Many of our patients at Mid-Columbia Dental choose to receive orthodontic treatment to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. If you’re self-conscious about your smile, straightening your teeth with braces or clear aligners can greatly improve the way you look and feel. When your treatment is complete, you will have the smile you’ve always dreamed of as well as the confidence to show it off!
Dr. McNamara and our team want you to feel comfortable and confident throughout your entire orthodontic experience, which is why our Kennewick dental practice is dedicated to making sure that you receive the quality care you deserve, whether you need a simple cleaning or full orthodontic care.
How Orthodontic Treatment Works
Before beginning your orthodontic care, Dr. McNamara will discuss all of your options and provide an estimate for how long your full treatment may take. Depending on several factors, including age, treatment method, and how minor or severe your case is, treatment time varies and can last between one and three years. A big factor to a successful treatment is you, the patient! The more diligent you are about following Dr. McNamara’s instructions, the quicker and more efficient your treatment will be.
Types of Braces
Dr. McNamara uses orthodontic appliances made of metal, ceramic, and plastic. They may be removable or they may be brackets bonded to the teeth. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to the proper position. Dr. McNamara uses advanced orthodontic technology, in addition to aesthetic treatments to make your orthodontic experience as comfortable and hassle-free as possible.
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth by using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) to customize your smile to your own personal style.
Self-ligating braces are made from the same materials as traditional braces; however, self-ligating braces do not require the use of elastics, meaning fewer appointments and less friction being placed on the tooth. Self-ligating brackets are the same size as metal braces, but they use a specialized clip in place of elastics to help the archwire guide teeth into place. The clip helps reduce the amount of pressure being placed on the tooth and requires fewer adjustments because there are no elastics to replace.
Clear (Ceramic) Braces
Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, Dr. McNamara prefers to use ceramic braces on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While clear braces are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene, as they are larger and more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth rather than on lower teeth.
Dr. McNamara uses Invisalign® clear aligners at our Kennewick dental office. Invisalign uses a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable acrylic trays to straighten your teeth like braces. The aligners are invisible, as well as removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment. Plus, this helps to make brushing and flossing less of a hassle. The aligners are comfortable and have no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment.
Gold braces are similar to traditional metal braces. Like traditional metal braces, gold braces are made of stainless steel; however, they are coated in gold. The gold coating may be considered a more cosmetic option than traditional metal braces. The cost of gold braces is surprisingly comparable to most clear braces.
Lingual braces are attached to the tongue side of the teeth and are therefore “invisible” when you smile. They are 100% customized to match the size and shape of the backsides of your teeth. Lingual braces are a very reasonable option for athletes, models, actors/actresses, musicians who play wind instruments, and adult professionals.
Please contact our Kennewick dental practice to schedule an appointment and learn more about the orthodontic treatments Dr. McNamara provides.