Whether a patient wants to improve their oral health or the way their smile looks, liners and braces both serve as ways to straighten crowded, misaligned, or overlapping teeth. While they both provide a similar end result, the process used to get there is a little different. In addition, each method comes with its own pros and cons depending on the patient, their dental condition, needs, and preferences.
If youa��re considering a career in dental health, read on to learn more about the differences between braces and liners.
Registered Dental Assistants Know How Each Method Works
Traditional braces and liners like Invisalign are two of the most popular methods used for straightening and realigning teeth, and as students in dental assistant training may know, each method works in a different way.
Braces consist of metal brackets that are firmly attached to the tooth and are connected by wires and, in some cases, rubber bands. Patients can choose from aesthetic options like clear braces or a selection of colours. Over the course of the treatment, the patient will periodically visit their orthodontist and have the braces adjusted and tightened. This tension helps pull teeth in the right direction to reach desired results.
Liners, on the other hand, are made of clear plastic that encases the teeth. The liners, which are similar to retainers, are changed for a newer model every few weeks to help guide teeth into their ideal position.
The Maintenance and Daily Habits Required of Each Method
Before we get to the benefits of each method for straightening teeth, ita��s important to consider the maintenance required by both braces and liners, and the implications that they have on a patienta��s daily oral health routine.
As you may learn once you become a registered dental assistant, both liners and braces require visits to the orthodontist on a fairly regular basis. While this period will vary depending on the dental health professional in charge of the patienta��s treatment, patients with braces can expect to have adjustment appointments every month and patients with liners can expect appointments every four to six weeks. Therefore, both options are fairly similar when it comes to how often patients need to visit the orthodontist or dentist.
As far as daily upkeep goes, the two options are quite different. Because braces are permanently attached, brushing and flossing can be a challenge for patients. Reaching food stuck in the braces can be difficult, and once the braces are removed, some patients may be left with stains. Liners, on the other hand, make daily oral routines much easier. Because they can be removed, patients can easily maintain their regular routine of flossing and brushing.
The Benefits of Braces and Liners Explained for Students in Dental Assistant Training
The question of whether braces or liners are best is too broad. Instead, the right question is which option is best for each particular patient and their unique needs. For example, while liners can be used to effectively treat a multitude of issues including overlapping teeth and crowding, some more complex issues can only be fixed using braces.
If the patient is concerned about the aesthetics of wearing braces, liners may be a better option as they are discreet and invisible. In addition, liners generally take a shorter amount of time to achieve the desired results.
If the patient struggles with self-discipline or if they are in their early teens, braces are likely a better choice. Because liners can be removed, progress can quickly be undone if the patient isna��t diligent about wearing their liners when they are supposed to. Therefore, braces are great for keeping patients on track.
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