Metal Braces vs Invisible Braces – What’s Better?

The differences between metal braces vs invisible braces involves more than just appearance. When it comes to improving your smile, you’ll want to weigh the different benefits of metal braces or Invisalign.

Below, we explain the scenarios where each treatment option applies, the treatment times of each, and how your smile and overall oral health can benefit from braces.

Metal Braces vs Invisible Braces – Know the Differences

Traditional Metal Braces

girl with metal braces - showings differences of metal braces vs invisible braces

Treatment Time

The first benefit of traditional metal braces is that treatment time is generally shorter than Invisalign. This is because metal braces are fixed inside of your mouth and cannot be removed without a specialist. They’re always in place to do their job without ever having to think about doing anything.


You need to be diligent when you brush and floss your teeth with metal braces. The brackets and wires leave opportunity for food to get stuck that much easier. You need to be sure to thoroughly clean and rinse your mouth throughout the entire straightening process.


This is generally where invisible braces make their bread and butter. Metal braces are very visible and cover the front side of your teeth. Oral care providers will try to spice up your orthodontic treatment by providing various color options so that you can have some fun.

Affordability and Effectiveness

Metal braces are generally more affordable than Invisalign but can increase in cost when treating more severe issues. They are universally effective in treating and straightening your teeth regardless of the problem. You just need to follow up regularly to allow your orthodontist to make adjustments to a device attached to the brackets. There’s a reason why metal braces continue to be used to perfect your smile and teeth.

Invisible Braces

Treatment Time

Invisalign can be very competitive with metal braces in regard to treatment time when the circumstances allow. Your treatment will vary based upon the extent of your issue. With that

being said, more complicated orthodontic problems cannot be treated at all by invisible braces. Your doctor will explain your options in more detail.

Treatment time will also fluctuate based upon patient compliance with the program. Since you are able to constantly remove invisible braces, you have to be very diligent about putting them back into your mouth. You should be wearing them for at least 22 hours a day.


Cleaning your mouth with Invisalign is incredibly easy as you can remove them when eating or drinking. There are no wires or brackets for food to get caught in, and nothing to impede your brushing or flossing. You will need to regularly clean your Invisalign braces, however.


Again, this is the reason most people choose invisible braces. Invisalign is designed to straighten your teeth while also being virtually invisible. You can reap the benefits of a healthier smile while keeping your treatment a secret.

Affordability and Effectiveness

Invisalign tends to cost the same as high-end of traditional brace costs if not more. They are also technically less effective as they aren’t suitable for every type of orthodontic scenario. In the cases that they are usable, they are extremely effective so long as the patient is disciplined with their treatment. Not only do you need to keep them in place, but you need to follow up regularly to get aligners reshaped.

Metal Braces vs Invisible Braces – Conclusion

When it comes to metal braces vs invisible braces, which is better? The answer depends on your personal needs and tastes. Your orthodontist will inform you if you are even eligible for Invisalign depending upon your condition. From there, you’ll need to consider the costs and how responsible you are about following your treatment regimen.

For teeth-straightening options provided by Stuart Curry Dentistry, schedule an appointment with us today at our Birmingham, AL office. You can also give us a call at (205)-972-3831.

Which Tooth Problems Require Emergency Dental Appointments?

If you’re not on top of your dental care, it might be hard to identify when it’s appropriate to seek an emergency dental appointment. Dental emergencies need to be taken seriously, however, as they’re not only tremendously painful, but possibly life-threatening.

To help you understand when it’s time to seek emergency dental care, the professionals at Stuart Curry Dentistry are here to provide this helpful guide.

illustration of man dealing with tooth problems that require emergency dental appointment

An Emergency Dental Appointment for Oral Infections?

Serious gum or tooth infection can be incredibly painful, and even spread to vital areas such as the heart if left untreated. If your infection is causing your jaw to swell, or if the pain is not being addressed with store-bought medication, call your dentist for an emergency dental appointment. Oral health should not be taken lightly, nor is it worth risking your life.

