Braces – Metal and Clear

Crooked teeth have a significant impact on your life. They can affect both the appearance of your smile (and your confidence) as well as your quality of life. Crooked teeth can lead to oral health issues such as uneven tooth wear and jaw pain (a condition known as TMJ disorder). At National Dental Hicksville, we offer braces to fix your misaligned teeth, both metal braces, and clear ones.

Traditional Metal Braces

Metal braces have long been the treatment of choice for misaligned teeth. They consist of 3 major components:

  • Metal brackets: The brackets are attached to your teeth with dental cement on your first visit. They stay in place throughout the duration of your treatment period.
  • Archwires: Archwires are available in a variety of thicknesses. They attach to the brackets and are held in place with elastic O-rings. The archwires are the main component responsible for the movement of your teeth.
  • Metal bands: The bands are attached to your back molars, and anchor the archwires in place. The bands are attached to your back molars, and anchor the archwires in place.

There are also several other components that may be used, depending upon your specific situation. These pieces consist of things such as springs, rubber bands, and headgear. You may or may not need these pieces. We will help you to determine the best course of action for your mouth.

How Do Metal Braces Work?

The archwires of metal braces do most of the work. They place pressure on your teeth, which then place pressure on your periodontal ligaments (the structures that hold your teeth in place). The ligaments widen, loosening your teeth. Then the archwires guide your teeth into their proper locations, holding them there as your bone and ligaments heal. On average, it takes about three months for new tissue to grow, and a year for your teeth to stabilize in their new positions.

Clear Aligners

Metal braces are not ideal for everyone. The visibility of the braces can be a source of self-consciousness for many patients, particularly older teens and adults. At National Dental, we offer clear braces. Clear braces consist of clear, rigid plastic aligners. These aligners are created from 3-dimensional molds of your mouth. Not only are they practically invisible, but they are also removable. They should be worn between 20 and 22 hours each day, and should only be removed to eat or brush your teeth.

How Clear Aligners Work

When you use aligners, you go through several of them (typically 18 to 30 depending upon your specific needs). Each aligner is worn for approximately two weeks at a time. Each aligner is slightly different, helping to guide your teeth into proper alignment. The plastic puts pressure on your teeth loosening your periodontal ligaments, guiding them to where they need to be. Treatment typically takes anywhere between 9 to 15 months, although most patients will achieve their desired results in less than a year.

Which is Right for You?

Clear braces are an excellent option for many patients. However, they are not for everyone. If you have serious alignment issues, or your jaw is also affected, traditional braces may be the best choice for treatment. In some cases, you can start with traditional braces and then move to clear braces once your teeth have started to move into proper alignment. We will help to determine the best course of action to provide you with optimal results.

With braces, both your smile and your oral health are greatly improved. Contact National Dental Hicksville today at (516) 629-5086 to find out which option is right for you.