Cosmetic teeth straightening with invisible aligners and normal braces helps people improve their ‘social smile’ and self-confidence. There are different devices to use and all of them require that you go to your dentist, although some of them are less time-consuming. If you want to read up on the procedure that’s in store for you, check this out. The info below will give you answers about various dental treatments as well as the cost of treatment of crooked teeth. Stick around.
What Causes Crooked Teeth and Calls for Aligner Treatment?
Let’s begin with the childhood stage. Crooked baby teeth are not that uncommon. Don’t worry. Just because your little one is having this orthodontic issue now, it doesn’t mean that their permanent teeth will be crooked too. On the contrary, chances are they will be just fine. Now, you should know that sometimes children's mouths are a little bit too small to accommodate adult teeth. So, palatal expanders can be employed in kids to expand the jaw and make the desired space, however many kids report experiencing pain when wearing them 1. It is important to consult with a kids dentist as soon as you notice any potential issues with your child's teeth.
Now, in case you don’t know, crooked teeth can also be acquired later in life due to genetics, lack of adequate dental care, injuries to the face, and poor nutrition. Because crooked teeth may cause speech issues and health problems 2, they should be treated as soon as they occur. Otherwise, they may lose their teeth all the while experiencing severe pain that later turns into chronic pain.
A lot of people are so self-conscious about their crooked smiles that they start to avoid social situations. It can have a huge impact on one’s life.
When it comes to milder cases of misaligned teeth that only ruin the cosmetic appearance of teeth, no straightening is required. It can be done if the person has major self-esteem issues.
Teeth Straightening Cost: Traditional Solutions vs Invisible Braces
The cost of treatment with teeth straightening varies from procedures to procedures. It has to be said that public dental clinics charge less - around $3,000-4,800 for metal braces. As for private clinics, they may charge anywhere between $2,000 and $10,700 for this type of orthodontic work.
In comparison, cosmetic braces like invisible aligners are even more exorbitant except Zenyum, which runs around $2,500 (fee for braces minus dentist fees).
Invisalign, on the other hand, seems to be the most expensive form of braces of this kind with average prices climbing up to $4,500 - $9,000 per orthodontic treatment. Results from teeth straightening with Invisalign become noticeable within a few weeks, but the entire treatment process lasts from 12 to 18 months, depending on the severity of the condition.
Teeth-straightening surgery doesn’t come cheap either, with thousands of patients paying around $5,000-$6,000 and many forking out the staggering $10,000. The huge fluctuation in the price of the surgical procedure is due to the different cases. It depends on the type of surgery you have and the institution you go to. Again, private clinics charge more for their services than public dental clinics. Also, some specialists agree to work with monthly payments if you ask for it.
Types of Braces and Tooth Straightening Solutions
If you are looking for tooth alignment for adults, you should know these days there a wide range of appliances to suit your taste and budget. Here are the different teeth straightening options that can create a beautiful smile in the long term:
Traditional metal braces
They are fixed onto the crooked teeth with brackets, flexible wire, and elastic bands. These days, they come with multicolored rubber bands to suit individual tastes. Without the shadow of a doubt, these are the best braces as they are durable and effective for severe cases. However, they are also uncomfortable, painful, restricting, and visible. Although newer models are much better than early-day models, food can still get stuck between the brackets and make it difficult to remove since they cannot be taken out once they are attached on the teeth. Despite that, they are an excellent choice for children and a great option for people of any age. Teeth straightening with traditional braces produce final results in around 24 months. This is the average, with some people they can see the full results within a year, and for more severe cases - it can take three years.
Ceramic braces come with transparent or tooth-coloured brackets thanks to the nickel-titanium wires. This makes their appearance nicer. You can choose the colour yourself. However, they are not so sturdy. Another difference is ceramic braces don't compromise imaging tests and they are more expensive than metal braces.
The desire for a complete smile makeover has led to the fabrication of lingual braces. They not only straighten your crowded teeth but also do it less noticeably since they are attached to the back of the teeth. This means lingual braces can interfere with speech patterns. However, this applies to all types of braces in general. The good news is that the lisp usually goes away after a while.
Self-ligating lack the elastic bands (ligatures) that traditional braces have. Thus, they cause less discomfort and friction while doing their job.
This type of braces are the latest on the market, with satisfactory patient outcomes. Tooth straightening aligners are a discreet option for everyone wishing to fix mild to moderate malocclusions without the discomfort of conventional braces. They look much better than those unsightly metal braces. Basically, they are plastic aligners that fit tightly over the teeth. The biggest difference is that they are not attached to the teeth, which means they can be taken out before meals which gives them a benefit over traditional braces. Maintaining good oral hygiene is much easier with invisible aligners 3.
There are different brands of invisible tooth straightening aligners and they count on high-end technology to create 3D models of one’s bite in order to determine the right tooth position and precise adjustments.
Now, in rare cases, a more involved procedure like jaw surgery might provide a better alternative to braces and is the only way to straighten teeth without braces or retainers. With teeth-straightening surgery, it usually takes less time to get the desired results. On that note, this option stands out from the rest with minimal average treatment time.
