woman thinking

Traditional Expanders and Clear Aligners (The Difference)

What is the difference between traditional expanders and clear aligners? Today’s orthodontic treatments are a far cry from the decades when patients had to endure ponderous hardware and lengthy treatment times! Some of the newest cutting-edge orthodontic practices are so lightweight and streamlined you may hardly know they are there!

Read more

If You Don't Want Traditional [Metal Braces], What Are The Other Options? 1

If You Don’t Want Traditional [Metal Braces], What Are The Other Options?



If You Don’t Want Traditional Metal Braces, What Are The Other Options?

Today’s teeth straightening technology has come a long way from the early days when a swig of spirits and a pair of pliers pretty much summed up your options.


What are my orthodontic options?

Orthodontic science increasingly recognizes the need for a variety of solutions to fit differing development needs and lifestyle choices for patients of all ages from all walks of life.

To that end, along with traditional metal braces (which in themselves have greatly transformed from what they were in the early days of orthodontia), the orthodontic menu includes aligners, Herbst appliances, treatment reduction auxiliary procedures and fun braces to appeal to the younger set in particular.

What Does Invisalign Offer?

Invisalign uses a set of clear aligners rather than semi-permanent hardware to straighten and properly align the teeth and jaw. There are two Invisalign programs available: Invisalign for adults and Invisalign for teens.

With the Invisalign system, the clear aligners are worn for 20 to 22 hours per day and can be removed entirely for rare special events and occasions, making them a perfect choice for career professionals and teens looking forward to special occasions like prom.

Invisalign adult and teen work the same way, using a set of aligners that are typically changed out every two weeks to continue moving the teeth into their ideal position.

Either program can also benefit from the addition of auxiliary orthodontic procedures, which can reduce treatment time and speed up the alignment process.

Teens tend to be more accepting of the Invisalign program versus traditional metal braces. There are a number of reasons for this, including that the aligners can be removed for very special events, they are clear and invisible when worn, they are easy to clean and present no special oral hygiene needs, they are gentle on the sensitive tissues of the inner mouth and they are generally painless.

For adults as well, choosing Invisalign can ease concerns about a professional image in the workplace, provide the occasional opportunity to remove the aligners for special events and minimize the extra time needed to take care of daily oral hygiene.

What does the Damon Clear Braces System Offer?

The Damon System offers two options: metal and clear braces. Both minimize treatment time and discomfort and maximize results and patient comfort. However, if you or your tween or teen wants to avoid metal hardware, the Damon Clear Braces System is definitely the preferred option.

What many patients don’t realize is that Drs. Gorton and Schmohl played an instrumental role in developing the unique Damon Clear Braces hardware. The Damon system itself is self-ligating, which means there is less and lighter hardware that places less pressure on the teeth to exert movement.

The Damon system is also minimally invasive to tooth enamel and very easy to clean and maintain, making it ideal for busy teens or adults who are always pressed for time. Save for the metal archwire, the braces themselves are clear and virtually invisible. The material used is also very gentle on the sensitive tissues of the inner mouth, and the rounded corners make them even more so.

What Auxiliary Procedures Can Offer?

Some of the most exciting advances in modern orthodontic technology include the invention of procedures that can speed up treatment results. These inventions, called “auxiliary procedures,” can be paired successfully with a variety of additional orthodontic treatments to enhance results and reduce treatment time.

Propel Orthodontic system can cut treatment time by as much as 50 percent. This system uses micro-perforations to help teeth move into proper position faster. The procedure is done in the orthodontist’s office.

OrthoPulse, which uses natural low intensity (nIR) light to speed up tooth movement and alignment. The silicone mouthpiece is worn daily for 10 minutes in the comfort of the patient’s home.

Finally, AcceleDent uses micro pulses transmitted through a sports-type mouthguard that can be worn over Invisalign aligners or braces. The mouthguard is worn for 20 minutes daily in the comfort of the patient’s home.

All three of these technologies are FDA-approved for use with teen and adult orthodontic patients.

What are Some Fun Options for Tween and Teen Patients?

We are also happy to offer fun alternatives to traditional metal braces for our tween and teen patients.

Braces with Colors offers colored brackets that hold the arch-wire in place.

Wild Smiles offers shaped brackets (hearts, stars, diamonds, flowers, footballs, sports balls) that can also be mixed and matched for a truly personal style.

While the look is different, the underlying technology remains the same and is just as effective as adult braces for achieving optimal teeth alignment and repositioning during the course of orthodontic treatment.

About Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics

Here at Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics, we are dedicating to earning our patients’ respect and trust – and keeping it! Founding partners Dr. Jasmine Gorton and Dr. Bill Schmohl are each board certified by the American Board of Orthodontics, a voluntary certification just 35 percent of orthodontists nationwide currently hold.

We proudly offer the latest technological advances in orthodontic care, including the Damon Clear Braces system, Invisalign and Braces with Colors for kids and teens. Our practice philosophy focuses on maintaining the health of permanent teeth from a very early age, minimizing the need for extractions and invasive surgery later in life.

To make an appointment, please contact us at 415-459-8006 or complete our online contact form.