Braces have become such a commonly used instrument that we have all heard of, seen, or used. They are contraptions used to align and straighten teeth. Braces have been used for years to do these as well as fix gaps.
Braces started off as visible, prominent and ugly things that usually marred a person’s smile. A lot of people have suffered lowered self-confidence as a result of having braces. Braces also impeded speech. The extent of the speech impediment varies depending on the type.
Being able to do away with one’s braces was usually a cause for celebration as it was accompanied by an immense feeling of freedom; since there will be no surgery done to the teeth still. However, with the improvement of technology braces can now be made invisible. And so, people no longer need to sacrifice their self-confidence in order to perfect their smiles.
A study shows that generally, people smile a lot per day. While children smile as much as four-hundred times a day, happy adults smile up to fifty times while the average adult smiles up to twenty times a day. That is a lot of time. It is even a longer amount of time to those who dread it on account of poorly arranged dentals. The good thing is we no longer need to sacrifice our smiles for braces.
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Table of Content
- 1 Types of Braces
- 2 Average Cost of Braces
- 3 Can Teeth Be Straightened Without Braces?
- 4 3 Best Invisible Braces Brands
Types of Braces
As expected, braces come in different types. Each type of brace is favored by a specific group of persons for various reasons.
Metal braces, as the name implies, are made of metal. They are the most known and commonly used and have thereby earned the name ‘traditional brace’. The metal brace consists of a flexible wire which is bent and threaded through the brackets in the teeth. It is like a rubber band which pulls two fingers together, but in this case, we have teeth. The bent wire pulls the teeth together thereby adjusting the teeth to a preferred arrangement.
The metal brace is the least expensive and acts very fast. The wires in braces these days are less thick and easier to personalize than before. Users can get them in various colors and can even choose to choose the multicolor the brace.
But as expected, the metal braces are quite invasive and will cause discomfort.
Made from ceramics, these braces are similar to metal ones in the sense that they are placed on the outer side of the teeth and work just as fast. Their major selling point is their color and texture. The downside to having braces is in how noticeable they are. However, ceramic braces counter that problem because they are of the same color and even texture as teeth, thus making it impossible to spot and hereby birthing invisible braces.
The downside of this type is that they cause just as much discomfort as traditional braces and they could also stain if not cleaned as frequently as normal teeth.
These braces are similar to but considered less painful than ceramic and metal braces. They make use of flexible wires. The wires are held in place by clips, pegs, or doors. Ligating braces reduce the amount of time a patient needs to use braces.
Self-ligating braces have metal and ceramic variants to give users more choice in what they use.
The downside to self-ligating braces is that in some cases they do not have all the features a user may need to restructure their teeth.
This is one of the most common braces that specializes in teeth alignment; at least it does the job for people who are seriously looking to straighten teeth without braces. They allow a user to totally remove the braces I order to clean them as well as even the teeth if it is needed. These braces are also invisible. They are a great choice to avoid the problems that come with visible braces. They offer more comfort than metal braces and ceramic braces do. It is easy to deduce that wearing Invisalign braces should offer comfort.
The downside is they do not perfectly treat more severe and advanced dental issues.
These braces are made out of steel and are almost the same as metal ones. The difference is their placement and price. Lingual braces were created to erase the need for invisibility. The braces are able to do this due to their placement. The braces, unlike the ceramic and metal, are placed on the back of the teeth. And since that area is not visible when one is speaking or smiling, the only way lingual braces can be seen, is if someone inspects a user’s opened mouth. The other difference is in the price. Lingual braces are more expensive.
One downside of these braces is that that they impede speech even more than the other types of braces do. Another is that they are quite impossible to clean with a toothbrush. And lastly, they take longer to work than other braces.
Average Cost of Braces
Averagely, metal braces cost between $3,000 and $7,000, whereas ceramic braces cost between $4,000 and $8,000. Clear aligners however, range from $2,500 to $6,000.
Can Teeth Be Straightened Without Braces?
Yes, they can. If for any reason a patient or anyone (with a less severe teeth misalignment condition) should decide not to use braces, there are other options for him or her. These options include:
1. Clear aligners
Average Cost: $2,500 – $6,000
Clear aligners are invisible braces. They are plastic, transparent and invisible forms of braces which are used to adjust teeth. The clear aligner method of treatment is one which is very domestic and can be performed with minimal visits to a doctor or orthodontist.
