Should You Straighten Crooked Teeth?

Should You Straighten Crooked Teeth?

March 14, 2021

There are several factors that contribute to the decision to get orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth. One is the availability of funds or health insurance. Orthodontic treatments such as traditional metal braces and invisible braces often cost thousands of dollars. Second, health concerns could also contribute to the decision to straighten crooked teeth. Third, the feeling self-conscious with crooked teeth is often a contributing factor. This can be remedied by having them straightened. Some people certainly see that they would benefit and gain confidence if they have straighter teeth.

Although straight teeth look great, many famous fashion models show off the beauty and uniqueness of their natural teeth alignment. In Japan, a snaggletooth or a crooked canine tooth is considered a desirable feature that enhances a woman’s attractiveness.

For people who want to get straighter teeth, there are several options that they can choose from. It is important to consult with a dentist or orthodontist to see which ones are the best options. Traditional metal braces would be a good option for people of all ages as long as their gums and teeth are strong enough. Metal braces are a particularly good option for children because they have flexible and malleable gums and bone tissue. The treatment time for metal braces can take two to three years. This depends on each person’s teeth condition and the type of braces that they choose.

A tooth straightening surgery is another alternative that usually allows people to achieve the desired results faster. In this article, we’ve outlined several different alternatives for straightening teeth. Read on if you want to know more about them.

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Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are affixed to the teeth using brackets, flexible wire, and bands. A metal wire is threaded through the bracket. This wire is tightened in different intervals during the treatment. By changing the tightness of the wire, pressure is placed on different areas to slowly move the teeth into the proper alignment.
Metal braces are often the best option for people with severe and complicated teeth alignment issues. For people with extremely complex conditions, headgear is sometimes recommended by the dentist or orthodontist. A headgear is an orthodontic appliance attached to the head using straps that go around the neck. Headgears are usually worn at night.

Metal braces have changed vastly ever since they were first created. Nowadays, orthodontists use smaller metal brackets with less metal. Compared to several decades ago, metal braces are now more comfortable for the patient. There are even tons of colors for the rubber bands that patients can choose from.

According to data from Authority Dental, the cost of traditional metal braces would normally fall in the range of $3,000 to $7,500. The total cost depends on the severity of the case, where the patient would get the treatment, and if there is insurance to cover a percentage of the costs.

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Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are comparable to metal braces. The difference between metal and ceramic braces is the color of the brackets. Ceramic braces use brackets that are the same color as the teeth instead of silver or metal ones. The tooth-colored brackets make them less noticeable. For people who are worried and feel awkward about wearing braces, ceramic braces are a great option. The process for straightening teeth is also the same as traditional metal brackets.
Although ceramic braces stand out less and do not attract much attention, it also has its disadvantages. First, ceramic braces are often more expensive compared to metal braces. The cost of ceramic braces is often higher than that of metal braces by $1,000 to $2,000. Ceramic braces are estimated to cost $4,000 to $8,000.

Second, the elastic ties used to hold the brackets are easily stained. It is recommended to avoid food and drinks that can cause discoloration such as wine, tea, coffee, soda, ketchup, and mustard. Smoking can also leave a yellow stain on the teeth and all parts of the braces.

Third, ceramic braces can cause gum sensitivity. The brackets used for ceramic braces are usually bigger than metal brackets. Cleaning around the brackets can be more difficult. If the toothbrush does not reach the gum line, this can lead to receding or swollen gums.

Lastly, ceramic braces take longer than metal braces. Ceramic braces are also more fragile and prone to breaking. Fractured or broken brackets can delay the straightening process. They need to be replaced frequently to prevent them from breaking. Normally, ceramic braces will take at least one and a half years to complete. Treatment can also take as long as three years.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are similar to traditional metal braces. The side of the teeth the faces the tongue is called the lingual surface. Lingual braces are attached to this side of the teeth so that they are unnoticeable. Lingual braces are another option for people who do not like the appearance of traditional metal braces.

Since they are technically metal braces, lingual braces can correct a wide variety of issues from mild to complex. There are brands of lingual braces that can be customized. The brackets can be bent to fit the contours of a patient’s mouth. A professional will create an impression of the patient’s teeth and send them to a laboratory. This process can take an average of six weeks. Custom-fit braces can reduce treatment time but it will definitely hike up the total cost of the treatment.

Lingual braces are an ideal option for people who want to maintain a professional image while undergoing teeth straightening treatment, people who play a wind instrument, and athletes of contact sports. Lingual braces are not recommended for people who have an extremely deep overbite. This can cause the brackets to pop off more often. They are also not recommended to children because primary teeth do not hold the braces well.

Lingual braces are more difficult to clean than traditional braces. They also have a higher price tag than traditional metal braces. The cost of lingual braces can range from $5,000 to $7,000. Treatment time using lingual braces will take 18 to 36 months on average.

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Invisible Braces

Invisible braces are also referred to as clear aligners. Invisalign is the most popular name when it comes to invisible braces. Compared to traditional metal braces, invisible braces or clear aligners are recommended for teens and adults.

With invisible braces, patients wear clear aligners that are made of plastic. These aligners are custom-fitted for each patient. Invisible braces fit over the teeth similar to a mouth guard. Depending on the treatment plan, the sets of invisible braces would be replaced as often as twice a month.

Invisible braces are not recommended for people with severe malocclusion. Completing treatment with invisible braces may take longer compared to traditional braces. The cost of invisible braces is similar to ceramic braces. They are more expensive than metal braces and can cost $3,000 to $8,500.

Teeth-straightening Surgical Procedure

Dental surgery is another option for people who want to straighten their teeth. A surgical procedure does not get rid of the need to wear braces. Patients would still need to wear them, but a surgical procedure can accelerate the treatment time.

Often the procedure is a minor surgery that aims to reposition the gums and bones holding the teeth in place. Teeth straightening surgical procedures are recommended to people who have severe underbite, overbite, or jaw misalignment.

Depending on the case, the orthodontist can also suggest an orthognathic surgery. This procedure is a corrective surgery designed to fix skeletal deformities to realign the jaw. Recovery from an orthognathic surgery will last at least six weeks.

What to expect in a dentist appointment?

The dentist can refer their patients to visit a specialist in teeth alignment called an orthodontist. The teeth, mouth, jaw, and bite will be assessed and examined by the professional. The orthodontist will ask about any symptoms such as popping sounds when opening and closing the mouth or discomfort when eating or chewing.

The orthodontist will take an X-ray of the patient’s mouth and create molds of the teeth. They will then determine if braces are needed and the estimated time it would take to complete.

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Bottom Line

Crooked teeth are very common in children, teens, as well as adults. Unless there are health problems caused by misaligned teeth, it is not necessary to get them straightened. However, many people do feel self-conscious about having crooked teeth.

Getting treatment to correct teeth alignment is a personal choice. A lot of people gain incredible confidence from having straighter teeth. Properly aligned teeth are also easier to clean which means there can be fewer oral health problems in the future.

Braces and other procedures to straighten teeth do come at a steep price. Insurance normally does not cover cosmetic treatments and separate orthodontic insurance could be required. However, there are programs like Smile Change Lives that can help people who have difficulties funding the cost of braces. They help families who cannot afford braces find a suitable and affordable option.

Teeth straightening treatment has advanced greatly and there are now several options for people who want straighter teeth.

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