The Different Types of Braces and How to Choose the Right Kind for You

By July 23, 2018 February 23rd, 2019 Orthodontics
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If you’re unhappy with your smile but worried you’ll be stuck with a mouth full of uncomfortable metal to fix it, we have good news! The types of braces we use today are smaller, more streamlined and way more comfortable. Thanks to innovations in the design, they also work faster than ever before and bring about amazing results. At the Brace Place, we have a variety of options when it comes to our Claremore and Tulsa braces. In fact, we can even straighten teeth without braces using Invisalign® and Invisalign® Teen. Dr. Patel and his team take a high-tech approach using the latest technology and materials. For patients, that means you’ll spend less time in the orthodontist’s chair and you’ll get to see your brand new smile a lot sooner than you may think. Let’s walk through the different types of braces you can find at the Brace Place in Tulsa and Claremore and some things to consider when choosing the right braces for your smile.

Meet the New and Improved Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are still the most common kind. That’s because they work really well to fix a wide variety of orthodontic issues for patients of any age. All braces involve a system of brackets and wires. The brackets are specially shaped pieces that are bonded the teeth. They stay in place throughout the entire treatment. An arch wire is then bent into the shape of how your bite should look. We thread it through the brackets and as it returns to its original shape, it puts steady, gentle pressure on the teeth, causing them to shift into their correct places.

Our Claremore and Tulsa braces aren’t the bulky ones that are portrayed in popular culture. The brackets we use are smaller and smoother and when combined with our thin wires, there’s even less friction and discomfort and they look attractive. The braces exert a tiny amount of force continuously instead of a strong force in a short period of time, so your teeth will feel less sensitive and you’ll get results more quickly.

Are Metal Braces Right for Me?

Younger patients tend to love metal braces because they can wear colorful elastics with them if they want. This gives them the chance to show off their personality. However, when considering the different types of braces for adults or teenagers, don’t discount metal braces. They look great and they’re effective. The fact that they’re bonded to the teeth can be a plus for people who don’t want to keep track of an appliances like Invisalign aligners. If you’d have a hard time remembering to wear your aligners for the required 22 hours per day, braces could be a better choice.

Introducing Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces, often called clear braces, work just like metal braces and use the same system of brackets and wires to exert continuous force to align the bite. However, unlike other types of braces brackets, they’re made of a composite material that blends in with the teeth, so they’re a lot less noticeable. At the Brace Place, we use super durable ceramic brackets for our Claremore and Tulsa clear braces treatment. In the past, ceramic braces weren’t as strong as metal ones and would break more easily but that’s not a problem anymore with these. The brackets also reduce staining and are very low profile. People will barely be able to tell you’re wearing them, which is why the ceramic variety is one of the best types of braces for adults and teens looking for an aesthetic option.

Are Ceramic Braces Right for Me?

Well, you get the straightening power of metal braces without the shine. Adults or teens who would feel self-conscious about wearing metal braces may prefer their clear counterparts. Some practices charge more for clear braces and people default to metal braces because of budget concerns. All of our braces are the same price at the Brace Place, giving you more freedom to go with the treatment you feel most comfortable with. Again, if you’re not someone who is good at keeping track of things and would prefer to have a fixed appliance that you can just forget about throughout your treatment, clear braces could be a great fit!

Hello, Invisalign. Straighten Teeth Without Braces

We love braces and think they’re an exceptional teeth-straightening option. However, if the idea of having a fixed appliance and dealing with brackets and wires bothers you, you can straighten your teeth without braces with our Claremore and Tulsa Invisalign or Invisalign Teen treatment. The process starts with a digital scan of your mouth that we take with our iTero scanner. (You wont find goopy, uncomfortable molds at the Brace Place.) We use the scan to create a 3D model of your mouth and Dr. Patel maps out your tooth movements directly on the model. He sends his prescription for your new smile to Invisalign and a series of clear, BPA-free plastic aligners are created according to this specifications. The custom aligners slip over the teeth and most people won’t notice you’re wearing them.

You wear your Invisalign or Invisalign Teen aligners for about 22 hours per day, taking them out to eat and to brush and floss your teeth. Depending on your needs, you’ll change to a new set every one to two weeks. As you make your way through the series, your teeth shift a little closer to their final positions. When you finish, you’ll have a stunning smile to show for it. Just like the braces brackets and wires, the aligners exert controlled force to move the teeth. The key difference when it comes to braces vs. Invisalign is the aligners don’t only control the force but they also control the timing of the force application. At each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move and they do so based on Dr. Patel’s treatment plan. This makes for really efficient treatment. Invisalign Teen works using the same principles as Invisalign, however, it’s designed to fit a teenager’s mouth and accommodates erupting molars and has features like compliance indicators and a few replacement aligners thrown in at no extra charge.

Is Invisalign or Invisalign Teen Right for Me?

The real deciding factor for braces vs. Invisalign is your orthodontist. After you come in for a consultation, Dr. Patel can let you know if you’re a candidate for our Claremore or Tulsa Invisalign or Invisalign Teen treatment. Invisalign is virtually invisible, which a lot of adults and teenagers like. If wearing braces will cause you to hide your smile, you may want to try Invisalign. Additionally, since you can take the aligners out to eat, there are no food restrictions. You’ll also remove them to brush and floss. Patients with issues like gum disease or those who aren’t diligent with their oral hygiene routine, often find that clear aligners work better for them since brushing and flossing with braces does require a bit more effort. If you play sports or a wind instrument, Invisalign won’t interfere. You can still do these things with braces but there is an acclimation period. The drawback for some patients is that you have to keep track of the aligners and remember to wear them according to schedule. If you’d prefer to set it and forget it, you might want to consider braces since they’re bonded to the teeth.

Now that you’re well-versed in the different types of braces and braces alternatives, your first step is booking a free consultation with Dr. Patel at the Brace Place. We’ll take x-rays and Dr. Patel will perform an exam to determine a diagnosis. He’ll sit down with you and present you with the best treatment options, so you can achieve your dream smile as quickly and comfortably as possible. Schedule your visit to find out more about our Claremore and Tulsa braces, Invisalign and Invisalign Teen treatments. Book an appointment online or by calling us at (918) 749-8817 (Tulsa) or (918) 342-1240 (Claremore) today!

The Brace Place

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