Ever since Ancient Rome, Greece, and Egypt, and probably even before that, people have been making attempts to straighten their crooked smiles. If you dread looking in the mirror because of crooked teeth you aren’t alone. You already take care of your oral hygiene, you brush all the time, floss, and even make regular trips to the dentist. Those things are all essential, but they’ll never help you straighten your crooked smile. A crooked smile goes well beyond cosmetics, overcrowded and misaligned teeth can lead to difficulties in cleaning and even create health issues down the road. If you’ve been putting up with a crooked smile for too long now, it’s time to finally take action. You’ll need the help of an orthodontist, a specialist focusing on straightening crooked smiles. Finding the best orthodontic specialist doesn’t have to be a chore, there are many viable candidates to choose from.
Smile correction treatment is not the huge deal you may have made it up in your mind to be. It’s actually incredibly common for adults to get different types of orthodontic treatment, including traditional metal braces. Of course there have been more recent developments in the field, but every type of treatment won’t work for every individual. You may not be sure of what to expect if you’ve never visited an orthodontist’s office before, but I can promise it won’t be anything to earth-shattering. You may see some devices and machines that you’re familiar with, but don’t let that scare you.
During your initial consultation the orthodontist will need to take a close look at your teeth. Based upon only a quick observation they’ll offer a few potential courses of treatment that you might benefit from. It’s a good idea to express any types of treatment you’ve heard of that you’re interested in exploring. It should be noted however, that every type of treatment won’t work for every patient. The orthodontist won’t know if a particular type of treatment will work with 100% certainty until he or she examines x-rays and molds of the teeth.
There’s nothing to be frightened of as you prepare to undergo smile correction treatment. We mentioned some of the devices that may look scary, but orthodontic treatment is relatively pain-free. Aside from some discomfort from the pressure of teeth being pulled and pushed into place there is no real concern. And the discomfort usually only occurs in the days following a tightening. Other treatment types, like Invisalign, will give the wearer very little discomfort, if any at all. So if pain is your reason for avoiding visit it’s time to do away with that excuse. Another reason people give for avoiding the orthodontist is that their teeth are in too bad of shape or that they’re too old for treatment. Neither is likely to be the case. A skilled orthodontist would welcome a difficult challenge and could more than likely meet it with success. You’ve got nothing to lose with a consultation.
Looking for an orthodontist can be made easier if you know the right questions to ask. The more information you can gather, the better. First, ask yourself what kind of experience the orthodontist that you’re meeting with has. You can ask them directly and they should be more than happy to provide with you information regarding schooling, training, and years in practice. Seasoned orthodontists are generally better at identifying problems and the best solution for fixing them. Next, find out what type of practice the orthodontist works in. Do they own their own or are they working for someone else? This can easily be ascertained by asking around in the community. You want to find a practice that is a well-respected member of their community. Finally, find out whether or not the orthodontist is certified by the American Association of Orthodontists. The AAO is the governing body of orthodontists in the United States and maintains various ethical, professional, and training standards. Suffice it to say, having a board-certified orthodontist is crucial.
Answering these questions should help guide you through the decision process.
Different orthodontists specialize in different areas. Of course they all share the common goal of straightening the patient’s teeth, their area of focus is just different. For example, someone looking for treatment for younger children might want to find an orthodontist who specializes in affordable braces for kids. An adult seeking treatment on the other hand, might want to avoid family practices and find an orthodontist who works only on discreet braces for adults. For professional and social reasons, many adults aren’t interested in having mouthfuls of metal. If it can be avoided during the straightening process, they’ll be all about it. Let’s check out some of the discreet options available today:
- Lingual Braces – These braces use the same metal bracket and wire system that traditional braces use, but with a twist. Instead of having the brackets placed on the front of the teeth, they are affixed to the back. This hides them from plain view and allows treatment to go unnoticed. Keep in mind that this option is often pricey and requires a skilled orthodontist to oversee.
- Clear Braces – For those who have severe misalignments that require traditional treatment methods, clear braces might just be the best solution. They work the same way as steel braces, using the bracket and wire system, so you know they’re effective. The primary difference is that these braces are made of clear plastic instead of metal, making them harder to notice.
- Invisalign – When it comes to discreet treatment options, Invisalign is as good as it gets. The system uses clear plastic aligners that are snapped over teeth to push things into place. The treatment process is simple and non-invasive, and has proven quite effective over the years.
When it comes to fixing your crooked smile, you’ve got options. Both in terms of orthodontics and types of treatment. Stop putting it off and get to work on your perfect smile today.