The Process of Teeth Straightening

Crooked teeth can diminish your confidence and have a negative impact on your oral health. Luckily, there are many teeth straightening options that can give you the smile you want. Whether you need orthodontic treatment or a more minor cosmetic revision, we can make the process of straightening your teeth as easy as possible.

Identifying Crooked Teeth

A model of severely crooked teeth that can be fixed with orthodontic care

If you want to make any changes to your smile, you should visit your dentist. When it comes to crooked teeth, it is necessary to check just how severe the misalignment is. We do this by taking X-rays, visually examining your mouth, and asking you about any discomfort when chewing or any other concerns you may have. 

Choosing the Right Method for Teeth Straightening

The best straightening method for you will vary depending on how the crookedness of your teeth affects function and aesthetics. Orthodontic issues can make it harder to brush and floss properly and can lead to other oral health issues. Based on our assessment, we will recommend which method(s) will best fit your needs. 

Some of the processes we can use to straighten your smile:

A man having the color of his teeth matched for veneers to cover crooked teeth

Veneers

Veneers are thin porcelain shells that cover your teeth. They can mask minor misalignments but do not actually move your natural teeth. As a result, you will need to explore other options if you have orthodontic concerns. 

After you determine that you would like this cosmetic procedure, we will use Digital Smile Design technology to help you visualize your new smile. Once you are happy with this, we will scan your mouth to take a non-invasive digital impression. This allows us to create a smile try-in that you can wear for a few days to make sure the new look is right for you. 

In order to prepare your teeth for veneers, we will remove a small amount of enamel from the front of each tooth that you are covering. This is usually approximately half a millimeter. We will then take an impression and send it to a dental laboratory where they will make your veneers. This process takes 2-4 weeks and you can wear temporary veneers while you wait. When the permanent veneers are complete, you will return to our office and we will bond them to your teeth with dental cement. With proper care, your new smile can last up to 30+ years. 

A woman putting in an invisalign aligner tray for teeth straightening

Clear Aligner Trays

If you do need orthodontic treatment, then clear aligner trays may be right option for you. Invisalign is one of the most well-known brands. Clear trays are sometimes called invisible braces. However, this can also refer to wire and bracket braces that are clear or white. Many patients prefer aligners to traditional braces because they are very discreet, but they may not be right for you if you have severely crooked teeth. 

After deciding to start treatment with clear aligner trays, we will take a digital impression of your teeth and will use this to make a 3D model of your smile. We will then map out how we will move your teeth. Usually this is accomplished by adjusting a few teeth at once. We will go over the details with you to make sure you understand how the process works. 

Every two weeks, you will get a new aligner that will be slightly tighter. You can often switch to your new aligner at home and only come in for visits approximately every six weeks. This allows us to make sure the treatment is progressing as it should. You will need to wear the aligners for 20-22 hours a day, only taking them out to eat, brush, or floss. The process is usually complete in a year for adults. 

A woman being fitted for adult braces by her dentist

Wire and Bracket Braces

If you have teeth that are very crooked or there is another reason that clear aligners are not a good fit for you, traditional braces can straighten your teeth. There are many options to make these less visible, such as using clear or white brackets. 

The process starts similarly to using clear aligner trays. We will scan your mouth and create a model that helps you understand and visualize the treatment plan. At your initial appointment, we will place the braces. This will take longer than your future appointments. We cement brackets to each tooth and then thread a wire through them, using bends and kinks in the wire to put pressure on your teeth to slowly move them into place. 

Every three to four weeks, you will come into our office for an adjustment. We may move the existing wire or place a new one which is tighter, stronger, or placed differently. We will also help you keep your braces clean and will go over any foods you should avoid during treatment. After your teeth are straight, we will remove the braces and fit you for a retainer. This will ensure your new smile stays in place. 

Get a Straight, Beautiful Smile

If you aren’t happy with your smile, it can affect your quality of life. Skyline Dental can help. We can correct crooked teeth using cosmetic or orthodontic procedures depending on your specific case. 

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your options for teeth straightening.