Metal braces are the most common type of braces. They have improved over the years in terms of looks, size and comfort. They are made from high-grade stainless steel. This type of braces uses a system of metal brackets and arch wires to move teeth into position. Most traditional metal braces are installed with elastic rubber bands. These are called ligatures and they keep the archwire and the bracket attached to each other. The ligatures are usually available in multiple colours which made this choice of braces popular among children and teenagers who find it trendy.
Ceramic braces are made of ceramic (porcelain). They work in the same way as metal braces and are less visible because they are either translucent or made to match tooth colour.
They are popular especially among adults who want to correct the alignment of their teeth without being too noticeable. In addition to the clear ceramic brackets, there are different types of brace wires or ties that can make them more inconspicuous.
Self Ligating Braces
Self-ligating braces are made from the same materials as traditional braces; however, self-ligating braces do not require the use of elastic ligatures to hold the archwire in place. They use a specialized clip instead which help reduce the amount of pressure being placed on the teeth. As there are also no elastics to replace, the number of adjustments are reduced and this translates into fewer visits to the clinic by the patient.
Self-ligating braces are a great option for patients needing braces, particularly adults as they can provide a more aesthetic appearance. Our Orthodontist can help you determine what type of braces will be most effective for your smile. Please contact our practice to schedule your orthodontic consultation.
These customized braces are applied to the back of teeth instead of the front making them almost completely undetectable. Lingual braces work in the same way as traditional metal braces. They are usually more costly, but can be appealing for cosmetic reasons.
Invisalign is an alternative to wire braces that uses transparent, incremental aligners to adjust teeth. The Invisalign treatment process involves taking a mould of the patient's teeth that is scanned in order to create a computerized model. The computer model creates stages between the current and desired teeth positions that are used to create moulds for individual aligners. Patient co-operation for wearing the aligners is crucial for the success for the treatment.
Invisalign vs. Traditional Orthodontics
Invisalign may not be appropriate for certain cases of misalignment or complex bite problems. Fixed orthodontic appliances (traditional wire and bracket braces) can be used for complex malocclusions.
Images courtesy of Align Technology, Inc.
Though not as aesthetically appealing as clear aligners like Invisalign, today's traditional braces have been improved so they are smaller, less visible and more efficient. These newer wire-and-bracket braces also help to correct misalignment much faster than before.
Only a dentist can determine which treatment option might be right for you. In addition, an orthodontic specialist (orthodontist) can advise you about orthodontic treatment alternatives.
If Invisalign is not appropriate, traditional orthodontics can still be used for such conditions as:
1) Severe crowding and spacing.
2) Skeletal malocclusions.
3) Teeth that are severely rotated.
4) Pen bites in the front and back of the mouth that need to be closed.
5) Teeth that are severely tipped.
6) Upper or lower jaws with multiple missing teeth.
This tooth-straightening option uses a series of clear, custom-made aligners to gradually move teeth according to a treatment plan predetermined by an orthodontist. The aligners, which are custom-made trays worn over teeth for about 20 to 22 hours per day, are removable so patients can brush and floss normally and are not restricted on what they can eat during the course of treatment.