Everyone dreams of having the perfect smile and teeth. Not only does it create a good first impression when you meet someone for the first time, it also boosts one’s own self confidence. But, if your teeth are not properly aligned or are crooked, it can really lower your confidence. Not only that, it can lead to tooth decay and inflammation of the gums among a host of other issues. Braces are the most widely used orthodontic correctional procedure and can be used be children, teens and adults. They are used to fix various problems like crooked or protruding teeth as well as overcrowding of the teeth. An orthodontist takes an x-ray of the mouth to ascertain what kind of treatment would be best suited for the patient. Braces work by pushing the teeth in a particular direction depending on whether there is an overbite or an underbite.
They come in a variety of different materials and styles but which one is the best suited for you? Let’s find out.
What Are the Different Types of Braces?
Braces come in a variety of materials but the two main categories are metal and non-metal braces. The kind of braces which will be suitable for the orthodontic procedure you require will be decided by the dentist. Braces work faster in children as opposed to adults as their bones are still growing and helping push the teeth in a direction is easier. Most braces are fixed permanently onto the teeth, which requires a rigorous brushing and flossing regime to ensure that no food particles get stuck in the teeth and cause problems later.
These are the oldest form of braces and the most widely used around the world. If the problem being treated is severe like a deep overbite or deep underbite, protruding teeth or overcrowding, metal braces will be recommended, as they are more efficient in pushing the teeth in one direction as compared to newer braces. Metal braces also require frequent visits to the dentist as they need to be tightened once they have moved the teeth in the desired direction.
These are the most commonly used braces, which have individual brackets that are put on each tooth with a special cement. The brackets are made from high-grade stainless steel. They are held in place by a system of elastic bands and thin wires. The brackets come in various colors and designs, and can be customized as per the patient’s wish, which makes them a favorite among children and teenagers. Patients with severe misalignment will be advised to use these braces. As food particles can get lodged between them more easily, regular brushing and flossing needs to be done to avoid tooth decay.
How Much Do Traditional Braces Cost?
Traditional braces also work out to be the most cost effective. Without any dental insurance, the average treatment can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $7,350. With insurance it can be reduced significantly.
Damon braces are among the more discreet form of metal braces as they are a self-ligating system. Unlike regular braces which are held together by an intricate system of elastic bands and metal wires, damon braces have brackets that have a gate-like opening structure, that lets a single wire get threaded through it. These braces do not require constant adjustment, thereby producing the fastest results. They make the movement of teeth less painful as they cause less friction. Not having elastic bands also reduces the amount of bacteria and plaque that is collected on the teeth. Being a less complicated structure than traditional braces, they are also easier to clean after eating.
How Much Do Damon Braces Cost?
Without dental insurance, damon braces can cost anywhere between $1,500 to $7,800, while with insurance, they can cost between $1,550 to $5,080.
As more and more adults choose braces, they prefer them to be as discreet as possible. Lingual braces are a form of discreet braces which unlike other metal braces, are fit on the inside of the teeth to move them into the desired direction. The mouth is scanned digitally to custom make each bracket and wire for the brace so that it fits snugly onto the teeth. These braces are best suited for adults and those in industries such as media, where their appearances are of utmost importance. However, these are a more cosmetic pair of braces and work better on less severe orthodontic issues. The one drawback is that they can make the tongue sore and tender as it constantly is in touch with the metal brace.
How Much Do Lingual Braces Cost?
These are the most expensive among all metal braces, being a more aesthetic and cosmetic solution. Lingual braces can cost between $5,000 and $13,000, as they also require specially trained doctors who can precisely make scans for the braces everytime.
Retainers are technically not braces but a treatment that comes after the braces. It is made by scanning the mouth to precisely fit the new shape of the teeth and hold them in place, by holding the periodontal ligaments in place. They are either permanent and fixed inside the mouth for upto a year or they are temporary and can be worn only while sleeping. Wearing a retainer can initially hamper speech but one quickly adjusts to it. Apart from helping the new shape of the teeth to take their place, retainers can help with improper jaw alignment, teeth grinding or clenching and even with snoring.
How Much Does a Retainer Cost?
As they are a treatment that comes after the braces, they are not very expensive and cost between $150 to $600 depending on whether they are required for either jaw or both the jaws.
In recent years, braces have become a more cosmetic procedure with many more people getting them to correct even minor orthodontic issues. This has led to the creation of braces which blend in better with the teeth while offering the same benefits as the traditional braces. These offer an invisible look to the teeth and are mostly made for adults and working professionals who do not want bulky braces.
Similar in design to the traditional braces, ceramic braces are made of a ceramic material which is tooth colored, making it less visible. Even the wires and elastic bands used to hold the brackets in place are of a similar color, making them a popular choice with adults who need orthodontic corrections. Ceramic braces are as strong as the traditional braces, but being a more porous material, ceramic is at a higher risk of getting stained. So people who drink colas and coffee a lot will have to wean off the habit else their braces will get stained, and they are not easy to replace. These braces are also not recommended to patients who have severe a misalignment that requires correction.
How Much Do Ceramic Braces Cost?
Ceramic braces are less expensive than lingual braces and can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000, without insurance.
Invisalign is the latest in orthodontic procedures to help give you the perfectly aligned smile you desire, without letting people know you are undergoing any procedure. As the name suggests, Invisalign are braces which are transparent. They are made by creating a custom scan of the teeth and fit on like a clip. These are comfortable to wear unlike metal braces which can initially hurt. They can also be removed during eating or brushing your teeth, helping prevent tooth decay from lodged food particles. As they fix onto the teeth like a clip, a new scan is made everytime the braces gets loose to replace the old braces. These are recommended for minor dental corrections and not for fixing a deep underbite or overbite. Invisalign are also only prescribed to adults, not to children or teenagers.
How Much Does Invisalign Cost?
Of all the braces that are there, these are the most expensive as their purpose is also more cosmetic than the rest. It is also among the shortest treatments as it is given only to those with minor corrections, costing between $5,000 to $7,000 for the entire treatment.
A majority of people require dental correction at some point in their life. Braces are the most common orthodontic correctional procedure. They come in a variety of materials and are recommended on the basis of the severity of the problem. Metal braces are the most widely used ones. They come in a variety of colors and designs, as well as in slightly less noticeable variants. Some of them can also be put behind the teeth if the treatment is being given for a less severe problem.
Newer braces are more discreet and made with materials that blend in with the teeth or are fully transparent. However, these can only be given for less severe dental problems. Whatever may be the dental concern you face, there are a pair of braces that are right for you.