A mold of the patient’s teeth is taken. This can be done by one’s self or a dentist. The mold is used to create a digital scan of the patient’s tooth. With the present condition in mind, a digital model of the desired tooth form is created. With a computer, stages between the current position and the desired position are generated.
An aligner is formed for each stage to get the patient’s teeth to the desired and expected position. Each aligner is worn for twenty hours a day for two consecutive weeks.
2. Palatal expander
Average Cost: $1,000 – $3,000
Palatal expanders are used to expand the upper jaw so that the upper and lower jaw fit together. It also reduces over-crowding as there is space left for teeth to grow. It is a contraption made of bands which can be expanded with the turn of a screw. Once the jaw has been expanded, the retainer remains in the position for months in order to solidify the expansion.
This method, however, works best for children due to the fact that their bones are generally more malleable. It also requires frequent trips to the orthodontist and is reputed to be painful.
Average Cost: $500 – $1,300 per tooth
Veneers! They are made of porcelain and are cap-like. They are used to restructure gap-teeth, fractured-teeth, discolored of fractured teeth. This is done by removing a thin layer of the enamel and placing appropriate veneers on the teeth.
This can be done in a day however, they are very expensive and are most suited for adults.
When considering braces, invisible braces are usually the way to go as they have a lot of advantages. However, when looking at the best of invisible braces, undoubtedly, we have;
3 Best Invisible Braces Brands
1. Smile Direct Club
Founded in 2014, SmileDirect Club is a company dedicated to producer 3D clear retainers. SmileDirect Club does this by getting a 3D image and diagram of your teeth. This can be done either by booking a scan or by ordering a home impression kit. Your teeth diagram is reviewed by a licensed orthodontist and a plan to adjust your teeth step by step is created. You will also be assigned to a licensed orthodontist who will monitor your progress online from time to time.
When this is done, aligners which are to be worn over an average of two weeks for twenty hours daily are sent. They are created with a straight edge that covers the gums by a few millimeters.
The aligners will guide your teeth into perfection. In addition, SmileDirect sends premium whitening. When both treatments are used hand in hand, the end results are white and straight teeth.
When this is concluded, retainers are then introduced. The retainers are to retain the new structure of the teeth. They can be worn at night.
SmileDirect Club works over 225 licensed professionals whose sole aim is restructuring your teeth. This is, by all means, the top-notch choice anyone that is willing to straighten their teeth without braces.
Pros of Smile Direct Club
i. TIME DURATION: Compared to other aligners, SmileDirect produces results in the least time. Treatments vary from three to fourteen [3-14] months.
ii. COST: SmileDirect charges a basic $1,800. Discounts which take off $100-$300 are very common.
iii. CONVENIENCE: SmileDirect is teledentistry which means it can be done within the confines and comfort of your home.
Cons of Smile Direct Club
i. LIMITED CAPABILITIES: If your teeth are in critical condition, are severely bent out of shape, or have extreme bite alignment problems, SmileDirect club may not work miracles for you. This is because they majorly handle crowding and gapping of the front six or eight teeth on each arch. In essence, it has limited capabilities and is better off treating milder issues. SmileDirect is perfect for people whose cases are not severe or those who have previously had braces but did not wear retainers. If you do not have a more serious case such as a severe overbite, under-bite, or cross-bite, this is likely to serve you perfectly.
ii. STRICTLY ONLINE MONITORING: With SmileDirect, you may never have to meet with a dentist or orthodontist. Your progress is monitored every 90 days. This is a con because some people prefer being able to see and interact with their dentist. You can ask questions online at any time, however.
iii. RELATED PROCEDURES: Dental procedures are often furnished with other procedures such as IPR, (teeth reduction by shaving), extractions, and bonding. Online doctors can recommend or administer these.
Invisalign boasts 20 years of research, data from 6 million smiles, and 900+ patents. They also own the world’s largest 3D printing operation. Invisalign treats overbites, under-bites, gap-teeth, open-teeth, and crooked teeth.
Using Invisalign is quite easy to do. First, you will be assigned to a dental professional. You will also be walked through a customer plan. Then, your teeth will be scanned. From the scan, you will be able to see the possibilities for your teeth. You and your personal professional will preview your new smile. Your doctor will also map out a concise and digital treatment plan to get your teeth to the level you want it at. The plan will be detailed step by step. However, you will have to approve the plan.
Once this is done, your personal and unique aligners will be created. Each will be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day for a period of one to two weeks. Each aligner will gradually shift your teeth towards your desired destination. The average duration for Invisalign treatments is 12 to 18 months. However, patients have reported seeing changes in just a matter of weeks. The aligners are also cut to match your gum line.
