5 Types of Teeth Aligners That Can Help You Get That Perfect Smile

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Perfect Smile

A smile is often said to be the window to the soul. It can convey many emotions, from happiness and joy to confidence and warmth. But if your teeth are crooked or misaligned, it can affect your self-confidence. Being in public, talking, and laughing with your friends can become something you dread. Moreover, having misaligned teeth can also impact your oral health. Difficulty cleaning teeth properly can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Difficulty in chewing can lead to digestive issues. Being unable to pronounce different sounds can severely affect psychological health. Crooked teeth can also cause jaw and neck pain.

That’s why getting your teeth straightened is not only a cosmetic choice but an essential one for your overall well-being. Straight teeth not only improve your appearance but can also improve your oral health.

Where to get your teeth straightened?

Orthodontic treatment is a popular option in the United States. Approximately 4 million people in the US are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment, out of which 75% are under 18.

According to the AAO, over 500 orthodontists are practicing in North Carolina. The average cost of treatment here varies according to the type of treatment and the severity of the case but typically ranges from $3,500 to $7,500. In 2021, clear aligners were the state’s most popular form of orthodontic treatment, with 55% of all patients opting for clear aligners. Traditional braces were the second most popular option, accounting for 35% of all orthodontic cases. Other types of treatment included lingual braces, self-ligating braces, and clear ceramic braces, which made up the remaining 10% of cases.

Vinson Orthodontics is a highly respected orthodontic clinic in North Carolina. Founded in 1998 by Dr. Britt Vinson, who has over 30 years of experience in the field, the practice offers a wide range of orthodontic treatments, including braces, clear aligners, and orthodontic appliances for children and adults. It is known for its commitment to patient care and the use of the latest technology to provide the best possible treatment outcomes. It has received numerous awards for its outstanding service, including the “Best Orthodontist” award from Wake Forest Weekly, North Carolina.

Vinson Orthodontics has treated over 7000 patients, and according to a survey, 98% of those patients answered they would recommend the practice to a friend or family member.

5 Types of Teeth Aligners

There are several orthodontic options available to achieve that perfect, confident smile. Here is a breakdown of the various options of treatment available and their pros and cons to help you make the right decision.

Traditional Metal Braces

In this form of treatment, metal brackets are attached to each tooth and then connected with wires that are gradually tightened over time. The tension created by the wires moves the teeth into the desired positions.

Traditional braces are the best option for severe cases of misalignment or bite issues and are often recommended for children or teenagers who are still growing. Treatment time can range from 18 months to three years, depending on the severity of the case.

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, metal braces are used by approximately 70% of all orthodontic patients in the United States. The average cost ranges from $3000 to $7000.

Pros

  • Effective in treating a wide range of dental issues
  • Cost-effective compared to other options
  • Can be customized with colored bands to add a fun element

Cons

  • Most noticeable type of braces
  • Can be uncomfortable and cause mouth sores
  • Require careful cleaning and maintenance to prevent tooth decay

Lingual Braces

These are similar to traditional metal braces but are attached to the back of the teeth rather than the front. This makes them nearly invisible, a major advantage for people who want to avoid drawing attention to their braces.

Lingual braces are an option for people with moderate to severe misalignment or bite issues. Treatment time for lingual braces is similar to traditional braces, ranging from as little as 18 months to three years.

The estimated percentage of US patients using lingual braces is approximately 2%, as calculated by the American Association of Orthodontists. The average cost of treatment is $8000 to $10000.

Pros

  • Virtually invisible
  • Custom-made for each patient

Cons

  • More expensive than traditional braces
  • Cause discomfort
  • May cause speech issues
  • Require more frequent adjustments and cleaning

Clear Aligners

Clear, custom-made aligners are increasingly becoming a popular option for teeth alignment. Treatment involves a series of aligners worn for two weeks at a time, with each aligner gradually shifting the teeth into the desired position.

This mode of treatment is best suited for mild to moderate misalignment and bite issues. Treatment time can range from six months to two years, depending on the severity of the case.

Clear aligners are used by approximately 10% of all orthodontic patients in the United States, and the cost of treatment usually falls between $4000 and $7000.

The most popular clear aligner companies in the US include the following:

  1. InvisalignClearCorrect
  2. Byte
  3. SmileDirectClub
  4. AlignerCo
  5. Strayt
  6. NewSmile

Pros

  • Virtually invisible
  • Removable in nature, making eating and brushing easier
  • Less painful and uncomfortable than traditional braces

Cons

  • May not be suitable for all cases
  • Depend largely on patient compliance
  • May take longer to achieve desired results

Ceramic Braces

These are structurally similar to traditional metal braces to the extent of design, but the brackets are made of clear or tooth-colored materials, making them less noticeable. The most trustworthy material used is polycrystalline alumina. They are a popular option for people who want to straighten their teeth but don’t want the appearance of metal braces.

Ceramic braces are best suited for moderate cases of misalignment. Treatment time is similar to traditional braces, ranging from 18 months to three years.

According to the AAO, approximately 10% of orthodontic patients in the US choose ceramic braces.

The average cost of ceramic braces in the United States is $4,000 to $8,000.

Pros

  • More aesthetically acceptable than metal braces
  • Ceramic material is stain-resistant and durable

Cons

  • More expensive than metal braces
  • Are fragile and require extra care to prevent breakage
  • May take longer to achieve desired results

Self-Ligating Braces

Self-ligating braces use a specialized bracket and wire system that allows the teeth to move more freely and with less friction than traditional braces. They use a specialized clip instead of elastic bands to hold the wire in place. This clip allows for more efficient movement of the teeth and reduces the need for adjustments. This can result in less discomfort and a shorter treatment time.

They come in both metal and ceramic options.

Self-ligating braces are best suited for moderate to severe bite or alignment issues. Treatment time can range from 18 months to three years.

Data collected by the American Association of Orthodontists reveals that self-ligating braces are used by around 10% of US orthodontic patients, with the average treatment cost between $4000 and $7500.

Pros

  • More comfortable and require fewer adjustments than traditional braces
  • More hygienic and easier to clean

Cons

  • More expensive than traditional braces
  • May not be suitable for all cases
  • Can take longer to achieve desired results

Conclusion

With so many options for teeth alignment, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you.

Traditional or lingual braces may be the best option for severe misalignment or bite issues. Those with mild to moderate misalignment may benefit from clear aligners. Ceramic and self-ligating braces are the best options for those who prefer a less noticeable appearance.

Ultimately, the most important factor in achieving a perfect smile is finding a qualified and experienced orthodontist or dentist who can guide you through the process. With their expertise and the right treatment option, you can achieve the straight, even smile you’ve always wanted.

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