A Tooth is Broken or Knocked Out

If you have a tooth that is broken or knocked out from accidents or contact sports, a prompt visit to an emergency dentist can possibly save your tooth. The dentist may be able to reinsert the tooth into the gums and salvage nerve connectivity.

While waiting to see your dentist, gently clean the tooth and attempt to reinsert it. Bite down on something safe to hold it in place while you wait for your emergency dental appointment. Your dentist will attempt to splint the tooth in place and give it a chance to reattach.

A lesser dental problem such as a minor chipped tooth, however, is not necessarily urgent. Pain is generally a good indicator of whether or not your tooth damage is a problem that requires immediate dental services.

You’re Experiencing Tooth Abscesses

An abscess is a specific type of oral infection that causes intense pain in the tooth and radiates throughout the jaw. An abscessed tooth must either be pulled or treated with a root canal procedure. An unaddressed tooth abscess can lead to severe health complications.’

Signs of a tooth abscess include pain, heightened sensitivity, facial swelling, foul-tasting fluid, or even difficulty breathing. Make an emergency dental appointment especially if you experience some of the latter symptoms.

What to Do While Waiting

When you schedule an emergency dental appointment, your specialist will be sure to get you in as soon as possible. In the meantime, follow any instructions given to you by your dentist. This may include using ice to relieve any swelling from infection, rinsing the mouth with warm water, and taking over-the-counter pain medication.

Emergency Dental Appointments with Stuart Curry Dentistry

If you need emergency dental care in Birmingham, call Stuart Curry Dentistry as soon as the problem arises. We’ll set you up with the soonest possible appointment to ensure that your oral health is preserved.

We’ll also make sure to inform you what services your dental insurance will cover in all circumstances. Our business hours are generally from 8AM – 5PM, but earlier or later appointments can be made upon request and for emergencies.

To schedule your next dental appointment with Stuart Curry Dentistry, call our Birmingham office at (205)-972-3831.

The Power of Dental Implants

Many individuals struggle to choose between dental implants and dentures for replacement teeth. Losing your teeth and having an unhealthy mouth can not only be uncomfortable, but also causes embarrassment to many. While dentures seem to be the less expensive option, dental implants come with significant long-term benefits that you’ll want to consider.

infographic showing power of dental implants

Visual Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants currently give the closest to natural appearance possible. It should be noted that dentists significant improved dentures in the past decade. However, implants are a direct extension of the jaw rather than an outfitted device that can be removed. This fact alone causes dental implants to give your smile a much more authentic appearance.

Also, dentures can slip if not secure, causing your smile to “shift” at times and cause discomfort. This will actually create significant jawline and appearance issues if unaddressed.

They Directly Impact Your Jawline

Dental implants can prevent facial sagging and deterioration of the jawbone. When you no longer have healthy teeth, your mouth lacks something to stimulate the nerve endings. When your mouth is not properly cared for, the bones will degrade. This not only can create a sagging, unsightly appearance, but can turn into a full facial collapse.

Poor dentures can shift in the mouth and don’t provide the same stable contact that dental implants do. As a result, you are more likely to see degradation of the facial structure. Implants contact the tooth roots, providing constant, near-natural stimulation that will preserve your jawbone in the long-term.

There’s Less Steps to Maintaining Dental Implants

Dentures require adhesives and creams to stay in place in your mouth. When they’re not in use, they require additional cleaning using special solutions. Regularly removing your replacement tooth option leads to the problems mentioned above. Additionally, dentures will eventually degrade and require replacing eventually no matter how well they are cared for.

Dental implants are a less needy replacement option that receive cleaning just like normal teeth. A thorough brushing with a low-abrasive brush around the teeth and under the crowns works alongside flossing and oral irrigators. Brush and floss regularly as always. These implants, while more expensive in the short-term, have the potential to last the rest of your life.

