Traditional orthodontic braces continue to be the mainstay and most predictable treatment modality for treating today’s comprehensive orthodontic problems. Teen braces are typically implemented during a child’s early growth spurt which usually occurs around age 11-12 for girls and age 12-13 for boys. By starting braces during the early growth spurt, orthodontic problems can be most efficiently and profoundly improved due to the rapidly changing skeleton and increased metabolism during the peak stage of pubertal growth. By routinely being evaluated during your child’s biannual cleaning and checkup appointments, he or she will be uniquely positioned to resolve an orthodontic problem at its most ideal time and most efficient means.
Conventional Braces vs. Clear Aligners (Invisalign, etc.)
Braces are a time-tested modality for treating orthodontic problems from the most minor tooth movement to the most complex of treatment needs. Conventional braces provide parents with the comfort of knowing that their child is being treated using a long standing method that consistently achieves one’s desired outcome and expectations. Once braces are glued to teeth, management and compliance by your child is diminished, often times saving parents a lot of frustration and heartache during the course of treatment. Although being fixed in place is a great advantage for compliance and efficient treatment progression, it requires a significant increase in hygienic maintenance and diet modification, that is often challenging with teen orthodontic patients.
Clear aligners are a fairly new treatment offering and have drastically evolved over the past 10 years with the implementation of various technological advancements. As the name implies, clear aligner treatment is most advantageous in that treatment is very discreet and mimics the natural teeth and smile throughout the course of treatment. Ease of eating and cleaning one’s teeth is also a great enhancement over conventional braces since teens can eat anything they desire and can brush and floss as if no treatment was being rendered. Management and compliance rests solely with the teen orthodontic patient and can be a great challenge to those patients and parents if not highly considered before initiating treatment. Although clear aligners can treat a multitude of orthodontic problems, conventional braces remain superior for a number of orthodontic concerns.
Conventional Braces vs. Self-Ligating Braces (Damon, etc.)
As with many thoughtful orthodontic clinicians, Dr. Galligan recommends orthodontic appliances based on highly researched and time-tested outcomes. Extensive peer-reviewed research and trend-setting leaders in orthodontic education and clinical treatment agree that heavily marketed and costly self-ligated braces do not meet the superiority claims that are often made over conventional braces. Until orthodontic braces truly evolve to provide patients with a meaningful improvement over conventional braces, Dr. Galligan will continue offering this most effective and cost-efficient appliance type for his patients.