No one wants to have crooked teeth. Gaps, bite problems, protruding teeth caused by thumb sucking — all of these issues with your tooth alignment can be addressed with orthodontics at Clear Lake Dental Care. You’ll enjoy the look and function of your newly straight teeth.
Orthodontics At Clear Lake Dental Care
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that involves correcting abnormalities of the teeth and jaw. These abnormalities can be any number of cosmetic or functional problems. Our dentists at Clear Lake Dental Care, offer several options in the world of orthodontics that include short-term orthodontics, specifically Invisalign® and Six Month Smiles. We have confidence that either of these options will leave you with a fantastic smile that you can show off for years to come!
Orthodontics Treat a varying degree of problems
While many individuals are drawn to orthodontic treatment for cosmetic reasons, including straightening crooked or protruding teeth, orthodontics is frequently necessary to prevent or correct:
- Wearing down of tooth enamel
- Speech problems
- Spacing and bite problems
- Jaw misalignment
- Gum disease
- Damage to the inner cheeks and tongue
The majority of patients who need orthodontic care are children who need treatment to assist in normal jaw growth and correctly aligning permanent teeth when they grow in. Therefore, whenever possible, orthodontic treatment should be done when patients are young to ensure optimal treatment results. However, adults sometimes need to have orthodontic treatment as well and can receive care when necessary.
Types of Short-Term Orthodontics
Traditional forms of orthodontics such as metal braces can take years to get your teeth into the desired straight position. With short-term orthodontics, you will no longer have to wait years to see your straight smile. At Clear Lake Dental Care, the types of orthodontics that we offer are different but are both very effective. Both Invisalign® and Six Month Smiles are known for their smile-changing ability because either one will leave you with a beautiful smile.
Dr. Das details the orthodontic treatments Clear Lake Dental Care offers.
Invisalign, or clear braces, have become widely known as the main alternative to traditional metal braces. They work using retainer-like clear aligners that slowly straighten your smile. They not only straighten your smile, but they also do it without giving you a metal smile.
Another great advantage of Invisalign is that the clear aligners are removable. Though you will be required to wear them for at least 22 hours a day, you will be able to remove them so you can comfortably eat and clean your teeth after eating.
Six Month Smiles
Six month smiles take what traditional metal braces do and put a twist on the process to make the treatment last an average of only six months. While six month smiles still use brackets and wires, they are tooth-colored instead of silver and they will straighten your smile faster.
This means you won’t have to deal with the brackets and wires as long as you would if you had traditional metal braces. Why put yourself through extra months of treatment to have straight teeth when you can have your teeth straightened using one of our short-term orthodontic options?
Braces are the traditional form of orthodontia that has existed for decades. This method of alignment correction relies on metal or tooth-colored brackets and wires. The brackets of braces are cemented to the front surface of individual teeth. A wire is then passed through each bracket on the upper and lower arch. To straighten teeth, an orthodontist periodically tightens the wire to pull teeth into the desired direction. Braces are in place at all times for the duration of the treatment plan, which can be anywhere from 12 months to 2 or more years.
Braces may be necessary for some people, such as those with severe malocclusion (bite issues). Due to innovative technology, many patients are obtaining their desired results with Invisalign. This aligner system does not require the cementing of any fixtures to the teeth. Aligners are worn most of the time but can be removed to make eating and oral hygiene as easy as they could possibly be. Having this ability improves patient comfort, satisfaction, and also nurtures oral health throughout the duration of treatment.
“Dr. Das is by far the best dentist I have ever had. He and his wonderful staff are intelligent, thoughtful, patient and extremely courteous. My teeth after one year on Invisalign look fabulous!!! Not to mention the extra touches of care he takes with my teeth! Go and experience for yourself.” – Holly
How do I maintain my results after braces?
Once we move your teeth, we’ll give you retainers to maintain your results. Invisalign uses Vivera retainers. They are very similar to the clear plastic Invisalign aligner trays, but they are a little thicker because they need to be used for more time than the standard two-week period of the regular aligner trays.
