By S Porter
Many people have tooth alignment problems that need to be corrected by braces; some can be handled during childhood, and some after they become an adult. When you are faced with this problem, it is important to pick a type of braces that best fit your need. There are several types of braces that all do similar things but at a range of different costs and drawbacks. Some braces are subtle in their appearance but the trade off for better looking is higher cost or more discomfort. The important thing to remember about braces is that they will be with you for a long time; that means pictures and memories of your braces will never go away.
The cheapest type of braces are metal, and they are what everyone thinks of when they have braces in mind. They cost about $5,000 but as with most dental procedures, dentists are usually more than happy to arrange a payment schedule to spread out the cost. Gold braces will cost a little more, but not as much as the other types of cosmetic solutions. The average length of time it takes for this type of braces to work is about 2 years and metal and gold will work exactly the same way. They can be uncomfortable and unattractive, but everyone is happy they did it after the braces come off.
Ceramic braces are similar to metal and gold braces, but they are clear so the only thing to see is the wire connecting them. It’s still obvious you have braces but they don’t attract the eye as much, so many people think this is a great compromise. They take just a little longer to work than metal braces and the cost a little more, but if you are looking for middle of the road; this is it. Lingual braces are the ultimate in looks, price and discomfort for the person who decides to get them. They go on the backside of your teeth so no one can see them at all, but they will also cut your tongue and make it difficult to talk properly. They are hard to install and work on, so the cost of lingual braces is high.
Invisalign braces are a new type of braces that are completely clear and they can be worn at night like a retainer, or all the time like regular braces. The drawback to Invisalign is the amount of time it takes to fix an alignment problem, and the cost is much higher than normal braces. They can’t be adjusted like regular braces; once your teeth have moved a small amount, they need to make a whole new mold to move your teeth the next increment. Not all dentists are trained to use Invisalign and they won’t allow untrained dentists to use their braces, so if this is your solution you need to find a dentist who is certified by Invisalign. I have no experience with Invisalign, but I’ve heard from many other people that they are the best way to go if you have the money.
Getting tooth alignment problems fixed during childhood is usually the best choice, but sometimes the funds just aren’t there. Wisdom teeth coming in later in life can also cause tooth alignment problems that need to be fixed with braces. If money is the problem there are many dental plans out there like Delta Dental and Ameriplan Dental to help ease the cost, but they will be expensive no matter what you do. We all want to look our best and getting your teeth straightened can do wonders for your self confidence. Cost, comfort, time and looks are things to consider when choosing the right braces for you, but you will be thankful you did it once your teeth are nice and straight.