Implants Are More Functionally Sound

When your teeth aren’t anchored to your gums, it affects everything you do. Your tongue interacts with your teeth to speak, and your teeth grind up your food for eating. Dental implants allow you to maintain full chewing power and speak as you normally would. With dentures, you may end up having to avoid certain foods altogether.

Stuart Curry Dentistry Specializes in Dental Implants

Dr. Stuart Curry and his team are experts in the field of Restorative Dentistry. Your oral health plays a vital role in maintaining overall health. When disease or tooth decay cause the need for tooth replacement, we can handle your care.

This simple procedure can return your mouth to an authentic feel without the need of bridges and dentures. Contact us today at (205)-972-3831 to schedule an appointment to discuss your restorative dentistry options today.

Is it Safe to Whiten Your Teeth?

Do you know if it’s safe to whiten your teeth? Everyone strives for good oral health and a brighter smile, but it’s important to only use safe and effective methods to get there. Teeth become unhealthy and discolored for a variety of reasons.

Many stores and pharmacies now carry a wide array of teeth whitening products. You should educate yourself on the side effects of each and consider some of this key information regarding your smile.

woman's smile showing if it's safe to whiten your teeth

What Makes it Safe to Whiten Your Teeth?

The Causes of Discoloration

The first step in understanding the tooth whitening process is to understand what causes discoloration in the first place. Teeth can become discolored via external exposure to substances or via internal issues from the body or inside the tooth.


The most common form of tooth discoloration comes from the former. Many popular foods and drinks, especially red wine, coffee, tea, and anything with food dye, can cause stains on the teeth. Individuals who smoke cigarettes or use tobacco are also especially prone to gum disease and tooth decay and discoloration.


Discoloration of your smile can occur from a variety of internal factors such as genetics. Some individuals naturally possess denser enamel which leads to a fuller-looking, brighter smile. Other factors such as infection, age, or disease can also lead to a grey or dark color shift.

What Methods are Safe for Teeth Whitening

If you express concern about the color of your teeth, you always want to talk to your dentist. This is primarily because they will be able to identify if your teeth are experiencing any signs of disease or further problems.

Get a Professional Dental Cleaning

Your dentist can perform a professional tooth whitening service in office. Dental experts typically use carbamide peroxide to create a chemical reaction in the discolored areas. The products dentists use are more abundant than over-the-counter products and last longer. A whitening session in office doesn’t take long and is an outpatient procedure.

Use Recommended Products at Home

Dentists can also recommend safe to use products for regular use at home. Industry-approved products typically bear the logo of the American Dental Association (ADA). These include products such as whitening toothpastes that include small amounts of baking soda. Whitening stripes utilize hydrogen peroxide in small doses throughout the day.

These store-bought products use lower quantities of bleaching agents than used in a professional cleaning. While these products won’t damage the structure of your teeth, they can increase tooth sensitivity. Sensitive teeth can be mildly uncomfortable when consuming products with sharp temperatures.

Lastly, prevention is the best way to handle stains. Regular brushing and flossing removes harmful particles that can lead to stains or decay before they can take action. Additionally, reduce the amount of food or drink you consume that can harm teeth.

Stuart Curry Dentistry Makes It Safe to Whiten Your Teeth

At Stuart Curry Dentistry, you have options when it comes to whitening your teeth. We actually supply whitening solutions for you to use at home with take-home trays. They are custom fitted to your mouth and contain a bleach gel that will whiten your smile by the second or third use. We also do in-office whitening in a few quick 15-minute sessions.

For assistance with your teeth-whitening needs, and regular dental cleanings to make sure it stays that way, come to Stuart Curry Dentistry. If you have any questions or concerns about what the doctor can do for you, call (205)-972-3731 today.

Choosing the Right Family Dental Clinic

As with any medical care, choosing the right family dental clinic is a significant choice for the health and happiness of your loved ones. There are a variety of factors to consider, including expertise, cost, availability, as well as others. Here is a short primer to aid in helping you find a family dentist that’s right for your household.

