If you’ve been considering orthodontic treatment for yourself or a family member, you probably have a long list of questions about how it all works. It’s a big investment, after all, and not something you want to take lightly. You may be comparing braces vs. Invisalign, wondering which is right for you. Here at Smith & Heymann Orthodontics, we want every potential patient to have all the information they need to make the right choice for their smile. That’s why we’re proud to offer free consultations in each of our four locations!
When you schedule an orthodontic evaluation with one of our experienced doctors, it’s your chance to get to know us a bit better and outline any concerns you have about your smile. After assessing your teeth, we’ll walk you through the entire treatment process. This will include an introduction to our most popular treatment options, Damon braces and Invisalign clear aligners. To learn more about each of these exciting treatments, keep reading below!
Two different treatments, one happy smile
Traditional braces have been around for a long time and have a proven track record of successfully correcting many orthodontic issues. Our practice uses self-ligating Damon metal and clear braces, neither of which require elastic or metal ties. The braces are instead attached to a light “shape memory” wire that connects the slide brackets without the pressure elastics often produce. The high-tech wires allow us to straighten the teeth faster, make fewer adjustments, and with less pressure than traditional braces.
Instead of brackets and wires, the Invisalign system moves the teeth in small increments using a series of clear aligners. These removable aligners are custom-made from a special thermoplastic material that allows them to fit snugly but comfortably over your teeth. When worn as directed, Invisalign aligners can be just as effective as braces at correcting many of the most common orthodontic issues. Because the aligners are clear and removable, they’re extremely popular with our image-conscious teen and adult patients!
The basics of Damon braces
As noted above, Damon braces are self-ligating. That means no elastic or metal ties are required, as the braces are attached to a “shape memory” wire instead. This wire is very light, capable of connecting the slide brackets without the pressure that traditional elastics often produce. These components will move your teeth gently over time, with fewer adjustments and a more comfortable treatment experience. This can also eliminate the need for expansion, extraction, or surgery in many of the situations for which they are recommended.
The tie-ins that we typically use with traditional braces can sometimes cause friction and pressure. This can result in soreness, pain, and damage to the roots. In some cases, it may even add to the total treatment time. The Damon system is different! It uses a patented slide mechanism to hold the archwire in place while allowing the teeth to move freely and quickly without as much friction. Since there are no elastic ties, no tightening is required. That also makes Damon braces easier to keep clean!
Damon braces are extremely efficient at fixing a wide range of orthodontic issues. In fact, they can work faster than other treatments might at correcting bad bites, closing gaps, and aligning the teeth Not only that, but patients will often see noticeable signs of progress in a relatively short amount of time. This can provide a small boost of excitement and encouragement throughout the treatment process.
The Damon system has been designed to be more discreet than traditional braces, but for those who want a less visible option, we also offer Damon Clear braces. These can be the perfect solution for teens and adults who aren’t keen on a full set of metal braces.
Braces patients can expect to see us for follow-up visits every 8 weeks or so. During these checkups, one of our doctors will ensure everything is progressing as it should be and make any necessary adjustments. They may choose to change the wire at this time as well. Most of these visits last no more than an hour, but they’re an essential part of treatment. Try not to miss any if you can help it! Keeping all your appointments with us will help you achieve the best results in the least amount of time possible.
The innovative Invisalign system relies on patient compliance for its success. Since the custom aligners are removable, you’ll be responsible for wearing them the recommended 20-22 hours a day throughout the treatment process. Each aligner will also need to be switched out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks in order to keep up with the movements the teeth are making. Failure to do so can lead to a longer treatment time and less optimal results.
Because Invisalign aligners are removable, they’re effortless to maintain. They’re designed to be taken out before eating and drinking anything other than water, so you’ll never need to worry about food getting stuck in between the brackets and wires. That means no restrictions on what you can eat! Aligners are also removed before brushing and flossing, making dental hygiene a much quicker and more straightforward process.
Like braces, the treatment time with Invisalign is dependent on how each patient responds. The average tends to be somewhere between 12-24 months. Invisalign patients will also be scheduled for regular follow-ups with our office, usually every 8-12 weeks or so. Skipping appointments or missing scheduled aligner changes can quickly undo any progress made.
Find your best smile at Smith & Heymann Orthodontics
Not every treatment will be a good fit for every patient. That’s why it’s so important to work with an experienced orthodontist! We’re lucky enough to have three highly trained and skilled doctors in our practice. Dr. Smith, Dr. Heymann, or Dr. Skillestad will assess your smile during your initial visit and let you know which treatment would be the best fit for your specific needs.
With four offices conveniently located in Durham, Mebane, Roxboro, and Chapel Hill, it’s never been easier for you to get the confident smile you deserve! To learn more about how braces or Invisalign could improve your oral health, get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with our expert team.