Which is best for me? Braces or clear aligners?

Today’s orthodontic treatments are well suited to social adult lives, and clear aligners and braces often present a discreet and effective solution to problems associated with crooked teeth. One of the first questions our clients ask is, ‘Should I opt for braces or clear aligners?’ This is usually because they have concerns about how teeth straightening will impact their work and social lives. Choosing an orthodontic appliance because of its appearance is not necessarily a good idea. Your orthodontist will select either braces or a clear aligner depending on your treatment goals but will also take your lifestyle needs into account.

We explain more about braces and clear aligners.

Always act on specialist orthodontist advice

Orthodontics is as much about keeping your teeth healthy as it is making them look great. A straight smile is a happy smile, and modern orthodontists are trained to use a number of different tools to achieve this. The first stage of any orthodontic treatment should always be diagnosis and assessment. At Landmark Dental, this involves in-depth consultation, examinations, x-rays and models. Once a problem has been pinned down, your trained orthodontist will agree with you a bespoke treatment plan.

Braces for traditional and effective orthodontic treatment

Fixed braces are a conventional form of orthodontic treatment that have been used for decades to successfully treat a number of orthodontic issues. In the past, one of the concerns about braces has been their visibility and unattractiveness but they are an effective treatment often still used by orthodontists today

  • Fixed braces are more visible than other orthodontic solutions
    Fixed braces do have elements that are visible to other people and may cause you to feel self-conscious during treatment. However all of the fixed ceramic braces we use at Landmark Dental are clear or white and will blend in well with your teeth. We also use a wire and elastic bands to apply pressure to the teeth; these too can be unobtrusively coloured.
  • Fixed braces are not removable
    You will not be able to remove fixed braces until your treatment has finished; this can be good news for people who are prone to losing things. Your orthodontist will adjust your braces at regular intervals during treatment.
  • Fixed braces require a regular hygiene regime
    During treatment your oral hygiene needs to be routine and thorough. Braces can collect food particles and plaque, which should be removed by brushing and flossing throughout the day. Whilst wearing fixed braces, you should avoid sweetened or acidic drinks as well as hard or chewy food.
  • Fixed braces are not generally uncomfortable
    Although it takes a while to get used to wearing braces, this often happens quite quickly. When you visit your orthodontist for regular adjustments, you might notice a bit of short-term discomfort but this can be managed with over-the-counter pain-relief.

Clear aligners for a discreet and adaptable orthodontic solution

Clear aligners such as Invisalign aligners are a more recent orthodontic breakthrough that has made treatment easier for those who are particularly concerned about their appearance. They consist of a set of bespoke aligners, which fit over the teeth and gently realign them and the jaw.

  • Clear aligners such as Invisalign are less visible than other orthodontic treatments
    Invisalign aligners are made from a thin, clear plastic and can’t easily be seen once fitted in place over the teeth. This near invisible approach can be great for those who feel they might feel self-conscious whilst undergoing orthodontic treatment.
  • You will be able to remove your clear aligners yourself
    Clear aligners are very popular amongst adults because they can be removed for important occasions and for cleaning. Whilst it is important to wear these devices for a prescribed amount of time each day, many clients appreciate being able to remove them at times when they feel appearance really matters.
  • Clear aligners are easy to keep clean
    It is important to avoid sweet or acidic drinks whilst wearing clear aligners but, because they are removable, it is easy to establish a cleaning regime for them. Clear aligners should only ever be inserted into a clean mouth.
  • Clear aligners are not generally uncomfortable
    Any device that moves teeth is going to be uncomfortable from time to time. With clear aligners this can happen when you switch to a new aligning tray but this discomfort can be satisfactorily managed with over-the-counter pain-relief. In general clear aligners such as Invisalign offer a comfortable and flexible orthodontic treatment.

If you would like a straighter and more confident smile, and think you may benefit from orthodontic treatment, please get in touch with the team at Landmark Dental. We offer full consultation and examination and are happy to talk to you about your concerns and how we might be able to help. For a low cost initial consultation, contact us today.

Why only a specialist orthodontist should fit Invisalign braces

Invisalign teeth straightening is a specialist teeth-straightening system designed to gently move your teeth into a desired position. Invisalign aligners are almost invisible and present an inconspicuous option for those who want to carry on their everyday lives with the minimum of disruption. Specific training is required for all practitioners who want to treat patients with the Invisalign System. All orthodontic treatment is a complex process involving in-depth knowledge, and is far more effective and safe when undertaken by qualified orthodontists. We look at the differences between orthodontists and dentists and explain why you really should be looking for a qualified orthodontist to oversee your Invisalign or other teeth straightening programmes.

Why should I look for an orthodontist to fit my Invisalign braces?

Orthodontics and general dentistry have many similarities and both general dentists and orthodontists are qualified professionals. However there are some differences in training and experience between the two specialisms, which mean that an orthodontist is more qualified to safely fit Invisalign teeth straightening systems.

  • Both general dentists and orthodontists undertake general dentistry training
  • UK orthodontists then complete at least three years of focused further study at a post-graduate level (Masters or PhD)
  • Orthodontists are qualified to assess the bite and alignment of teeth
  • Orthodontists are experienced in treating misaligned and overcrowded teeth as well as issues with overbite or underbite

Why might my dentist recommend me to an orthodontist for treatment?

In today’s world of good looks and cosmetic awareness, most of us would like a beautiful set of straight and well-aligned teeth. Improving your smile can often add to your levels of self-confidence and have significant positive impact on your work and home experiences. Whilst your general dentist will be able to help you with your concerns related to decayed or damaged teeth, an orthodontist has the qualifications and experience to take a more specialist approach.

