Today there is an increasing demand for pleasing aesthetics. This is not only in regard to the finished product from an aesthetic procedure (plastic surgery, orthodontics, aesthetic dentistry), but is often preferred while the procedure itself is being performed. Thus in the field of orthodontics aesthetic appliances have become in demand. The forms of those aesthetic appliances are as followed; Invisalign, porcelain or clear brackets, veneers or crowns, and lingual braces.
As with all things there are pros and cons to each one of these procedures. I will attempt to provide a clear view of what they might be:
Pros: Very well marketed, simple, less visible than traditional braces
Cons: Must be worn 24 hours a day with attachments necessary to move teeth, can hardly be considered invisible, has been proven to achieve the predicted result 41% of the time, requires a high degree of patient cooperation
Veneers and Crowns
Pros: Allows for aesthetic correction in a relatively short period of time (3 to 5 weeks)
Cons: Invasive, requiring some requiring some reduction of the natural tooth in order to correct tooth position, encroachment on periodontium often occurs leading to potential problems down the road
Porcelain or clear brackets
Pros: Not as visible as metal brackets, provides greater control for tooth movement for the orthodontist
Pros: Invisible appliance, as brackets are located behind the teeth, eliminates the possibility of white marks on the facial surface of the teeth, provides complete control for the orthodontist in treating the malocclusion
Cons: Some irritation to the tongue, accommodated with two to three weeks, requires slightly more meticulous care and cleaning
Its been my experience, that in the right circumstances, lingual braces provides the best treatment appliance available in orthodontics today. This is in terms of both the ending aesthetics, tooth position, appearance, as well as treatment mechanics superior to the traditional braces used today. It was with this thought in mind that I felt it incumbent upon me to introduce the use of lingual braces to the Tufts orthodontic residency. The use of that appliance in this program has been ongoing now for a three-year period.