…And it is no different when they go to the dentist.

Tooth straightening options

The options most widely used today include brackets bonded to the teeth and archwires (straightwire) or a series of aligners (such as Invisalign).  There are many straightwire adjuncts used such as palatal expanders, temporary anchorage devices (TADS), lip bumpers, to introduce various forces.

Pros and cons of the straightwire system

+ This system can tip, tilt, torque, and twirl the teeth in all dimensions.
+The brackets do not come off so that the patient cannot remove the appliance when sore following adjustment
+Growth can be manipulated and malocclusions corrected

  • Decay can occur around the brackets as they accumulate plaque easily
  • Heavy forces can be applied which may damage the roots of the teeth
  • If the brackets come off, treatment time may be lengthy

Pros and cons of Aligners

+  Esthetically pleasing
+  Appliance is removable for special occasions
+  Aligners are made using computer data and not as dependent on the treating doctor

  • Aligners cannot control forces in all dimensions
  • Buttons are bonded on the teeth and may accumulate plaque leading to white chalky areas on the teeth
  • Aligners are dependent on patient compliance.

As you could guess, straightwire techniques seem to work best for adolscents because the patient can “grow into” the wires.  However, many adults do not want the unsightly “railroad tracks”. For them, clear aligners have been a significant improvement in straightening their smile.

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