence in popularity today It should be noted not all orthodontists offer this option.
Lingual braces are another type of braces not all orthodontists offer, but it might be worth seeking out an orthodontist who offers this treatment if you want to hide your braces completely. Lingual braces are customized to the shape of your teeth and are placed behind the tooth so they truly are invisible. Lingual braces are difficult to clean, more expensive, adjustment appointments take longer, and they are not appropriate for severe cases.
Perhaps the most popular clear aligner on the market today is Invisalign©. Patients love the minimal visibility and can eat and drink whatever they want with clear aligners. Clear aligners can be expensive, are not available for young children, are not appropriate for severe cases, can potentially take longer than traditional braces and can easily be lost or destroyed by your favorite pet. Due to the nature of how the aligners are made, if the aligner is lost or destroyed, often you are charged to start the process over. An aligner cannot easily be reproduced.
Dr. Bomstad feels the best results come from traditional or ceramic braces and often refers his patients to Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics. Ultimately, your orthodontist will let you know what orthodontic treatment is the best option for delivering the best results.