The successful straightening of teeth depends on a detailed understanding of the level of malalignment of your teeth, and the development of exactly the right treatment plan for you. Orthodontics are not just about straightening teeth, making sure that your upper and lower teeth fit together in the right way is also vital to prevent future potential problems. An orthodontist will have the level of expertise required to achieve this. Whilst Invisalign is a very successful and popular treatment, it is not the optimum solution for all orthodontic issues. By visiting an orthodontist for a consultation, you will have the opportunity to explain your worries and understand your corrective treatment options. At Landmark Dental these include Invisalign, which are comfortable to wear and very difficult to detect.

Why is a qualified orthodontist the best person for my Invisalign treatment?

Although an Invisalign aligner is an effective and user-friendly treatment, it may only form one aspect of your teeth alignment strategy. Whilst a number of general dentists have considerable experience with Invisalign, specialist orthodontists focus exclusively on orthodontic issues and have more experience handling specific cases. When you put your smile in the hands of an experienced orthodontist, you will be choosing the very best practitioner to prevent complications and suggest effective treatment approaches.

Not all dentists are orthodontists

It is important to remember that, while all orthodontists are dentists, not all dentists are orthodontists. Here at Landmark Dental we are proud of our qualified and experienced orthodontists. If you are would like to see improvements to your smile or are worried about the positioning of your teeth then an orthodontic consultation might well be the answer. Get in touch with us today to find out whether Invisalign or another solution can solve your dental problems and bring back your smile.

Not just for children. Why you are never too old for orthodontic treatment

These days many young people have their teeth successfully straightened with orthodontic devices and there are growing numbers of adults who are recognising the advantages of orthodontic treatment and even shouting about it on social media. If you have ever looked in the mirror and wanted a straighter and healthier smile, then orthodontic treatment could be for you. Although childhood is an excellent time to realign developing teeth, orthodontics can also be very successful during adulthood. Not only that, transparent aligners such as Invisalign have made the whole process more discreet and convenient. We answer your questions about having braces fitted as an adult.

  1. Is orthodontic treatment just for children?
    Having braces or aligners fitted when you are younger is a great idea because your mouth and jaw are still growing. However orthodontic treatment can be just as successful when you are an adult and sometimes even more necessary. Adult orthodontic cases can sometimes be more complicated than childhood ones because adult teeth have often undergone the strains and stresses of previous damage or dental intervention. Because of this, it is vital that only qualified and experienced practitioners carry out adult orthodontic treatment. For optimum and healthy results, our professional team at Landmark Dental are also able to perform any necessary hygiene and other procedures prior to the fitting of orthodontic devices.
  2. Do I really need adult orthodontic treatment?
    Being happy with your smile is really important and restoring this can have a huge positive impact on your self-confidence in both business and social contexts. However, as an adult, orthodontic treatment is also important for the health and function of your teeth. Teeth that are misaligned can cause problems such as cracks and fissures, issues with speech, tooth decay and gum disease. As we age it becomes even more important to take care of our teeth and orthodontic treatment can often be the best way to preserve a healthy and happy smile into later adulthood.
  3. How long will my adult orthodontic treatment take?
    Adult teeth require gentle and controlled straightening. This is not a job that can be hurried but more simple cases may only require a few months of treatment. More complex treatments or a combination of treatments may take longer than this but the results and a healthy smile are always worth the time. Your orthodontic specialist is the best person to advise you on expected timescales for your treatment. Although teeth straightening cannot be hurried the good news is that some orthodontic devices, such as Invisalign aligners, are virtually undetectable and can be removed for important occasions. Orthodontic treatment is far more convenient and comfortable than it once was.
  4. Will I need to wear metal braces to straighten my teeth?
    Each mouth is individual and it takes years of training to understand how different orthodontic devices gently move and adjust teeth. Our team at Landmark Dental are experts in selecting exactly the right combination of orthodontic tools to suit each of our patients. Some devices, such as Invisalign, offer discreet, almost invisible alignment and are particularly suitable for those who are concerned about the appearance of their teeth during treatment. Even our fixed ceramic braces are either white or transparent and connected with only the thinnest of metal wires. At Landmark Dental we understand the importance to our patients of appearance during treatment and do our very best to assure a satisfactory experience.
  5. How much will my adult orthodontic treatment cost?
    Many adults put off essential orthodontic treatment because of worries about costs but this can be false economy because correctly aligned teeth are more likely to be healthy than those that are crooked. At Landmark Dental we work with our patients to make orthodontics more affordable, and we offer low cost consultations and flexible payment plans. Before cost concerns put you off orthodontic treatment, get in touch with our team today to find out exactly what we recommend for your smile and how we can help you pay for improvements.
  6. Who is qualified to undertake my orthodontic treatment?
    Qualified orthodontic practitioners are required to have extensive knowledge of facial, teeth and jaw development in order to achieve optimum and safe results during and after orthodontic treatment. Anyone wanting to practice as an orthodontist must train first as a dentist and then undertake a further three years of study at Masters or PhD level. Although general dentists can provide elements of orthodontic treatment, only trained orthodontic specialists have the expertise to ensure optimum results. By choosing our orthodontic experts at Landmark Dental, you will be putting your smile in safe hands.

Orthodontic treatment can be as effective and satisfactory for adults as it is for children. Here at Landmark Dental we create orthodontic treatment plans for patients of all ages. If you are feeling unhappy with your smile or concerned about your teeth, and think that adult orthodontic treatment might be the answer you are looking for, all it takes to find out is a visit to your dentist. Get in touch with the team at Landmark Dental today to hear more about how orthodontics could help you find your way to a happier and healthier smile.