Did you know that the history of dentistry can be traced all the way back to 400 BC? According to a 2005 series of articles that appeared in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, it’s true. That’s allegedly the first time that details of dental treatments appeared in mankind’s written records. Of course the methods used to treat crooked teeth at the time were a far cry from the ones in place today. Nowadays, kids and adults alike have many options to choose from, including alternatives to braces. Here’s a glimpse at some of them:
Aligners are one modern day alternative to braces worth considering. Unlike traditional braces, they are undetectable and do not utilize metal components. Instead, they are made with the aid of computerized, 3D imaging and BPA-free plastic. They may also be removed during meal time or oral hygiene tasks. The condition of the would-be wearer’s teeth will determine how many custom aligners are needed. They are usually worn daily and changed out every two weeks. In some instances, it may take more than 24 custom liners to create the perfect smile. (Want to learn more? Check our Frequently Asked Questions about Invisalign.)
For some, contouring is another alternative to braces. However, it is generally only recommended for those patients that have minor dental imperfections, healthy teeth and a suitable gum line. As the treatment’s name suggests, it involves having the surface layer of one’s existing teeth reshaped with the aid of assorted dentistry implements. Because it is often used with minor imperfections, it tends to be accomplished in one or two office visits.
Select patients with minimal dental imperfections may also be suitable candidates for veneers. Veneers are oftentimes made with a resin composite or porcelain. They are designed to be affixed to the patient’s existing teeth, thereby hiding the imperfections. Depending on how much veneer work is needed, the entire process may take several office visits. If cared for properly, the veneers tend to last for many years.
Finally, those with misaligned teeth may also want to consider wearing retainers. They come in different types. Those types include fixed, vacuum-formed, thermo-formed and Hawley. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
To discuss them and the other various alternatives to braces in more detail, contact us. We can be reached online or by calling 816-286-4117. Our professional staff would also enjoy reading your thoughts on the matter on Google+ or Facebook.