Keep in mind that traditional lingual braces and self-ligating braces are fixed onto the teeth by a dentist/orthodontist nickel-titanium wires or regular wires, and remain there for the entire duration of the orthodontic treatment. They cannot be taken off anytime you want like Invisalign.
Is There Dental Health Insurance Coverage for Cosmetic Teeth Straightening?
It depends on the plan. The more comprehensive it is, the more dental work it covers. Truth is, insurance plans rarely include cover for cosmetic teeth straightening. Rather, they pay for medically necessary braces like regular braces. What is implied by this is a condition that restricts eating and speaking abilities. This includes severe malocclusions. On that note, a surgical procedure may also be included in the plan along with traditional braces.
But when it comes to orthodontic issues that ruin a pleasant smile, then no insurance company will be eager to provide money for the cosmetic treatment. Thus, adult patients have to use their own money and direct savings. There are different financing options and price ranges. Some dentists accept instalment payments.
Why Is Cosmetic Teeth Straightening Important?
While some people have mild malocclusion, which does not interfere with their chewing habits or speaking abilities, others are faced with serious health issues. The likes of crossbite (buck teeth), overbite, underbite, and other similar conditions can make it difficult to keep your teeth clean, which is a recipe for tooth decay gum disease and plaque.
But that’s not all. There will be more wear and tear than usual, affecting everything from the gums to the jaws. Over time, it may result in cracked teeth and tooth loss. Other than that, eating will be challenging.
Severely misaligned teeth are not something you want to have for a long period because they will be causing trouble all the time and may even worsen. When faced with such an orthodontic issue, you should talk to a qualified dentist to see what aesthetic treatment plan they can put you on. Severe tooth alignment correction is possible and should not be delayed.
Getting Traditional Braces and Cosmetic Aligners
Permanent teeth straightening is an excellent choice for those who desire to restore the correct alignment of the lower and upper teeth. In turn, this enhances the chewing experience and allows for proper brushing of all surfaces.
Before you sign up for any dental treatments for adult patients, make sure to get your hands on someone qualified. Find a specialist who employs different features of braces to give you a straighter smile. The more experienced they are with various orthodontic issues, dental health, and restorative care, the better for you.
Your smile journey will begin by having your oral health assessed. The specialist will look into your particular case to see if you are a candidate for ceramic brackets, metal brackets, or invisible aligners and retainers. The former options are more suitable for someone with more complex dental alignment issues.
When it comes to Zenyum, the benefits of less chair time and an online assessment draw patients to this comprehensive treatment. They visit the dentist a total of 2-3 times during the entire process. First, they have to send photos of their teeth to the designated team after which they are called into the clinic to do some screening. If the right conditions are met, the parameters of the mouth are sent to the lab where the appliances are manufactured. The technicians work their magic, shipping aligners straight to an accredited dentist who will fit them for you.
As far as Invisalign is concerned, you have to do every step of the evaluation process in-office. This creates less risk for failure. 3D printers are used to create a treatment plan. The patient receives a set of aligners to use throughout the treatment times. They have to engage in follow-up appointments to achieve the outcome they are dreaming about.
With traditional braces, an online assessment is not an option. Plus, you will receive only one appliance which will be assembled on your teeth. There is no taking it off.
If there is a compliance issue, i.e. if you are not a good candidate for aligners because of health issues or other factors, you will be geared to traditional braces, and vice versa. In some cases, your first smile consultation is free of charge.
Malocclusions can be treated effectively with either clear aligners or braces 4. Treatment with clear aligners shortened treatment time and did not require segmented tooth movements. Conversely, they did not produce adequate occlusal contacts, control teeth torque, or return teeth to their original positions as effectively as braces.
Frequently Asked Questions About Permanent Tooth Straightening
To wrap it up, here are some of the most common questions patients have.
What is the cheapest way to straighten teeth?
If we are talking about severe malocclusions, metal braces, self-ligating braces, and ceramic braces are the best choice. When it comes to mild crookedness in the front teeth, or just imperfect teeth, invisible aligners like Zenyum are the most affordable option. It depends on the case.
How long will braces take to straighten teeth and improve smile?
Dental braces take a long time to work their magic: up to two years. If your orthodontic issues are not that serious, the timeframe may be reduced to six months only but that happens in rare cases.
Can a mouthguard straighten your teeth?
No, night guards have a different purpose. They are supposed to keep you from grinding your teeth in your sleep. They do not have any straightening effects.
Can braces straighten wisdom teeth?
No, there is no way to do that. When wisdom teeth breakthrough, they can make the mouth overcrowded. If they get in the way and cause trouble, you need to have them removed. Ceramic braces and lingual braces are not effective here.
Can veneers straighten crooked teeth?
While veneers can’t straighten teeth, they could make teeth appear straighter and more aligned by filling in chips and cracks.
Can a fixed retainer straighten teeth? Can retainers straighten teeth without braces?
A fixed retainer can work only if you have slightly crowded or crooked teeth. But the majority of cases will not improve with retainers. If you would like to have a straighter smile, discuss your orthodontic options with your dentist.
Are metal braces and aligners covered by insurance?
Aligners are not but traditional braces may be. Get in touch with your insurance company to find out the truth.