Dentists smiling at family dental clinic

In What Areas Does the Family Dental Clinic Specialize?

Not every family dental practice offers the same range of procedures and treatments. You may wish to find a team that emphasizes preventive dental care. If you have issues with things like gum disease or need special denture care, you’ll want to investigate how their dentists can help. You’ll want to find a clinic that has a strong knowledge base and skill set to attend to a wide array of needs and emergencies should they arise.

A great clinic can even assist in providing education or methods for better eating, quitting tobacco, or other means to promote oral health besides regular procedures.

What Are the Procedure Costs?

You’ll likely prepare to pay for regular cleanings, but what about procedures for setbacks and emergencies? Fillings, surgery, or root canals can be costly services. Inquire if they have payment plans. You should also ask about the types of anesthesia used for different procedures in case you have potential health concerns. Costs of family dental care are, unfortunately, one of the biggest reasons for irregular care.

Do They Take My Insurance?

As with any doctor visit, not all clinics take specific insurance types. Don’t schedule an appointment before investigating if the family dentist in question can work with your family insurance provider. Inquiring about this might seem obvious, but it’s arguably the most important thing to consider.

Does the Family Dentist Handle After-Hour Emergencies?

Some family dental clinics have a specialist on call for client emergencies. Any dental issues from severe tooth pain to jaw damage may likely require immediate medical attention. If the family dental practice in question has arrangements for these scenarios, count it as a significant plus.

Are They Responsive to My Needs?

If people don’t skip their regular dental care due to financial concerns, they do because of fear and anxiety. Interview and observe the staff to discern how they handle patients. Be sure that they are kind, courteous, and accommodate their patients, especially for the sake of your children.

What Are the Hours and Availability?

Balancing work and family life is a difficult task already before working in regular dental appointments for the family. Educate yourself on their hours and days of operation to see if they can fit into your hectic schedule.

Is There a Family Dental Clinic For Me?

Fortunately, you’ve already arrived at a Family Dental Practice that addresses all of these concerns and more. Stuart Curry Dentistry has a staff of experienced, friendly professionals who can handle all of your general dentistry needs. Dr. Stuart Curry insists upon the highest level of customer care and comfort at his general and cosmetic Dentistry facility.

Reach out to our staff today by filling out a new patient form found under our contact section. A friendly and informative staff member will contact you about all of your family dental care needs today.

The Health Effects of Regular Dental Cleaning

Nearly half of Americans often neglect preventive dentistry and regular dental cleaning. A variety of concerns prevents many from following up with a dental specialist ranging from high costs to fear of oral procedures. The truth is, regular dental cleaning can have a substantial impact on your health by preventing issues before they occur. Here are some reasons why we should reconsider skipping that next dentist appointment.

Man getting regular dental cleaning


Dental Cleaning Prevents Tooth Loss

While regular brushing and flossing have an incredible value, professional cleanings assist in providing in-depth and thorough plaque and tartar removal, which can otherwise lead to gum disease and premature tooth loss. Tooth loss is an understandable fear of many as your white smile is one of your greatest assets and a standout feature of first impressions. A good dental cleaning does the work you can’t and ensures your bright smile will stick around longer.


Poor Hygiene Can Lead to Cancer

A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that individuals with periodontitis or gum disease saw a 24% increase in cancer risks. Oral cancer is very treatable if discovered early. Regular checkups conducted by your dental specialist can assist in early cancer detection and drastically increase the chances of recovery. 


Oral Health Also Impacts Your Heart, Brain, and Lungs

Many dental specialists have established a correlation between oral hygiene and heart health. Bacterial infections can begin by entering the bloodstream through the gums. The blood can then carry it directly to the heart valves, increasing the chance of deadly heart attacks. In the same way, an infection can also spread to the lungs causing respiratory issues, pneumonia, or lung disease. In some cases, it can even lead to strokes. 


