Crooked teeth can leave people feeling insecure about their smile. Malocclusion (underbite or overbite) can make eating difficult and create jaw pain. Fortunately, there is more than one way to straighten teeth and fix a misaligned bite. New advances in dentistry have led to great improvements over traditional braces. Philadelphia cosmetic dentist Bruce Wilderman offers a wide range of teeth straightening procedures that address the unique dental needs of each patient.
Braces have been the traditional approach to orthodontics. Braces consist of metal brackets and wires that gradually pull the teeth into their desired position. The process of straightening your teeth with braces requires a lot of time. The process generally lasts from one year to three years; the amount of time is takes to straighten the teeth and align the bite is dependent upon how much the teeth must be moved.
Braces work by putting pressure on the teeth in order to make them move in a certain direction. Sometimes one tooth or multiple teeth need to be removed to create more space and produce a uniform result. Once the braces are removed, a retainer may be required for the first six months. After the first six months, it is recommended that patients wear the retainer while sleeping. The use of a retainer will prevent the teeth from shifting out of position after treatment is complete.
Invisalign® is a popular alternative to traditional braces. The Invisalign® treatment process involves the use of a series of custom-made aligners. These clear aligners apply pressure to the teeth so they move into alignment. Invisalign® is a preferred choice over metal braces because the clear aligners are virtually invisible. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks, gradually shifting the teeth into position. For our patients in Philadelphia, Invisalign® can be used to close gaps and correct minor crowding. Contact Dr. Wilderman to find out if Invisalign® is right for you.
Instant Orthodontics with Porcelain Veneers
Both braces and Invisalign® require time to produce optimal results. For those seeking a quick fix, porcelain veneers may offer the ideal solution. Porcelain veneers can be used to fix crooked, uneven teeth, and even fill gaps between teeth in a treatment that has become known as "instant orthodontics". A porcelain veneer is a thin shell-like prosthesis applied to the front surface of the tooth. The shade, size, and shape if each veneer is customized for the patient, and then bonded to the tooth to create a beautiful, straight, bright smile.
Porcelain veneer placement generally requires two dental appointments. You can have straight teeth within two dental visits, spaced about one week apart, instead of waiting years for the final result of treatment with braces or Invislaign®. During the first appointment, an impression is made of the teeth; the molds are then sent out to a dental lab so the porcelain veneers can be made. Once the veneers are ready, patients return to our office for a second appointment so the veneers can be placed and polished.
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You can have straight teeth and a perfectly aligned bite through one of these teeth straightening procedures. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Wilderman to determine which treatment option is best for you.