Orthodontic technology and techniques have made impressive leaps in recent years, and there has never been a better time to explore orthodontic treatment. Here at Coppe + Sears, Dr. Chad Sears is proud to offer patients of all ages a wide variety of unique treatment options that can successfully treat a range of orthodontic issues, including:
- crowded teeth
- gaps between the teeth
- protruding teeth
- impacted teeth
Dr. Sears is able to accomplish this using a number of different treatment methods, including traditional braces. These are by far the most popular type of treatment, and the most instantly recognizable as well. Braces have gone through many transformations over time, and today’s options are smaller, more efficient, and more aesthetically pleasing than ever before! This allows us to offer our patients a better orthodontic experience from start to finish.
Keep reading below to learn more about the types of braces available, the ways in which they differ, and how this treatment staple can help patients achieve a beautiful, functional smile.
A note on traditional braces
With traditional braces, metal or clear brackets are first attached to the front surface of the teeth. The brackets are then tied together by wires and tiny rubber bands we sometimes refer to as elastics. This method has a proven track record of correcting orthodontic issues that range from mild to complex.
Braces can sometimes align teeth more quickly than other treatment methods might, and also have the potential to shorten treatment time, although this will vary from case to case. In general, the average treatment time for braces tends to be anywhere from 18-36 months.
There is some maintenance involved with traditional braces, and they can have a bit of a learning curve in the beginning. However, this gets easier with time, patience, and practice! A good dental hygiene routine is essential for oral health, and it is even more important for patients who are in braces. We recommend brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each time and flossing every night before bed to keep the teeth and gums healthy. For braces patients who struggle with brushing and flossing effectively, there are many accessories designed to make it an easier process. For example, waterpiks can help rinse hard to reach areas, while ortho picks assist with flossing.
Patients in braces can expect follow-up visits in our office every 4-8 weeks or so. During these appointments, Dr. Sears will check the movement of the teeth and change the bands that are attached to the brackets. He may replace the wire as well. These visits are a crucial part of the overall treatment plan! We try to keep them brief so that patients can get back to school or work quickly.
The different types of braces
Metal braces are usually composed of a mix of stainless steel, nickel, and other high-quality metals. This makes them very durable and long-lasting, but they are still far more comfortable than they used to be. The brackets are smaller and lighter, and there are customizable colored bands available. These traditional braces deliver excellent results, and can be particularly useful in more severe or complicated cases.
These are also known as clear braces, tooth-colored braces, or esthetic braces. While ceramic braces function in much the same way metal braces do, they have the added benefit of being semi-translucent or tooth-colored to better blend in with a patient’s natural smile. When paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties, ceramic braces offer a subtle and efficient way to achieve a beautifully aligned smile.
While these braces are sturdy, the material they are made from can be more prone to chipping or cracking. Additionally, metal braces can tolerate more pressure than ceramic ones, so they may be a better option for patients in need of serious correction.
The Damon system specializes in self-ligating braces, meaning they use a slide mechanism to hold the archwire. This reduces the amount of pressure exerted on the teeth, allowing them to move more freely, quickly, and comfortably. This innovative treatment option has several features, including:
- freedom of movement, with less force and a possible reduction in overall treatment times
- precision and effectiveness, which can reduce the need for some of the time-consuming procedures required with traditional braces
- fewer adjustments may be required
- less discomfort than traditional braces
- smaller, more comfortable brackets that are also easier to keep clean
Damon braces are also available in clear brackets that are made from a high-quality ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of the teeth. Unlike older versions of clear braces, Damon Clear does not stain or take on the color of darker foods and beverages.
Clear aligner therapy
There are multiple clear aligner systems on the market today, including Invisalign, Clear Correct, and others. They consist of a series of clear removable aligners that are custom designed to fit comfortably over the patient’s teeth. Like traditional braces, these customized aligners gently move the teeth into the desired positions over time. Patients must wear the aligners for 20-22 hours per day throughout treatment, replacing each one for the next in the system every 1-2 weeks. This allows them to keep up with the movement of the teeth.
Clear aligners offer patients a little more freedom and flexibility than traditional braces are able to. Since aligners are designed to be removed when eating or drinking, there are no food restrictions. It is also easier to keep the teeth and gums clean and healthy since there are no wires and brackets to work around. Patients simply take the aligner out, then brush and floss as usual.
Find personalized treatment options with Dr. Chad Sears
Every smile is unique, and what works for one patient may not work for another. That is why Dr. Sears creates a customized treatment plan for each and every patient! To learn more about how braces can create a confident, healthy smile, get in touch with Coppe + Sears today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sears.