Early Detection of Cavities, Breaks, and Fractures

Even when practicing good oral hygiene habits, it is still possible for cavities to appear, fillings to break, or teeth to otherwise get damaged in various scenarios. A dental specialist can detect any of these potential damages and either correct the issue immediately or schedule another dentist appointment to address the issue separately. Failure to address these issues makes it easier for bacteria to cause the problems mentioned above.


Your Dental Specialist is Here to Help

Dentists understand that the cost of specific procedures can be costly. They, like any proper health specialist, value your well-being, and want to help you get the treatment you need. Upon detection of dental problems, most dental offices typically provide different financing options to assist in getting you the care you deserve. However, they can only do this if the issue is detected, and regular cleanings can help with this.


Establish a Regular Dental Cleaning Schedule

We at Stuart Curry Dentistry have the expertise to provide any level of comfort and pampering you may require. We understand that dental procedures can be frightening and even costly. Our friendly staff and team of experienced doctors can set you up with a regular cleaning schedule and financial plan that best suits you. Not only will our services promote overall better health, but you’ll also feel happier and more confident with your new, glowing smile.


You can contact us at our Birmingham, AL, office at (205)-972-3831. Alternatively, you can fill out a new patient form on our contact page and have us contact you via phone or e-mail. We look forward to helping you smile.

Restorative Dentistry

We provide comprehensive restorative procedures for patients who suffer from common oral health problems such as gum disease and tooth less. These procedures, along with prescribed preventive and any necessary cosmetic care, can restore or improve your smile and overall oral health.

One of the most common restorative procedures is to receive dental implants, dentures, fillings, and crowns. The purpose of restorative dentistry is to ensure that your moth stays as healthy as possible and functioning at its best.


Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are used to fill the space created by one or missing teeth. A bridge is usually comprised of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap (called abutment teeth) and features false teeth in between.

A traditional bridge creates a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, and with a pontic in-between. Care for the bridge post-treatment is essential to maintaining the health of your teeth and the success of the bridge.

dental bridgeEndodontics

The most common type of endodontic treatments involved root canals. A root canal is performed when the pulp inside a tooth becomes inflamed or infected. The pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned, filled, and sealed.

When you begin to experience severe tooth pain in your mouth, it is crucial to find the source of the pain and resolve the issue as soon as possible. One of the most common signs that you need endodontic assistance is sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures when you eat and drink.


Dental implants act as replacement roots for damaged or lost teeth. Implants provide a strong foundation for permanent or removable replacement teeth (dentures or bridges) that are custom-mad to match your existing teeth.

The advantages of having dental implants is improved appearance, speech, comfort, oral health, durability, and easier eating. Once your dentist has determined that it is safe for you to receive treatment, you can start your individualized treatment plan.

The procedure itself shouldn’t be painful for patients because a local anesthesia will be used, and the post-procedure care includes regularly cleaning and routine checkups.


A dental crown is a cap that is placed over a tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. The crown, when cemented, fully encases the visible portion of a tooth. When done correctly, no one should notice that you have a crown at all.

Full and Partial Dentures

Dentures are a removable replacement for missing teeth and other tissues that help restore your smile. Complete dentures are used when all teeth are missing. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.

Make an Appointment

If you live in the Birmingham area, and think you may benefit from any of the above-mentioned procedures, please make an appointment to speak with Dr. Curry today! We’re happy to assist you and make all your dental dreams come true.

Cosmetic Dentistry

We develop a smile enhancement plan that will boost your confidence while complementing your overall oral health. Even if you have always practiced good preventive dental hygiene, there are some conditions that require a dentist’s skill to correct.

Cosmetic dentistry treatments help you have a more natural-looking smile and attractive teeth. Once you’ve ensured that you have a healthy mouth, you can start getting cosmetic dentistry treatments right away.



The positive aspect to receiving a crown is that it provides a more dramatic change than a veneer or other shaping. The outer part of your tooth is removed and a crown is put in place of it. It’s a new beginning for you tooth and can be made to mold to the rest of your teeth to look seamless.

