I thought in my second blog about this topic I would do a quick comparison for you so you can see which braces work best for which teeth straightening problem.
In a nutshell, comprehensive or full orthodontic treatment is needed if you want; ALL of your teeth straight and level with each other, bite problems resolved, a fuller smile, severely crowded teeth dealt with, and correction of very prominent teeth.
Short term orthodontics (e.g. Six Month Smiles, Inman aligners and other similar systems) can only straighten the front teeth. They will not fully correct bites (including prominent top front teeth) and are not suitable for teeth that are more crowded. They also tend to require a lot of thinning of the enamel at the side of the teeth to help them fit together. Additionally you may also find that teeth are not levelled afterwards.
Hopefully this helps a bit!
Obviously a comprehensive orthodontic treatment is longer in duration and more of an investment. Therefore for some people this is not what they want. However, you need to know the strengths and weaknesses of the teeth straightening treatments available to you, otherwise how on earth can you make the right orthodontic treatment decision for you? Be wary of someone who is overly negative about full brace treatments – it is more than likely that they are unable to do them themselves, due to not having the required level of training, so will try to influence you against them.
Make sure you find out as much as you can, ask to see evidence of the clinician’s successes (and I mean their OWN pictures – not the fancy ones that are sent to them by the companies selling the braces). Ask lots of questions about the brace treatment offered – a good clinician will be happy to answer them honestly. And most of all – don’t make it all about the money. It’s your long-term dental health and happiness and confidence in your smile you are investing in, so you should get the best you can afford (and you can always save up for it!). A good clinician will also offer a number of payment options to help make the investment more manageable and to suit your budget.
Good luck with your investigations!