We often assume that patients know what they want, or that they understand the difference between the various teeth straightening treatments, including aligners and braces. In reality patients only know what they can find out themselves – either from the internet, the news or friends. It’s therefore essential for orthodontists to explain everything properly in order to get patients consent to start treatment.
This is especially important as not all treatments get the same result! For example a sectional brace or 6 months smile will only straighten the teeth they are stuck to; an aligner will improve alignment but may not get as good a result as a fixed brace, and some orthodontists will get better results than others.
What we need to ascertain is what the patient wants so we can give the right solution. So to some extent it’s not the brace that matters, but the person asking the questions!