Having crooked teeth is a very embarrassing predicament to be in. You feel self-conscious and are reluctant to smile or laugh, as you assume that everyone is looking at your crooked teeth. Crooked teeth can adversely affect your dental health and overall wellbeing, as crooked teeth create areas where food can accumulate and start to decay. So, all in all, leaving crooked teeth alone is not a good idea. Fortunately, there are many options available nowadays to straighten your teeth.
For most adults, getting braces is just not an option, especially if you work with the public. Advances in orthodontic treatment have developed numerous ways of straightening your teeth without using braces. We will discuss these various options to give you a better idea of what could work for you.
There are over the counter retainers and aligners that you can purchase, to attempt to correct the problem yourself; and this might work if you have a very minor misalignment in one or two of your teeth. But this is not an option that is highly recommended. Your teeth, gums and jawbone are a very intricate, inter-related system, and I would be very loath to recommend the DIY option. You might end up doing far more damage than you are trying to correct.
It is definitely recommended that you consult your cosmetic dentist, before making the decision to go the DIY route. Nine times out of ten your dentist will recommend one of the more tried and trusted methods for straightening your teeth, under the supervision of your dentist.
Braces are the most conventional and traditional treatment method for straightening crooked teeth. The brackets are attached to the teeth and are then periodically adjusted by means of wires and rubber bands attached to the brackets. The treatment can take from two to four years to achieve the desired result. Braces fall into two broad categories; those attached to the front of the teeth, as just described; and the second category called lingual braces, where the brackets are attached to the rear of the teeth. Lingual braces work the same way as conventional braces, they are just less obtrusive, because they are attached to the back of the teeth. Adults who require braces will generally go for lingual variety for this reason.
Retainers and Aligners
Similar to braces, retainers and aligners are solid acrylic appliances that are worn 20 to 22 hours a day. The advantage of this method is that the appliance can be removed when eating and then re-inserted into the mouth, making oral hygiene much easier. There is also a system of aligners called Invisalign, which follow the same principal but are transparent and therefore less noticeable.
Veneers and Composite Bonding
Porcelain veneers create the impression of straight teeth and merely fit over your existing teeth. Veneers are purely aesthetic and do not seek to alter the position of your teeth at all. Veneers, therefore, do not address the underlying problem.
Like veneers, composite bonding uses a resin-like composite to cover the teeth. Once the resin has set, the dentist will then shape the composite to create the impression of straight teeth.
The most invasive method for straightening crooked teeth, it is also the most permanent and undoubtedly the most expensive.
As you can see, there are a variety of methods for straightening your teeth, some permanent, some not. It is up to you to decide, in consultation with your dentist, as to the most suitable method for you.