There are many routine dental procedures patients typically experience annually. The most common elements of dental checkups include X-rays and a cleaning. However, what happens if there is a problem with the gums? Even the most diligent patient may sometimes miss the early warning signs of gum disease. In this case, the dentist may perform…
Discreet Orthodontic Treatments from a Cosmetic Dentist
A cosmetic dentist that is good at their job enjoys working on patients with challenging dental problems. The transformation of their patients’ smiles makes for an impressive portfolio of before and after photos. Such an impressive portfolio is a badge of honor and the dentist is always happy to show off good long-term outcomes from happy patients.
Superficial flaws like stained or chipped teeth only require quick, one-time treatments like veneers and teeth whitening. Then there are patients with the kinds of problems that need orthodontic treatment. Because a dental crown or veneer can only do so much, issues like crowding, an overbite or severe gapping can only be corrected with orthodontics.
How a cosmetic dentist corrects orthodontic problems
A patient who seeks the services of a cosmetic dentist wants a great smile in the shortest time possible. This means that metallic braces are off the table, on account of their attention-grabbing aesthetic. This leaves cosmetic dentists to find subtle appliances to align their patients’ teeth.
There are three main "hacks" that cosmetic dentists use to achieve this. The first is with the use of transparent orthodontic appliances; the second is with teeth-colored appliances while the third is with appliances that rest on the back surfaces of the teeth.
What follows is a detailed description of each method.
Clear braces often take the shape of custom teeth trays. The dental trays are designed and fabricated to be a near-perfect fit. As the teeth trays sheathe the teeth, they apply pressure to crooked teeth, aligning them into their optimal positions.
In this way, clear braces work a lot like regular braces, except with the added advantage of invisibility. Braces that take the shape of trays are also removable, which allows their wearer to eat and clean their teeth without difficulty.
Tooth-colored braces look a lot like traditional braces, except for their color. The brackets of these braces are made of ceramic while the framework is coated with a tooth-colored substance. For the patient who needs traditional braces that still blend in with their teeth, this is a great option.
Orthodontic treatment does not end when the teeth move into their new positions. A patient will still need a retainer to keep the teeth from reverting to their previous alignment. The most effective way to keep the teeth in place is with a bonded retainer.
A dentist will use dental cement to bond a retainer to the back of the newly aligned teeth. The retainer holds the teeth in their new positions until the jaw and the tooth roots get used to their permanent positions.
Bonded retainers are invisible. They are also more effective because they are fixed in place, so there is little chance of a patient forgetting to wear their retainer.
A patient can remove this type of retainer when they need to eat or brush their teeth. Most dentists will direct their patients to wear a retainer for more than 20 hours every day. They gradually reduce the hours that the patient has to wear their retainer as the teeth get used to their new alignment.
Thankfully, Essix retainers are hard to spot. Like clear braces, Essix retainers take the form of transparent teeth trays that are custom made to fit snugly over a patient’s smile.
Straighten your teeth without the hassle of eye-catching braces
Before discreet orthodontic treatments became widely available, many older people chose to live with an uneven smile rather than wear unsightly.
You do not have to make this tradeoff. Our cosmetic dentist can provide you with an orthodontic appliance that is pretty much invisible. So take the first step to a straight, even smile by reaching out to us.
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