Article by Dr. Leaver & Dr. Gardner
Here at Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer a wide range of treatment options to patients of all ages in our Las Vegas and Summerlin offices. Using the latest in orthodontic techniques along with innovative technology, Dr. Leaver and Dr. Gardner can successfully treat a number of orthodontic issues, using a variety of treatment methods. This includes different types of braces, which have gone through quite a transformation over the years. Modern braces are not only smaller and more aesthetically pleasing, but they’re also able to shift the teeth more efficiently, leading to a better orthodontic experience altogether!
If you’ve been exploring braces treatment recently, you may be wondering what options are available to you. During your initial consultation with Dr. Leaver or Dr. Gardner, they’ll perform an orthodontic examination that will help him determine which treatment option is right for you, your smile, and your lifestyle.
In the meantime, let’s look at the types of braces we have available, how they differ, and how each one can give you the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted!
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TRADITIONAL BRACES
As our most popular treatment option, braces are exceptionally good at fixing complex tooth issues. They can also work faster at closing gaps and aligning teeth than other treatments might, which has the potential to shorten your treatment time. Because every case is different, treatment time with metal braces will vary from patient to patient. In general, however, the average can be anywhere from 18-36 months. Fortunately, signs of improvement can often be seen in a short period of time, which can be encouraging as you’re getting used to your new appliance.
The maintenance involved with traditional braces can be a little tricky in the beginning, but it gets easier over time. A good dental hygiene routine is essential for oral health, particularly during orthodontic treatment. There are a number of accessories designed to make cleaning braces easier, such as water piks to help rinse any hard to reach areas and ortho picks to assist with flossing. We recommend brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each time and flossing every night before bed.
Some foods will need to be avoided while wearing braces in order to protect them, including anything sticky or crunchy since these can damage the brackets and wires. This won’t last forever, though, and will all be worth it once your braces come off and you see your beautiful new smile!
Patients in braces can expect follow-up visits with us every four to eight weeks or so throughout the treatment process. During these appointments, your doctor will change the bands that are attached to the brackets, check the progress of your simple, and replace any worn-out wire. These check-ups tend to be fairly quick, so you should be able to get back to school or work in no time at all! While there may be some residual soreness after each adjustment, it should be slight and short-lived. These visits are a very important part of the overall treatment plan and help us ensure the best results in the least amount of time. We ask that you do your best not to miss them!
These are the most commonly used type of fixed orthodontic appliance and are typically made of a mix of high-grade stainless steel, nickel, and other metals. These braces consist of bands that wrap around the back molars, with smaller metal brackets cemented to the front surfaces of the other teeth. The archwire is made of thin, springy metal, and runs through the brackets. It’s fixed to the brackets by flexible elastics, metal ties, or another type of clasp. These components apply gentle pressure that moves the teeth into more optimal positions over time.
Metal braces are reliable, effective, and economical. Not only that, but braces today are smaller, lighter, and more comfortable to wear than ever before. They can even be personalized by choosing from differently colored elastics, for patients who love to show off their personality!
Sometimes referred to as clear braces, tooth-colored braces, or esthetic braces, ceramic braces function in much the same way metal braces do, with the added benefit of semi-translucent or tooth-colored ceramic brackets. While ceramic braces are about the same size and shape as metal braces, they’re better able to blend in with a patient’s natural smile for a more subtle straightening option.
Although ceramic braces are tough, the material they are made from can be prone to chipping or cracking. Since metal braces can tolerate more pressure than ceramic ones, they may be a better option for those who have severe corrections that need to be made.
Ceramic brackets are often slightly more costly than metal brackets, as well. Since they can be more expensive and are more prone to breakage, we believe ceramic braces are generally better suited to adults and older teens. That said, ceramic braces can be an excellent option for many patients. When paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties, they are an incredibly discreet and efficient way to straighten smiles!
INVISALIGN CLEAR ALIGNER THERAPY
The Invisalign system consists of clear, removable aligners that are customized to fit comfortably over the teeth. Like traditional braces, the aligners gently move the teeth into the desired positions. This is accomplished by wearing them 20-22 hours per day throughout the course of treatment, and replacing them every one to two weeks for the next aligner in the system.
Invisalign offers patients a bit more freedom and flexibility than regular braces. There are no food restrictions since aligners are removed when eating or drinking, and it’s easy to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy since you don’t have to work around wires and brackets. You simply remove the aligner, then brush and floss the way you normally would!
FIND THE PERFECT BRACES FOR YOUR SMILE AT LEAVER & GARDNER ORTHODONTICS
Every smile is unique, and what works for one patient may not be a good choice for another. That’s why our doctors create a customized treatment plan for every patient they see! If you’re in Northwest Las Vegas, Summerlin, or the surrounding communities, we’d love to meet you and talk more about how braces can give you a healthier, straighter smile. Get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation!