Types of Aligners

What are Different Types of Retainers?

Orthodontists generally use two types of ortho aligners; removable and fixed aligners. While wearing both aligner types is the same - to prevent unwanted tooth movement - they work differently. 

  • Wire/ Fixed Retainers 

These retainers are made of orthodontic wire and plastic-like material. The wire passes through the inner surface of the front (upper and lower) teeth and is bonded to each tooth using composite resin. Fixed retainers are usually prescribed for long-term treatment or in cases when patients frequently lose or break the removable retainers. They are also prescribed to patients with a higher risk of treatment relapse. Fixed retainers also carry a few drawbacks; tongue irritation and difficulty eating and speaking. 

  • Clear/ Removable Retainers 

As the name suggests, these retainers are made from a transparent polymeric material, like clear aligners. These retainers are designed to fit over the newly-aligned teeth and serve as a physical barrier against unwanted tooth movement. Removable retainers are prescribed when patients only need to wear the aligners during the night. Disadvantages of removable aligners include the frequent need for repair or replacement, discoloration due to food items, and warpage when exposed to heat. 

Ortho retainers are an essential part of your orthodontic treatment; they ensure that you enjoy a set of perfectly aligned teeth and a beautiful smile throughout life. Therefore, wearing your aligners according to your orthodontist’s instructions is as important as wearing your braces or aligners.

Best Braces For Adults

Today, different braces are available for treating a wide range of orthodontic issues. But, how can one decide which braces type is good for them? Don’t worry; in this blog, we offer an overview of different braces types here so you can decide - in consultation with your orthodontist - which braces are best for you, depending on your dental needs and budget.

Overall, there are two main types of braces: fixed and removable.

Fixed Braces

These braces are fixed appliances that are bonded to the front surface of teeth and cannot be removed. These include the traditional metal braces, regarded as the gold standard for orthodontic treatment. However, despite their excellent effectiveness, many patients do not like these braces due to their unesthetic metallic appearance. Moreover, these many braces wearers often find them to be uncomfortable, as their sharp edges can cause soft tissue damage. To overcome this problem, other, more esthetically pleasing fixed braces were introduced: ceramic and lingual braces.

  • Ceramic Braces - these braces are made of tooth-colored ceramic, while the orthodontic wires are coated with a tooth-colored material to make them inconspicuous. These braces are also bonded to the front surface of the teeth, just like metal braces. However, since the brackets and wires are tooth colored, they are virtually invisible when worn. Ceramic braces are generally as effective as traditional braces. However, they are more expensive and are also not suitable for patients with a habit of teeth grinding.
  • Lingual Braces - these braces have the same design and appearance as metal braces. However, these brackets are invisible as they are bonded to the inner (lingual) surfaces of the teeth. Lingual braces are sometimes not suitable for individuals who have a deep bite. Furthermore, lingual braces may make teeth cleaning more challenging.

Removable Braces

The most commonly used type of removable braces is clear aligners. These aligners are made of a flexible transparent material, making them virtually invisible. These aligner trays are worn over teeth and designed to force the teeth into optimal occlusion and alignment. In addition, since these aligners are removable, you can take them off for brushing and eating. Hence, you can enjoy all your favorite foods without restrictions and can maintain optimal oral hygiene.

Furthermore, since the aligner trays are made of a flexible polymer, they cause less toothache and discomfort than fixed braces. Hence, removable aligners are a comfortable, convenient, and inconspicuous alternative to fixed braces.

How long do braces for adults take?

The time required for treatment with braces depends on various factors. Some of these include:

  • The severity of the Orthodontic Problem - as a general rule, the more complex or complicated an orthodontic issue is, the longer it will take for complete treatment. For example, mild to moderate tooth crowding or spacing can be fixed with braces within 6-8 months. However, more complicated issues involving the dental bite require between 36-40 months for completion.
  • The Type of Braces Used - the speed of your treatment also depends on the orthodontic appliance used. For example, removable braces such as clear aligners are suitable for rapidly treating mild to moderate issues. However, complex issues are treated faster with fixed braces.
  • Patient Compliance - patient complaince is one of the most crucial factors when undergoing treatment with different braces. As a general rule, the more you adhere to your dentist’s instructions regarding your braces care and use, the faster you will be your treatment and vice versa. For example, if you keep dislodging your braces or if you don’t wear your removable ones for the prescribed amount of time, your treatment will be considerably prolonged.
  • The Dentist’s Skill and Experience - if you are undergoing treatment with an experienced dentist, you can expect your treatment duration to be considerably shorter. Similarly, a specialist orthodontist, who has undergone additional training to treat orthodontic problems, can treat your problem faster than a general dentist. So, it is a good idea to visit an experienced and specialist orthodontist for your braces treatment.
  • The Patient’s Oral Health - generally, the better a patient’s oral hygiene is, the lesser time it will take to move and realign their teeth. Studies have shown that poor oral hygiene negatively affects tooth movement and hence, prolongs orthodontic treatment.




How do I know if I need braces?

Dental Braces: Everything you Need to Know

As people are increasingly becoming self-conscious of their appearance and smile, the demand for orthodontic treatment has also increased exponentially over the years. Today, people of all ages are considering braces to get their teeth alignment and enjoy a charming and attractive smile. If you are also concerned about your crooked or misaligned teeth and are thinking of treatment with braces, this article is for you. So, continue reading to learn more about dental braces and how they can help you enjoy a beautiful, balanced smile.

How do I know if I need braces?

The primary purpose of orthodontic treatment with braces is to restore the optimal alignment of crooked and misaligned teeth. This is because misaligned teeth create a significant esthetic concern and affect one’s ability to eat and speak normally. Hence, if you have teeth that are not aligned properly, you may be a candidate for getting braces. Some of the conditions that may require the need for braces include:

  • Tooth crowding
  • Excessive spaces between the teeth, or diastema
  • Underbites - a condition where the lower teeth extend farther than the upper ones.
  • Deep bites - this is a condition where the upper teeth extend farther or overlap their lower counterparts.
  • Open bites - a condition where the upper and lower teeth do not mate properly when the mouth is closed, resulting in a distinct “lisp” in one’s voice.
  • Refinement of tooth alignment to improve one’s smile and facial esthetics.
  • Tooth wear - if you are experiencing excessive wearing of your teeth, it may be because of the improper alignment of the upper and lower jaws. Such as situation can also result in temporomandibular joint disorders.

However, you alone cannot decide whether you need treatment with braces.

  • The Treatment Planning Phase - First, you should consult your dentist and express your desire to get braces. They will perform a detailed clinical examination and evaluate the x-ray images, and study models of your teeth. Based on the obtained information, they decide whether you are a candidate for orthodontic treatment and, more importantly, which type of braces would be most suitable for you.

For example, your dentist may recommend fixed braces or Invisalign aligners if you have mild to moderate tooth crowding. On the other hand, the treatment of complex cases may sometimes require a combination of braces treatment and reconstructive jaw surgery.


What are the Different Types of Dental Veneers

What are the Different Types of Dental Veneers?

Dentists use different types of veneers to fix esthetically flawed and damaged teeth. Depending on their material there are two main types of veneers depending on their material: composite, porcelain, and ceramic veneers. 

  • Composite Veneers

These veneers are made of tooth-colored resins that can bond directly with the tooth structure. Composite veneers typically require a lesser tooth structure to be removed than porcelain veneers. That is why they need lesser time for preparation. Sometimes, they can also be prepared at the dental chairside, and the teeth can be restored in a single sitting. 

What are the Steps for Getting Composite Veneers?

First, your dentist will remove the damaged tooth structure from the affected teeth. This step is known as tooth preparation. Afterward, they will wash the tooth and dry it thoroughly. Next, your dentist will apply the composite resins over the tooth. Each increment is shaped appropriately and then hardened using a special light. Next, your dentist will select a shade of composite resins that match precisely with your natural teeth. Once the veneers have been prepared, they will be polished to maximize their esthetics and reduce their chances of getting stained. 

Pros and Cons of Composite Veneers

Composite veneers are not as strong and durable as porcelain veneers. On the other hand, composite veneers also possess some benefits over porcelain veneers. For example, they can be repaired in some cases. In addition, composite veneers are less expensive than porcelain veneers. 

  • Porcelain Veneers 

A porcelain veneer is a thin shell made of dental porcelain that is custom-made to fit on a tooth. Porcelain veneers are prepared using milling technology in the laboratory. Hence, they are the strongest and more stain-resistant among all veneer types. 

What are the Steps for Getting Porcelain Veneers?

The procedure for getting porcelain veneers is different than that of composite veneers. First, your dentist will remove a small amount of the outer enamel. This is done to create space for bonding the veneers. Afterward, they will make an impression on your teeth and send it to the dental laboratory, along with information regarding the desired shade and color of the restoration. 

The dental laboratory may take a few days to prepare your veneers. In the meantime, your dentist will give you temporary veneers, so your smile is not affected. Once the prepared veneers are received from the laboratory, your dentist will remove your temporary veneers and attach the permanent veneers to your prepared teeth without bonding them. This is done to check their fit and aesthetics. If everything goes well, your dentist will use adhesive to bond veneers to your teeth. Minor modifications, if required, can be done at the dental chairside. 

  • Ceramic Veneers

Ceramic veneers are made from thin shells made of dental ceramic materials such as zirconia that are bio-intert and resistant to bacterial infection. These veneers require less natural tooth removal and offer a better custom fit for individual patients than porcelain veneers. Unlike porcelain veneers that are prepared using milling technology, ceramic veneers are prepared using conventional lab-based procedures. 

Pros and Cons of Ceramic Veneers 

The pros of ceramic veneers include their excellent safety and antibacterial properties. On the other hand, ceramic veneers are more porous than porcelain veneers. As a result, they are less stain-resistant and do not last as long as porcelain veneers. 

What are the Pros and Cons of Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are more durable and less stain-resistant than composite veneers. On the other hand, they also possess a few drawbacks. For example, they are more expensive than composite veneers. Furthermore, they require the removal of greater amounts of healthy tooth structure for their attachments. 

Dental veneers are an excellent option when it comes to restoring damaged teeth. So if you have crooked or stained teeth affecting your self-confidence, visit your dentist today to get a complete smile makeover with veneers.

Diastema: Everything you Need to Know 

Every time you see yourself in the mirror, do you find unaesthetic black triangles or excessive spaces between your teeth? If yes, you have a condition called diastema - or gaps between teeth. While it is normal to have slight gaps between adjacent teeth, excessive gaps can affect one’s smile and make eating and speech difficult. The good news is that dental diastema can be easily treated. In this blog, we discuss everything you need to know about diastemas and their management. 

What is Diastema?

A diastema is the presence of gaps between teeth. This gap can happen between any of your teeth, whether front or back. However, if the gap exists in the front teeth, it can significantly affect one’s smile and facial esthetics. 

What Causes Diastema?

There are several causes of diastema:

  • Normal Growth - in children, the appearance of teeth gaps is normal. It has been estimated that around 50% of kids aged between 6 and 9 years have gaps between their teeth, as both the milk and permanent teeth with different sizes are present in the mouth. However, these gaps normally close by themselves over time. 
  • Obstructions - if there is an obstruction between the path of eruption of a tooth, it will appear at an abnormal position leading to diastema. Similarly, if there is soft tissue attachment or an underlying cyst over the path of tooth eruption, it can also cause diastema. 
  • Parafunctional Dental Habits - bad habits such as thumb sucking, nail-biting, or finger sucking can also cause diastema. Furthermore, people with tongue piercing may also develop dental diastema as the stud may put pressure on the teeth and pull them apart, creating unwanted space. 
  • Gum Disease - individuals with chronic gum disease may also develop diastema.
  • Tooth Loss - premature tooth loss and failure to replace can also result in the development of diastema.  

Diastema Symptoms

The primary symptom of diastema is the presence of excessive gaps between the teeth. If the diastema exists between the front teeth, black triangles may also be observed between the gums and teeth, which significantly affect the smile and appearance. 

If the diastema occurs because of gum disease, the following symptoms can be observed:

  • Bright red gums 
  • Swollen gums 
  • Spontaneous gum bleeding 
  • Bad breath 
  • Loose teeth 

People with diastema often have difficulty speaking and have a distinct “lisp” in their voice. 

Diastema Treatment

The management of diastema depends on the underlying cause. Generally, two main treatment options are available; surgical/dental and cosmetic. 

  • Dental Braces - this is the most effective treatment as it treats the underlying issues. Your dentist will give you braces or clear aligners to close the tooth gap. 
  • Veneers or Bonding - if someone cannot afford orthodontic treatment or doesn’t wish to wait for many months for the orthodontic treatment to complete, a diastema may also be fixed cosmetically using veneers or cosmetics bonding. However, this only solves the aesthetic issue and does not address the underlying problem. 
  • Dental Implants - if a gap between the teeth exists because of a missing tooth, it can be fixed by placing an implant-supported prosthesis. 

Diastema Prevention

It may not be possible to prevent all types of dental diastemas. However, diastemas that occur due to bad dental habits can be avoided. For example, parents must observe their children for parafunctional habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrust, as these are common causes of diastema formation. Besides, regular dental checkups go a long way in ensuring that your child does not develop bad dental habits and does not develop diastema.

How To Clean Retainers?

How To Clean Retainers?

The method of cleaning orthodontic retainers depends on their type:

  • Removable Retainers - removable retainers are easier to clean. Simply remove the appliance and scrub it with a toothbrush without toothpaste. For deeper cleaning, immerse it in lukewarm water containing soap and brush it thoroughly. It is not advisable to use toothpaste for cleaning retainers. You may also use a cotton swab to clean the deepest areas of the retainers. 
  • Fixed Retainers - since these retainers cannot be removed, you will have to use dental floss to clean them. Take a 6-inch piece and use a floss threader to clean between your teeth. Hold the free end of the floss with your fingers and the other with the floss threader. Once the floss is under the retainer wire, move it up and down between the teeth to the gumline.  Repeat this step for all the teeth. 

How To Make Retainers More Comfortable?

If you’re having trouble wearing your retainers, there are ways in which you can make them more comfortable:

    • Wear your retainers as prescribed - the more you use them, the more comfortable they will become with time. 
  • Medication - you may also take over-the-counter pain medication to reduce the discomfort. 
  • Utility Wax - if a sharp edge of a retainer is pinching on your soft tissues, contact your dentist to get it fixed. In the meantime, apply utility wax over the sharp edge to avoid soft-tissue injury. 
  • Soft Diet - eating a soft diet helps reduce the discomfort caused by retainers. 

How Long Does A Retainer Hurt For?

Immediately after getting your retainers, you may experience slight pain and discomfort for the next few days. However, as your mouth becomes accustomed to the new appliance, the discomfort should subside. If the pain persists after a few weeks, or if your retainer wires are impinging or injuring your lips or cheeks, you should consult your orthodontist to have them checked. 

Wearing dental braces is just half of the treatment process. The rest involves wearing retainers to ensure that your teeth remain perfectly straight and aligned, giving you a charming and healthy smile. As long as you wear your retainers per your orthodontist’s instructions, you don’t have to worry about your teeth going back to their previous positions.

What is a retainer?

How To Make Retainers More Comfortable?

If you have recently finished wearing braces or Invisalign aligners, your orthodontist might have given you removable or fixed retainers. Unfortunately, many orthodontic patients complain that their retainers are uncomfortable. But the good news is that there are ways in which you can make your retainers less painful and more comfortable. This article is for those who find their orthodontic retainer inconvenient and uncomfortable.

What Is A Removable Retainer?

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, an orthodontic retainer is an appliance that consolidates orthodontic treatment; it prevents your teeth from moving back once they have been optimally aligned with braces or aligners.

There are two main types of orthodontic retainers: removable and fixed retainers. Removable retainers are appliances made of clear acrylic resin that can be removed at the patient’s will. Removable retainers are designed to be worn over the teeth and simply provide resistance against unwanted movement of the teeth.
On the other hand, fixed retainers consist of a metallic wire bonded to the tongue-side (lingual or palatal) surfaces of the upper and lower teeth. Fixed retainers are typically prescribed when long-term retention is needed or for patients who frequently misplace or break their removable retainers.

How to Fix an Underbite?

An optimal alignment of the teeth and jaws is essential for enjoying an attractive smile and healthy dental function. Unfortunately, if the teeth are not aligned properly, it not only affects one’s smile and facial aesthetics, but can also create difficulty in eating and speaking. One such common tooth misalignment problem is an underbite. 

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, an underbite is a condition in which the lower jaw is pushed excessively forward and lies ahead of the upper jaw. Under normal conditions, the upper jaw lies slightly ahead of its lower counterpart. 

Like all other orthodontic issues, an underbite should be fixed as soon as possible. This is because long-standing cases of dental underbites can lead to various complications, such as excessive tooth wear, tooth sensitivity, teeth cavities, and temporomandibular joint problems. Besides, a common symptom is the typical “bull dog” face appearance. 

How to fix an underbite

The treatment of an underbite depends on the type and extent of the underlying issue. Some of the treatment options available for fixing an underbite include:

Interceptive Treatment 

This treatment involves detecting an orthodontic problem early during childhood and easy orthodontic appliances and other measures. These include: 

  • Orthodontic Appliances - if an underbite is because of skeletal reasons, such the overgrowth of the lower jaw, or the undergrowth of the upper jaw, dentists sometimes use palatal arch expanders along with a reverse-pull headgear to protract the upper jaw and bring it ahead of its lower counterpart. This treatment utilizes the growth spurt during puberty to redirect jaw growth. 
  • Surgical Removal of Milk Teeth - if a dentist detects a pattern of developing underbite in a child, they may extract one or more primary teeth so that their permanent successors grow straight and perfectly aligned. 

Adult Treatment Options for an Underbite 

  • Dental Braces - tooth braces are among the most commonly used and time-tested options for fixing various orthodontic issues, including underbites. 
  • Invisalign Aligners - Invisalign aligners offer an esthetically pleasing, comfortable, and convenient alternative to dental braces for fixing mild to moderate cases of dental underbites. 
  • Surgery - in cases when the underbite is because of improper alignment or excessive size-mismatch between the upper and lower jaws, dentists perform orthognathic surgery to fix their relative position and restore optimal tooth alignment. 

H2 Underbite Causes

An underbite can be caused due to various reasons:

  • Genetics - This is among the primary causes of an underbite. Some people are genetically predisposed to having underbites due to excessively large lower jaws or smaller upper jaws. 
  • Parafunctional Habits - bad dental habits like tongue-thrusting, nail-biting, and thumb-sucking can cause an underbite. Excessive pacifier use can also cause a dental underbite. 
  • Face and Jaw Injuries - injuries to the face of the jaws can alter tooth or jaw alignment, which can result in the development of an underbite. 
  • Facial and Jaw Tumors - tumors of the face of the jaws can also affect tooth alignment and jaw positioning and can cause an underbite. 

Untreated cases of dental underbite can cause long-term dental complications and impact one’s health and quality of life. But, the good news is that an underbite is treatable. So, don’t let your orthodontic problems affect your smile and self-confidence! Visit an orthodontist today and take your first step towards a beautiful, healthy, and confident smile.

Pros and Cons of Dental Veneers

What are the Pros and Cons of Veneers?

Like all other cosmetic and restorative dental procedures, dental veneers also have pros and cons. 

Pros of Dental Veneers

  • Esthetics - dental veneers offer lifelike esthetics without the need for extensive removal of the healthy tooth structure, as seen in the case of dental crowns. So, if you have cosmetic defects, your dentist will use veneers as the treatment of choice. 
  • Durability - porcelain or composite veneers are much longer-lasting than bonded restorations. This is because veneers are prepared in the dental laboratory and have fewer structural defects, which makes them stronger and more durable than composite fillings. 
  • Improved Self-esteem - porcelain veneers allow you to enjoy a beautiful smile, making you appear more attractive and charming and boosting your self-confidence. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry survey showed that people with straight teeth and beautiful smiles are perceived as friendlier and more approachable. 

Cons of Dental Veneers 

Some of the drawbacks of veneers include:

  • Diet Restrictions - it is not advisable to eat hard and sticky foods directly with your veneered teeth, as they may result in their dislodgment. 
  • Risk of Tooth Decay - it is essential to ensure optimal cleaning around veneered teeth. This is because veneered teeth are at a higher risk of secondary tooth decay due to plaque and tartar deposition. 
  • Staining - although veneers stain lesser than composite fillings, they still carry the risk of getting stained due to the intake of strong-colored foods and drinks. Unfortunately, stains on dental veneers cannot be removed through professional whitening; the only solution is to repair or replace them. 
  • Irreversible Process - installing veneers is an irreversible process; once healthy enamel is removed for attachment, it will not grow back. However, only a thin layer is removed, so it will not cause any harm to the tooth. 
  • Expensive - treatment with veneers is more costly than tooth-colored bonded restorations. However, their higher cost is a minor drawback compared to their numerous benefits. 

If you are looking for a time-tested, reliable, and esthetically pleasing option to fix dental cosmetic or restorative problems, veneers should be your first choice. So, book an appointment with your dentist today to discuss the possibility of getting a complete smile makeover with dental veneers.