Your doctor will schedule regular appointments with you. They will take place every four to six weeks and are to be attended in person. The purpose of the appointments is to check up on your progress.
Pros of Invisalign
i. REGULAR IN-PERSON ATTENTION FROM A DENTAL PROFESSIONAL: With Invisalign, you will get face to face monitoring from your dentist. This gives the professional the ability to track your teeth’s reformation. It also allows you to ask about any problems you may be having with your aligners.
ii. RELATED PROCEDURE: Dental procedures are often furnished with other procedures such as IPR, (teeth reduction by shaving), extractions, and bonding. An online doctor cannot perform these procedures or even prescribe them. However, Invisalign professionals can do this due to the fact that the monitor you closely.
iii. EXTENDED CAPABILITIES: Invisaligners can treat cases that go beyond minimal issue. If your teeth are thoroughly bent out of shape, you are better off using Invisalign.
iv. COMFORT: These aligners are cut to match your gum lines. This means little or no irritation when using them.
v. MINIMAL MAINTENANCE: You can clean up your aligners simply with a toothbrush and paste.
Cons of Invisalign
i. COST: Invisalign is quite expensive. Prices range from $3,500 to $8,000. However, if you have insurance, you might actually be able to afford it without selling a kidney. There are also payments plans which are designed to suit different individuals.
ii. ATTACHMENTS: Invisalign has quite a number of attachments that are worn with it. They are use to secure the aligners more firmly to the teeth. This, in essence, aids your teeth’s restructuring. The attachments are usually enamel ridges that come in form of brackets.
iii. DISCOMFORT: The aligners must be removed before eating which is fine at home but somewhat embarrassing outside. You may also experience some uncomfortable pain. While some are minor, some persons experience pain which needs pain killers.
iv. TIME DURATION: Insvisalign takes an average of 12 to 18 months to complete its job. This is longer than most. However, patients have reported seeing changes in just a matter of weeks.
Smile Love Aligners
PLANS START FROM- $1699
Founded in 2017, SmileLove boasts of presenting the most affordable way to straighten your smile. For $1895, SmileLove promises to give you everything you need to love your smile. They have different payment plans to reduce the payment strain on you. SmileLove conducts its business online. Your doctor will regularly check up on your treatment process online. The average duration for SmileLove usage is 3-18 months.
How does this work? Firstly, SmileLove will send you an impression kit. You will be expected to use the kits to make molds of your teeth and send them back to the doctors. From the mold, the doctors will create a digital preview of what your teeth will look like when the treatment is concluded. Next, the personalized clear aligners will be created and sent to you. After the treatment is completed, SmileLove will send you retainers to maintain your smile along with a premium whitening kit for free.
SmileLove, however, is only capable of treating moderate misalignment problems. If your teeth’s problems are quite severe, SmileLove will probably not suit you.
Pros of Smile Love Aligners
i. COST: SmileLove aligners are probably the cheapest aligners on the market. Their prices start from $1699 and they are known to give discounts.
ii. FREE GOODIES; Patronizing SmileLove earns you a free retainer and whitening kit at the end of your treatment.
iii. TIME DURATION: SmileLove works in an average of 3- 18 months.
iv. CONVENIENCE: Business with SmileLove is conducted strictly from the comfort of your own home. Doctors monitor your progress online.
Cons of Smile Love Aligners
i. LIMITED CAPABILITIES: SmileLove is not likely to suit you if you have severe tooth problems. They treat only mild cases.
ii. AVAILABILITY: SmileLove is available only in the United States.
iii. RELATED PROCEDURES: Dental procedures are often furnished with other procedures such as IPR, (teeth reduction by shaving), extractions, and bonding. And since SmileLove is conducted online, the assigned doctors will not be able to recommend or administer such treatments.
Clear aligners are now a fast-rising way to easily get your desired smile. Each clear aligner company is dedicated to providing services you will not regret.
Ideally, you should carefully consider the individual features of each company that offers to straighten teeth without braces before making your choice. A bulk of these explanations have been taken care of in this post, but in quick summary; If your teeth are badly bent out of shape, Invisalign is the way to go. If your teeth are only moderately bent or unaligned, consider Smile Direct Club or SmileLove.
R:F – Loves traveling, nature and everything music. This is my journal, where I talk about the things I love and have experienced personally. I hope you enjoy my posts.