Top Ways to Straighten Your Teeth
From first impressions to long-lasting relationships, an attractive smile can make a huge impact on your life. If your smile is affected by crooked teeth or similar orthodontic problems, consider how the right treatment can provide permanent, aesthetically pleasing benefits.
At our Troy practice, we place your smile at the top of our priorities. If you’re interested in improving the alignment of your teeth, one of the following procedures may be the right choice for you.
Like traditional braces, Invisalign® can shift teeth into place over a gradual timeframe, fixing crookedness and many bite alignment problems. Unlike braces, however, Invisalign® does not require the attachment of any hardware to teeth. Instead, clear plastic aligner trays are customized from a mold of your teeth, fitting over your bite in a way that is completely inconspicuous. Often referred to as “invisible braces,” this treatment provides an alternative to braces that is similarly effective, without any embarrassing metal wires.
Invisalign® can be used to correct many traditional orthodontic issues, including:
- Crooked teeth
- Gaps in teeth
- Crowding teeth
- Open bites
The Invisalign® Process
If you are a candidate for Invisalign®, the process for receiving and wearing your aligners is simple:
- Your cosmetic dentist will take impressions of your teeth, which will be used to create 3-D models of your bite. From the models, various sets of aligners will be crafted in a specialized lab.
- Once the aligners are created, they will be sent to your dentist to give to you. Each set of aligners should be worn for about two weeks at a time, before moving on to the next set.
- Although the aligners are easily removable for hygiene and meals, they should otherwise be worn throughout the day and night. Aside from occasional check-ups to monitor the progress of your teeth, all you need to do is follow the timetable for wearing your aligners.
While wearing invisible braces, most people will be oblivious that you have anything over your teeth. By the time treatment is complete, the only thing that will be obvious is your beautiful smile.
Rather than shift your teeth into place, porcelain veneers can be used to cover teeth, hiding crookedness or similar flaws. This is an easy and effective way to hide a variety of cosmetic imperfections on one or more individual teeth. Sometimes referred to as “instant orthodontics,” veneers can dramatically enhance your smile in just one dental visit. The procedure is as follows:
- For each tooth to receive a veneer, a thin layer of enamel will be removed. This makes room for the veneer to be attached, while preparing the tooth’s surface for a strong bond.
- An impression will be taken of the tooth, from which a veneer will be crafted out of color-matched porcelain.
- When the veneer is ready, it will be positioned over your tooth to ensure a proper fit. It will then be permanently bonded to the tooth, using dental cement.
Porcelain veneers thus act as the tooth’s front surface, masking any crooked, discolored, chipped, or misshaped teeth beneath them. This is an especially good option for patients who want a straighter smile as well as whiter, fuller teeth.
For small flaws that may impact your smile, dental bonding may provide a relatively cheap, easy, and straightforward solution. By applying layers of composite resin to the edges of a tooth, it can be subtly reshaped or filled out. Dental bonding can therefore fill gaps between teeth, restore a chipped tooth, or adjust the shape of a tooth. A dental bonding procedure includes the following:
- A thin layer of resin is painted over the tooth, painlessly.
- After each layer, an ultraviolet light is used to harden it, producing a long-lasting bond.
- Additional layers are added and hardened, gradually building upon the tooth’s structure.
- Once finished, the resin may be polished for a more natural look.
Although bonding cannot fix alignment issues or widespread crookedness, it can be an excellent option for minor, isolated cosmetic problems.
Achieve a Straighter Smile
To learn which procedures may be appropriate for you, schedule a consultation with us. With the right straightening treatment, you’ll find - and want - new reasons to smile. Contact us to learn more or schedule an appointment.