WHAT IS THE BEST TYPE OF APPLIANCE FOR YOU?
Taking the Smile Assessment, and using the Cost-Finder tool together with reading as much (or as little) as you wish about the different types of Orthodontic systems available should give you some idea of what sort of appliances might work in your case.
However, if you find yourself with various suitable options open to you (as you often will be), then the following general information should help you make the right decision.
Basically, the appliance type you ultimately choose will boil down to the answers you give to the following questions: Once you have a good idea in your mind as to what is most important to you, the Dentist can more easily assist you in choosing the appliance that best suits your needs:
FIRSTLY: HOW “PERFECT” DO YOU REQUIRE THE EVENTUAL OUTCOME TO BE?
Are you looking for an “Orthodontically Perfect Result”, with as much attention paid to obtaining a “classically interlocking bite” as it is to aligning the front teeth? Are you the kind of person who will stand right up next to a mirror, peering intensely at the teeth in close-up to see if they could be “a teeny bit straighter here, or touching a little better there”?
Or are you what I refer to as “a realist”, looking for a “photo-perfect” result, or simply “a significant improvement albeit not perfect”?
Please understand, BOTH answers are perfectly “OK”, so long as both you and the Dentist are clear about things from the outset. If the former option would take twice as long, and cost twice as much than the latter, would you still choose it?
Remember; whilst we tend to always treat Children “Idealistically”, we should always treat Adults “Realistically”.
Furthermore, a recent “Gold Standard (Cochran) review of dozens of smaller studies failed to find any significant benefit to patients in obtaining a “Class 1 Occlusion”, the current generally accepted “Gold Standard” in all Orthodontics, so choosing a “compromise” is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if it is significantly easier and cheaper to achieve in the first place, and that BOTH options have been given due consideration.
SECONDLY, HOW “INVISIBLE” OR “COMFORTABLE” DO YOU REQUIRE THE BRACES TO BE DURING TREATMENT?
Are you adamant that they must be as invisible and discrete as possible, on both Upper AND Lower sets of teeth?
Do you require them to be totally removable, if for example you are in acting, or do a lot of large presentations and lecturing? (You can’t really appear in Downton Abbey wearing “Train Tracks for example!)
Would you consider less discrete braces on the Lower teeth as long as the Uppers were Clear or Invisible?
Is how they might affect your speech more important than how they look?
Or do you play a specific Sport (Boxing?) or musical instrument (Flute?) that will influence your choice?
THIRDLY, ARE YOU IN A HURRY?
Are you happy to wear braces “for as long as it takes to get as perfect a result as possible”, or do you simply want the fastest possible way of achieving your chosen result, perhaps in time for an important event? (Wedding?)
FINALLY, IS THE PRICE MORE IMPORTANT THAN SOME OF THE ABOVE?
Will you pay more to allow some or all of the previously mentioned goals to be met, or will you forgo one or more of them if it helps to keep the cost down?