At one time, if you or your child had crooked teeth, the only options were to straighten them with braces or learn to live with a misaligned smile.
The former was and remains an effective way to straighten teeth, but some people find traditional braces undesirable nonetheless. Some people do not like how they look, do not like how they feel, and do not like the care and maintenance they require. These are perfectly understandable complaints (though in truth, countless millions have benefited from dental braces and have found they make minimal impact on your life).
The latter is, of course, a personal choice – but choosing to live with badly crooked teeth is a difficult decision to make, especially if those teeth could potentially cause oral health problems in the future.
Thankfully, your local cosmetic dentist in Oakland now has alternatives to traditional braces that those in need might find more desirable. Here are a few you should know about:
One of the most popular alternatives to braces, Invisalign works by using clear, nearly invisible aligners that are custom molded to your teeth. It’s essentially a sheath or covering that keeps your teeth in place and guides them towards their proper position. No metal. No wires. No brackets. Most people won’t even know it’s there.
If you need an Oakland cosmetic dentist near the BART, Invisalign is a good option to pursue, as the treatment is readily available and cost effective. According to Dr. David Fong, “Invisalign treatment takes about one year. During this time you will progress to a new set of aligners every two weeks. Each set of aligners gently moves your teeth closer to their optimal position, and when treatment is complete, you’ll enjoy a straighter, healthier and more attractive smile.”
Six Month Smiles
Not as widely available as Invisalign, Six Month Smiles uses clear brackets connected by white wires to re-align teeth. Though less obvious than traditional braces, they are not as “invisible” as Invisalign. This option works for those with minor problems, just be sure your insurance carrier covers the treatment and that your dentist can perform it, as it’s not yet as widespread as Invisalign.
Veneers are not braces. In fact, they are not even a means of straightening your existing teeth – at least, not directly. As an Oakland cosmetic dentist will tell you, a veneer is a porcelain covering that replaces the front of your natural teeth. The goal is to give you a brighter, cleaner, straighter smile. Though most often used to correct chipped teeth, in some cases veneers can be used to correct tooth alignment, too, thereby improving your smile without the use of braces.
Similar to Six Month Smile technology, smart clips are small metal clips held together with wiring. As with traditional braces, the goal of these clips is to slowly align your teeth into a straighter position. They are extremely similar to traditional braces, in fact, except they do not require the use of rubber bands. These are often used when only minor adjustments are required on just a few teeth.
There are other less frequently used alternatives, but the above four options are the most common, with Invisalign easily the leader in this category. For more information, ask an Oakland dentist near the BART for further advice.