Monday, October 24, 2011

The High Tech of Teeth Straightening – The Evolution of Orthodontics

Crooked teeth are bummer, straight up! Aside from being targeted for teasing – over-crowded teeth also trap food and make them harder to clean every day and during hygienist visits.

I never met a person with an over-bit or an under-bite who did not want to correct the problem. Not only was it aesthetically uncomfortable, it can make for some physical discomforts as well or lead to Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ syndrome.

Back in my days of youth, if you wanted to straighten out the oral problems, you had to have your cranium confined in captivity by a contraption for a decent part of your teen years. If you were lucky, your entire mouth was just bound and wired by metal brackets and rubber bands caging your chompers, and making eating a major event during a hunger-crazed growth spurt. Ah yes, the joys of head-gear and being called “brace-face” are not as common these days.

Traditional braces still exist, and they are widely used for certain cases, but there are significant new advances and the industry that evolved and streamlined smile artistry.

I have been involved with dentistry for 20 years and I am amazed at how it has been transformed and modernized.

Contemporary technologies deliver precise aesthetic results allowing for detailed, customized design. Dentists and orthodontists can now utilize innovative and sophisticated 3D imaging and CT scanning, hardware devices, software diagnostics, computers, tools and appliances at their disposal, making braces more attractive, comfortable and convenient for teens and adults who need and desire smile symmetry.

Now patients can maximize their results in a shorter time and dentists can devise a more comprehensive treatment plan using the latest techniques and solutions, such as: Invisalign® - removable and virtually invisible braces that are a clear alternative to metal braces and ClearCorrect™ another option that allows dentists or orthodontists to straighten and align teeth using a series of clear, custom, removable aligners. The severity of your dental situation, bone structure and alignment will dictate the orthodontic treatment and use of metal braces or clear braces, but at least there are more options – and varying price tags.

Personally, I had the old-fashioned version of braces as an adolescent - and a newer, invisible version as an adult, and I can honestly say advanced technology solidified my smile more precisely, and permanently.

For many, the investment can be an issue, which is understandable. Most braces cost between five and eight thousand dollars, depending on the type of treatment. With some of the newer options, like Invisalign and ClearCorrect, it can cost as little as $2500. In today’s economy, that is like buying a used car, and some people may suffer from sticker shock, but the outcome will make all of the difference in the world.

American Dental Plan allows members to take advantage of the many great benefits and 20% - 40% savings on all their dental needs, including orthodontics. If you do not have insurance and you do need a treatment plan, call 602-265-6677 or enroll online.