A dental crown is a cap that is placed over a tooth to restore it shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. The crown, when cemented, fully encases the visible portion of a tooth. When done correctly, no one should notice that you have a crown at all.


Veneers are very thin, custom-sized shells designed to cover the front surface of your teeth to improve your smile. These shells are matched to the color of the rest of your teeth and bonded to keep them in place long-term.

These custom-made coverings are cemented to the front side of the tooth. They are usually used in cases to treat dental conditions like a crooked tooth, discoloration, chipped teeth, and to fill in the space between teeth. They are made of porcelain or composite material and greatly mend your smile.

cosmetic dentistryFull and Partial Dentures

Dentures can replace broken or missing teeth and help restore your smile. There are many types of dentures that go beyond full and partial, including conventional dentures, over-dentures, and implants.

Dentures help fill the appearance of your face and profile and because they can be made to resemble the rest of your teeth, your smile won’t suffer. Once you have the dentures in place, your mouth may feel sore and it’s going to take a couple weeks for the surrounding areas to adjust.

Invisalign Orthodontics

Orthodontic treatments lead to better oral health, a more pleasing appearance, and a smile that is more likely to last a lifetime. The most common form of orthodontic treatment involves using devices such as braces to move teeth, retrain muscles, and affect the growth of the jaw.

If you suffer from crowded or crooked teeth, or an uneven bite, you may need braces or invisalign to straighten everything out. With invisible aligners, you can correct your teeth without anything noticeable. More and more adults are seeking orthodontic treatments, including alignment corrections.

Teeth Whitening

Even if you brush and floss daily, you may need more help to whiten and brighten your teeth. When you drink heavy amounts of coffee, tea, wine, etc., they can stain your teeth and cause discoloring.

The bleaching in-office is much stronger than the at-home kits you can find in stores. Not everyone’s teeth will be completely white, but you can definitely brighten them at the recommendation of your dentist.

There are many ways to whiten your teeth at home, but some discoloration resists household products. In certain cases, you need to contact your dentist to learn about professionally applied bleaching products and procedures.

Make an Appointment

If you live in the Birmingham area, and think you may benefit from any of the above-mentioned procedures, please make an appointment to speak with Dr. Curry today! We’re happy to assist you and make all your dental dreams come true.

Interested in veneers? We can help.

Interested in veneers? We can help.

Veneers are thin, porcelain shells designed to cover the front side of your teeth. They are a great option for correcting stained, chipped, and crooked teeth. This is a less intrusive option than dental crowns and a more affordable option than braces. You can have as few or as many teeth veneered as you wish.

Take a look at the rejuvenation veneers brought to this patient’s smile.

Contact us today to talk about how our hand-crafted porcelain veneers can improve your smile. The consultation is free.

Introducing the Select Dental Plan

Introducing the Select Dental Plan

Dealing with employer-provided insurance financing can be a hassle. We see it every day with some of our patients who are either transitioning to new employment or are having difficulty navigating their network benefits. Although we deal with most of the major insurance companies, we understand that some patients would like to manage their dental care on their own.

To accommodate those patients, we at Stuart Curry Dental now offer an in-office insurance plan, called the Select Dental Plan. This plan allows patients to receive dental care at a discounted rate. Our plan has no deductible, no missing tooth clause, no waiting period and no yearly maximum!

How it works

For a yearly fee (or billed monthly), you will receive:

  • 2 regular annual exams and healthy cleanings each year
  • All X-rays are included with your cleaning visits
  • 20% discount on standard fees including:
  • All Crowns, Bridges, Fillings, Dentures, Extractions and Root Canals
  • 20% discount on Periodontal Cleanings
  • 10% discount on Invisalign Orthodontics
  • Any emergency visits needed during the year.

Wondering if this plan is right for you? Learn more about the benefits of our Select Dental Plan.

If you want more details or have questions, feel free to contact us today to learn how you can save on all your dental needs.