Every person is unique and so are their lives in every way. We are all born into different physical packages and have many personality types that factor into how we are perceived by those who we come into contact with. There are things about us all that we cannot change but it is within the realm of possibility that we can change our smiles if they have not or are not naturally forming in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Everyone can feel better about who they are no matter how happy they actually are if they can smile and laugh in situations when it is a natural reaction to have. Being happy is a challenge for some people but it can be exponentially more challenging when they are self-conscious about their smiles, so seeing an orthodontist is a good idea for anyone who is seeking a way to feel better about themselves when they know that part of the equation that is keeping them down is their teeth.
Modern day braces have been fairly common in the United States and many other developed nations since the 1970s after dental adhesive was formulated properly to be used in the orthodontic field. Before that, there were more primitive forms of braces that used metal bands that wrapped around a patient’s individual teeth in order to provide a surface that a mechanism could be attached to on the front of the band that an interconnecting wire system could be strung between. In the early 1900s the metals that were used were expensive because gold, silver and platinum were the most common ones used in orthodontic application but later in the century it became clear that stainless steel was the best kind of metal to use because it did not rust, it was durable and could be easily shaped and was very economical.
People are often afraid of change and practicing dentists and orthodontists are no different. When stainless steel was introduced as a metal that could replace all existing metals used in the dental and orthodontic field in the 1950s and 60s, it was met with some opposition. It did not take long though for the erroneous suspicion to be overcome and stainless steel became widely accepted and used in the application of braces and is considered the most effective and economical material to use in the application of fixed straight wire appliances (braces). Bracket technology came into existence in the late 1930s, but not until dental adhesive was approved for use in the orthodontics field were the advances in bracket designs truly able to shine and move forward. A self-litigating bracket was invented and patented that made the application and adjustment of braces a lot easier because of the ‘trap door’ design that closed snuggly around the interconnected wiring between the brackets.
Other ideas about how to straighten teeth were being experimented with during the time that stainless steel and dental adhesive were making braces easier to apply and adjust for orthodontists and their patients. Simultaneously, orthodontists in Japan and the United States were developing an application method that would make braces less conspicuous so that the people wearing them would feel more comfortable with the concept of straightening their teeth. They are now called lingual braces and because they are installed on the interior surface of the patient’s teeth, they are considered invisible. The method is a lot more complex than normal braces are and it requires that an orthodontist undergo additional training in order to be effectively able to administer this technique. It should be noted that not everyone is eligible for this method though, because it is sometimes not capable of producing the most favorable results and every orthodontist wants what is best for their patients.
Advances in other technological fields have made smile correction possible in ways that do not ever require metal or brackets of any kind. Computer imaging and 3-D printers have made Invisalign a popular teeth straightening procedure that many people choose to help them feel better about their smiles and because it is undetectable, those who choose this technique do not have to feel self-conscious about it during the time they are in the midst of the treatment. Invisalign braces is actually a series of ‘aligners’ that are used to gradually push teeth into alignment. These aligners are made out of transparent, thin, plastic and are worn by the patient for three to four weeks each. They are made using a 3-D printer after computer imaging software creates the images used to create each aligner.