Braces and other orthodontic services become necessary when bite irregularities, also known as malocclusions, are too pronounced to be addressed with cosmetic treatments such as dental bonding or porcelain veneers. Some of the most common reasons to seek orthodontic treatment include:
- Gapped teeth
- Overbite, underbite, and cross bite
- Tooth crowding
- Crooked tooth presentation
- Overjet and tooth protrusion
Malocclusion may seem to be little more than an aesthetic issue, but bite irregularities can actually pose serious problems. Not only can a misaligned bite result in speech difficulties and an altered facial profile, unaddressed malocclusion can accelerate enamel erosion, exacerbate TMJ and migraine headaches, and increase risks for cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss.
The best way to address pronounced bite irregularities is through orthodontic treatment, but many people find the idea of braces unattractive. This is understandable. Braces can be obtrusive and often draw unwanted attention. Silver, bulky, and unappealing to many adults and older teens, traditional braces are not always a good solution for addressing malocclusion.
Mission Viejo family dentist Dr. E.M. Makhoul understands that silver-colored braces are not the right solution for every smile. We are pleased to offer alternatives to metal braces that can correct bite issues less conspicuously and help ease some of the discomforts that can come with orthodontic treatment. Call us at 949-596-0296 to schedule a consultation and learn more.
Tooth-colored braces have become a popular orthodontic treatment over the past several years. Comprised of tooth-colored brackets and clear arch-wire, tooth-colored braces are much less noticeable than their metal alternative.
This orthodontic treatment works in the same manner as metal braces, but the coloring of the brackets and wire allow for a less noticeable appearance. This can make tooth-colored braces more attractive to teens and adults who need orthodontic treatment but find metal braces unattractive.
Unlike alternatives to braces, this option does not provide greater ease of care or a shortened treatment period. However, tooth-colored braces do offer an ideal solution for some of our patients. The best way to learn if that includes you is through a one-on-one consultation at the Mission Viejo office of Dr. E.M. Makhoul. Please give us a call or use the contact form on this page to get in touch, schedule a consultation, and learn if tooth-colored braces are the right fit for you.
Six Month Smiles®
Six Month Smiles® are a type of tooth-colored braces that offer an accelerated treatment period. Traditional braces can take two years or longer to fully straighten teeth. Six Month Smiles offers similar results in a fraction of the time.
Metal braces are placed on every tooth, even those that do not need to be brought into line. With Six Month Smiles, Mission Viejo dentist Dr. E.M. Makhoul only places brackets on those teeth that show when you smile. This allows for a shorter treatment period, making it ideal for people with only minor or cosmetic malocclusion. Those with more pronounced bite irregularities are not often good candidates for Six Month Smiles.
This type of tooth-colored braces is neither faster nor easier to care for than its metal alternatives, but it is significantly less invasive and can shorten treatment duration by several months. Many people experience bite correction within a six month period, though some may take up to nine months for complete restoration. During your initial consultation, Dr. Makhoul will discuss Six Month Smiles if the option is suitable for your needs.
Perhaps the most popular alternative to braces is Invisalign®. A true alternative, Invisalign does not rely on brackets and wires to straighten teeth. Instead, this orthodontic treatment utilizes a series of removable aligners to move teeth into their optimal position.
Invisalign aligners are see through and made of a plastic that is soft enough to prevent irritation, but strong enough to move teeth into alignment. This material eliminates issues such as cuts to gums and lips that are common with wire-and-bracket braces, making it more suitable for teens and adults who engage in sports or who simply wish to avoid some of the discomforts that can come with orthodontic treatment.
Because Invisalign aligners are clear, they are nearly undetectable. Because they are removable, they offer distinct advantages over affixed orthodontic options. Some of these include:
- No dietary restrictions – aligners are removed before you eat, enabling you to maintain a healthy diet complete with fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds that have to be avoided during traditional orthodontic treatment periods
- No interference with oral hygiene – removing Invisalign aligners allows you to brush and floss just like you did before orthodontic treatment. No special tools are needed. No cumbersome routines are required. All you need to do is take the aligners out, follow your usual oral hygiene regimen, and replace the aligners when you’ve finished
In addition to removing these obstacles, Invisalign treatment is typically much faster than traditional orthodontic options. Where braces can take 24 months or more to straighten all teeth and Six Month Smiles may take up to nine to straighten some, Invisalign can often eliminate all bite issues in just 12 to 18 months.
Less invasive, more comfortable, fast and convenient, Invisalign offers a fantastic solution for many of our patients. Dr. Makhoul can discuss these benefits in detail during your initial consultation to help you decide if Invisalign is the best solution for your smile.
Financing Orthodontic Treatment
Some dental insurance carriers will cover the cost of orthodontic treatment. We work with several insurance companies and will be happy to submit a claim to yours if your treatment is covered by your policy. However, not all insurance plans cover braces and Invisalign, which means out-of-pocket expenses may be unavoidable.
We accept all major credit cards and work with a number of dental financing companies that can help make treatment affordable for all. If you are interested in these options, we can provide you with information during your initial consultation or you can review introductory rates and promotional financing offers yourself by following the links on our payment options page.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Makhoul, please call us at 949-596-0296 today. Located in Mission Viejo, Makhoul Dentistry serves the entire Saddleback Valley area including Laguna Niguel and surrounding Orange County communities.