With our Six Month Smiles treatments, they offer either lingual, clear plastic, or Ortho FlexTech options for retaining your results.
It’s a good idea to wear your retainer at least a couple nights a week for the duration to keep your teeth from trying to move back to their former position.
Invisalign® VS. Smile Direct Club
At first glance, Invisalign and Smile Direct Club may look like the same thing. In one aspect, they are. Each of these systems relies on clear trays to straighten teeth. That’s where similarities end. What you get with a professional treatment like Invisalign or Six Month Smiles that you cannot get with Smile Direct Club is:
- Personalized care. Your dentist knows your teeth. Your dentist knows what you want to accomplish, and your dentist oversees your journey to get there.
- Bonus fixtures. To enhance treatment and ensure teeth move in the exact way they need to, Invisalign may include small attachments that sit in aligner trays. These attachments fine-tune results to give you your best smile.
- Personal attention. Smile Direct Club is all virtual. There is no dentist to call if a problem or question arises. While having no dental visits to attend may sound convenient, the lack of face-to-face time with a dentist means there is no one checking your progress.
- No accountability. When your teeth-straightening treatment has no clear guidelines and no progress-checks, you are on your own to determine when and for how long you want to wear aligner trays. This may sound ideal. However, without proper wear, the results you wish to achieve will not come as quickly as they could.
What is the average length of orthodontic treatment?
Each patient’s treatment plan may differ based on their particular needs. In general, Invisalign treatment is completed in 12 to 18 months. This system is intended for the correction of moderate misalignment. To achieve a wider range of movement takes more time than if we need only adjust a few teeth at the front of the mouth. When cosmetic improvements are sought with Six Month Smiles, treatment may last between 4 and 9 months.
During your consultation for professional teeth-straightening treatment, we will provide you with a clear estimate of how long your treatment may take. We also discuss the exact problems that will be corrected by your treatment.
Can orthodontic treatments be combined with cosmetic dentistry procedures?
This depends. Invisalign uses clear plastic aligner trays that can be removed. This would allow cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening and dental bonding to repair a chipped or misshapen tooth.
Six Month Smiles uses brackets and wires on your teeth, so there wouldn’t be any use in whitening or other cosmetic treatments with the brackets on your teeth. But, since the treatment only takes six months, you won’t have to wait long.
It’s probably the best idea to move your teeth first, and then to consider other cosmetic treatments that could still be desired.
What happens if I have a missing tooth and want to straighten the surrounding teeth?
Missing teeth are often the cause of a misaligned smile. This is because when a tooth is lost — say from trauma — the teeth on both sides of the new gap no longer have any pressure on them. These teeth tend to slide over into the gap, and this impacts the alignment of your overall smile.
So, if you’re missing a tooth, we don’t want to maintain that space. We can pull the teeth together to fill the gap. This is often done in cases of overcrowded mouths, where four teeth may be pulled to make more room and the adjacent teeth moved together. Or we could replace the missing tooth with a dental implant.
Is orthodontic treatment covered by insurance?
For teenagers, most dental insurance plans cover some of the cost, but not usually the entire cost. If your plan doesn’t provide for orthodontic care, it can usually be added as a supplement to your policy.
For adults, it’s a little trickier. If the insurance company decides that your desire for orthodontics, such as Invisalign, is for cosmetic reasons, there is usually no coverage. However, if it’s deemed a necessity for bite problems and the like, the orthodontic care can be fully covered.
At Clear Lake, we work with the various insurance providers to facilitate as much coverage as possible.
Can I finance my orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment is typically covered by most insurance companies, though there may be a remaining balance after benefits are applied. This, or the total cost of care for uninsured patients, may be financed. Our staff can help you apply for one of several available financing programs, including Care Credit, Lending Club, and Compassionate Finance. Each of these programs enables you to get the care you need well beyond your orthodontic treatment, all with easy, affordable payment terms.
Common Questions About Orthodontic Treatment
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