My dentist also has the training to do braces. It’s one of the reasons I chose him as my dentist. I was saving up to straighten my teeth and didn’t want to go to two different offices. I finally was ready. When I went in for my consultation, my dentist said I’m not a good candidate because of fluorosis. Does this mean I can never have straight teeth? Also, I have these awful stains on my teeth. Is it possible to whiten them away? They’re not from food or drink, they’ve been there as long as I can remember.
You can definitely have straight teeth. I’m a little confused by your dentist’s attitude. I see two easy options with orthodontics. Plus, a non-orthodontic option depending on what type of straightening you need done.
The staining on your teeth is from the Fluorosis your dentist mentioned. Fluorosis is the clinical name for when your teeth are stained from too much fluoride intake. The damage is caused during childhood when your teeth are developing, which is why you’ve had the stains for as long as you can remember. Possibly, you lived in a country that didn’t regulate the amount of fluoride in water or maybe you just ate tons of toothpaste in your younger years. I’ll get to treatment for that in a moment. Let’s talk about braces first.
Fluorosis doesn’t preclude you from getting braces. Though, to get a good bond you’ll want to have more etching done than normal. It sounds like your dentist just isn’t familiar with working with situations like yours. There’s another option, too, which doesn’t require a bond.
Did your dentist mention the possibility of Invisalign? If not, and it turns out you’re a good candidate, I really think you need to find a better dentist. For Invisalign, you don’t need an orthodontist for that at all. Any general dentist should be able to do it. It uses clear aligners instead of the traditional metal braces and brackets.
As far as whitening the staining, traditional teeth whitening will not work. Fluorosis stains are splotchy and the whitening process will only make the differences between that and your natural teeth more obvious. The best option with advanced fluoride staining is to get porcelain veneers.
If you decide to do that, you may not need braces, depending on your specific case. Porcelain veneers can make your teeth look straight even when they’re not. They can close gaps, repair chips, make oblique teeth look vertical. Pretty much they can create any smile you want. The catch is you’ll need to find an expert cosmetic dentist in order for it to look beautiful. Look for dentists who have reached accreditation level with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (aacd.org). They’re the most artistic dentists in the country. In fact, most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.
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