If you have overcrowded teeth, an overbite or underbite, a twisted tooth, or gapped teeth, you may wish to undergo teeth straightening treatment to improve the appearance of your smile. At Southwind Dental Care, Dr. Timothy S. Messer offers two treatment approaches: orthodontic aligners, which correct misalignment problems; and veneers and bonding, which mask misalignment problems. These cosmetic dentistry treatments effectively straighten the teeth, but they each come with their own advantages and disadvantages. In this blog post, we review the teeth straightening treatments that we offer at our Memphis, TN practice.
Orthodontic aligners can be used to correct mild to moderate overcrowding, overbites, underbites, gaps between teeth, and twisted or turned teeth. The treatment involves the use of several clear, plastic aligners, each of which is worn for about two weeks before you progress to the next aligner in the series. The aligners move the teeth into their desired positions over a period of several months. The benefit is that the clear aligners are discreet, much less noticeable than braces. They can also be removed when eating or cleaning the teeth, eliminating food restrictions and making it easy for you to care for your teeth and gums.
If you suffer from severe misalignment, you may be a better candidate for braces. If this is the case, we can refer you to a local orthodontist.
Unlike orthodontic aligners or braces, which gradually move the teeth into alignment, porcelain veneers mask these dental flaws altogether. Individual veneers, which are thin shells that cover the front of the teeth, can be fabricated to make it appear as though you have uniformly sized and evenly spaced teeth. This can be achieved by removing a small amount of tooth enamel from the treated teeth so the veneers do not appear bulky and sit flush against one another. Then, we will take impressions of your teeth and send these, and your design specifications, to a trusted dental lab where your custom veneers will be fabricated. When the veneers are ready, they can be bonded to the teeth, improving the appearance of your smile for 10 years or more with proper care. The great benefit of veneers is that treatment can be complete within two weeks.
Dental bonding can also be used to mask dental flaws. This treatment involves the direct application of composite resin to the teeth. The composite material can be molded to fill in gaps, mask a twisted tooth, or change the shape of a tooth. Once the ideal look has been achieved, the composite material is hardened with a curing light. Dental bonding treatment is ideal because it can be completed in a single dental appointment, and it is less costly than other teeth straightening alternatives. However, dental bonding results do not last as long, and the treatment is best suited to patients with the most minor of misalignment problems.
To find out which teeth straightening treatment is right for you, contact Southwind Dental Care today.
I have been to several dentists in the Memphis Area and I have finally found THE ONE!! Dr. Messer is the best dentist I have ever been to. I have complete confidence in any procedure that he performs and I can't imagine ever going to any other dentist.