Orthodontics represent one of the most commonly performed dental procedures outside of cleaning and fillings. Every year, thousands of children, teens and adults begin treatment towards straighter teeth. Take a look at some of the considerations you will want to make in obtaining that perfect smile!

First and foremost, orthodontics should only be attempted under the supervision of a licensed dentist/orthodontist. No online guide or mail order kit will be able to bring the expertise of a professional in creating a perfect smile. Even something as simple as closing the gap between your two front teeth can cause irreparable damage. At the very least, you will be wasting time and money on "procedures" that get you nowhere. At the worst, you could end up losing a tooth (particularly true for the rubber band gap closers available online). 

Many younger patients will be best suited for traditional metal band and bracket braces. This treatment is predictable, easy to adjust and can straighten many different types of crooked teeth. Braces are usually worn for about 24 months and are overseen by an orthodontist. The hallmark of this treatment are the non-removable wire and brackets. Children (who typically have poor compliance) do not have the option of "not wearing" their appliance. Conversely, flossing and brushing around the wires can be difficult, making good oral hygiene a must while in braces. 

On the opposite end of the spectrum are clear aligners, like the always popular Invisalign appliance. This treatment is performed by general dentists and orthodontists alike to correct most types of spacing problems. Our office uses Invisalign to correct many mild to moderate orthodontic concerns. Because aligners are clear plastic and can be removed, they are often the choice for individuals with cosmetic requirements. Unfortunately, since the aligners are not physically attached to the teeth, some movements are simply not possible. Furthermore, this treatment relies on patient compliance- the retainers must be worn for 20+ hours a day!

In some specific circumstances, crowns and veneers can also fix gaps and crowding between the teeth. A common application would be placing crowns on the two front teeth to fix a gap by creating a more cosmetic contour. That said, orthodontics are usually the first choice if the only problem is spacing between teeth. If you would like to know more about your options to a straighter smile, please give our office a call!