The human race has been thinking about and trying to come up with ways to straighten their teeth for a very long time. In fact, there is evidence that even ancient Egyptians made efforts to align their teeth with metal bands around the bases of their teeth. Archeological examinations of mummified remains have found this many times and the funny thing is that not much changed over the course of thousands of years in terms of the methods used. There were always theories and crude methods used to try to correct people’s bites but viable methods to actually straighten teeth did not exist until some very important advances were made.
Until dental adhesive was perfected and began being used in the 70s, orthodontists fashioned stainless steel bands around the base of their patients teeth that had brackets attached to the front of them with which to attach metal bands between (kind of like ancient Egyptians). Often, at the end of the braces treatment, although the patients teeth were straight, the metal bands often left cavities behind that had to be filled in. Orthodontics were not near as advanced even 40 years ago as they are now, and before that not much had changed for a very long time. There was a lot that needed to be learned and trial and error was about the only method with which to use to find out what needed to be known in order to make progress.
Technology has advanced a lot within the last only 10 or 15 years, so much so that there are ways to straighten out teeth that do not even require brackets of any kind. A method called Invisalign, was introduced to the world in the year 2000 and quickly became a very popular way for people. mostly adults, to align their teeth so they could feel better about them. 3-D printing and digital computer-generated imaging technologies are used to create a series of clear, plastic ‘aligners’ that form to the patients teeth that they wear in accordance with the schedule their orthodontist lays out for them. Each aligner typically only needs to be worn for two to three weeks and in most cases, somewhere between eight and twelve aligners are required to shift teeth into place.
Invisalign was an amazing advent that provided discreet teeth straightening possibilities that never existed before. Unfortunately though, not everyone is considered an ideal candidate for this method for several reasons and only a dentist or orthodontist can really make this determination. The important thing is that no orthodontist is going to perform any procedure on a patient that is not going to get them results that they and their patient can be happy with. An orthodontist should be seen as an artist and when they are considering a treatment option that they don’t think will produce an end result that they will be proud of and want to be put on display, they are not going to recommend it to their patient.
Traditional braces are considered the most economical and effective teeth straightening method available and this has been the case since even before self-litigating brackets were available for commercial use after dental adhesive began being used to glue them onto the front of patients teeth in the 1970s. Soon after stainless steel became the clear orthodontic choice in the 1950s when bands were being applied around individual teeth, designs and patents for brackets made out of ceramic and plastic began making their way into the orthodontic field. Many brackets designs were just waiting for the dental adhesive to be perfected before they could reach their full potential and once the adhesive was ready, so were the brackets.
Clear braces are a popular choice for people who want or need to correct their teeth but do not like the idea of having the same conspicuous stainless steel in their mouth as children do when they have braces. Brackets that are made out of clear plastic are a little more difficult to detect than metal and they are capable of delivering the same results that stainless steel brackets are. They are not as strong though, and if they are not cared for properly they can require more trips to the orthodontist for maintenance and in effect, cost the patient more money. There are at least several factors to take into consideration with every teeth straightening method available and anyone who is looking into the matter should talk with a professional. Orthodontists have years of training and experience to be able to deliver results that they and their patients will be happy with for years to come.