Two Popular Options for Tooth Realignment Historically, metal braces used to be the only option for dental patients who wished to straighten their teeth. Today, though, patients have a few different options. When deciding between different methods for straightening teeth it's important to consider cost and effectiveness as well as the aesthetic appeal; read on to find out more. The Basics While traditional orthodontic devices for straightening teeth used metal brackets glued to the teeth held together with metal wires and rubber bands, invisalign uses aligner trays that are designed to be removable and nearly invisible. Both of these systems work, and modern metal brackets can be colored to match the teeth's natural color to make them more discreet or can be brightly colored for patients who prefer to make a fashion statement. However, patients who want colored metal brackets will usually have to pay extra for the coloring. The Cost Traditional orthodontic systems can vary significantly in cost, but patients can expect to pay at least a few thousand dollars. Clear tray systems average around $5,000, which may wind up equaling out to a bit more money than traditional systems in the end. However, local orthodontist of these tray systems often outweigh the higher monetary investment for many patients. Treatment Time Traditional orthodontic systems must be worn 24 hours a day for an average of around two years. Treatment using more modern technologies requires that clear tray systems be worn for 22 hours a day for between 6 and 18 months, depending on the patient's unique needs. Follow up treatment in the form of a positioner or a retainer is usually required for both of these systems. Who Can Use Them? The traditional straightening treatments available at the orthodontist are appropriate for any dental patient who does not regularly engage in rough contact sports. Modern tray systems can only be used by patients who do not have bridgework, back tooth bite issues, or lack of adequate discipline to keep the trays in for at least 22 hours per day. Patients who need to have their canines or premolars rotated or their teeth moved vertically cannot benefit from clear tray systems and must resort to conventional orthodontics. Comfort and Convenience Traditional systems can be quite uncomfortable and inconvenient, as they can cause pain and sores due to the wires and brackets they require to work. It can also be difficult for patients to adequately clean their teeth around the metal brackets, while tray systems can be completely removed for easy cleaning. It is, however, essential to remove these trays before eating or drinking anything other than water and to ensure that the teeth and trays are brushed after every meal in order to avoid staining. Learn More Today The best way for patients to decide which of these systems is right for them is to contact an orthodontist Broomfield residents can speak with about options. Make an appointment today to get started.