Advancements in general dentistry and orthodontic treatment methods have made it possible for more people to enjoy younger-looking smiles. The vast majority of dental patients may not possess perfectly aligned teeth during their earlier years, but the functionality of braces has made straighter teeth possible. Even adults who have severe skeletal disharmonies affecting their jaw and teeth may benefit from surgical orthodontic procedures, improving quality of life for many patients.

NASA’s technological developments even contributed to the development of orthodontics. The nickel titanium alloy that NASA uses to deploy satellites into space has become a regular material for the initial orthodontic procedure phase. Some dental professionals have added copper to this particular metal and developed a wire more advanced than traditional ones present in braces.

This new wire, Thermal NiTi, has a shape memory. It may bend easily to touch, but it “remembers” its original shape when it gets warm inside the mouth and retains a stiffer form. Contrary to conventional orthodontic wires, the Thermal NiTi needs fewer adjustments or replacements. Its efficiency may mean less frequent visits to the clinic and ultimately more savings.

Unlike many conventional braces in the old days, today’s orthodontic appliances may be less intrusive and even less obvious. Old braces sometimes required bands around the teeth, unsightly head gear, and gigantic wires, giving rise to the phrase, “a mouthful of metal.” Now braces are very small, look more aesthetically pleasing, low profile, and easier for the dentist to place.

Some braces are even available in clear forms, which are more discreet than most modern yet regular orthodontic treatments. Clear braces are available in some dental clinics as an alternative for patients.

With all the advancements in recent dental technologies, some treatments are now less costly. Affordable orthodontics is now available from many dental practitioners. Gone are the days when people associated braces with children and teenagers from well-to-do families. These days, just about anyone can get these treatments through affordable or discounted prices.