Hide your braces, not your smile!!
More and more people are seeking orthodontic treatment. Thanks to today’s technology, patients now have more options when it comes to wearing braces. Most adults would prefer to be able to have orthodontic treatment without any aesthetic impairment and hence want to fulfil there treatment goals with an appliance that is invisible. While regular metal braces are still widely used, clear braces and lingual braces are becoming increasingly popular along with removable appliances such as Invisalign ®, that can be used for mild cases of misaligned teeth and.
Fixed braces are know as ‘train tracks’.
- Metal Brackets
- Clear (ceramic)
- Lingual Brackets
- Self ligating brackets
1. Metal braces are the most common type. They are popular with teenagers as they can be brightened up with different colours to make the smile unique. They are made of high-grade stainless steel.
Braces use constant, gentle pressure, which over time, move teeth into their proper positions. Your braces are at work every moment of your orthodontic treatment. The two main components of your braces are: the brackets that are placed on your teeth and the main archwire that connects them.
The bracket is a piece of shaped metal or ceramic that we affix to each tooth. The archwire is bent to reflect your “ideal” bite. In other words, it reflects the way we want you to look after treatment. The wire threads through the brackets and, as the wire tries to return to its original shape, it applies pressure to move your teeth.
Picture your tooth resting in your jawbone. With pressure on one side from the archwire, the bone on the other side gives way. The tooth moves. New bone grows in behind.
2. Ceramic cosmetic braces: A less noticeable appearance than metal braces. Ceramic braces are made of translucent (clear) material. They are popular due to their cosmetic appeal. They are tied in with white elastic modules to try and be as discrete as possible. They work just as well as metal braces.
3. Lingual Braces: This is the straightening of teeth using fixed braces which are placed on the inside of the mouth on the inner surface of the teeth. So correct tooth positioning can be achieved without the braces being seen. There is no age restriction, provided the periodontal tissues are fundamentally intact, i.e. the teeth are still relatively firmly fixed in the bone. There may be some tongue irritations and speech difficulties initially but very soon all will get better when you get used to your lingual braces.
4. Self ligating brackets: Self-Ligating Braces are an advanced form of Braces which do not require O-rings or Elastics. Conventional braces are tied in with elastics, which cause friction and pressure, making treatment slower and less comfortable. Self-Ligating Braces hold the wire in and lock it in place themselves like a gate. They use a slide mechanism to hold the wire, which allows teeth to move more freely, quickly and comfortably. Self-Ligating Braces were designed to be discreet, comfortable and easy to keep clean. Without the O-rings or Elastics, which attract and collect plaque, Self-Ligating Braces enable you to maintain optimal dental health and hygiene throughout your treatment. There are both ceramic and metal self ligating brackets on the market.
This is used to move teeth into a better relationship using gentle tipping. They can tip the crowns of the teeth but do not so much change the position of the roots. They are used in combination with springs, screws and bite-planes to help with mild cases of cross bites, reduction of deep overbites and alignment of mild crowding.
Invisalign consists of a series of clear removable plastic aligners worn over the teeth. They are almost invisible. Invisalign is made with 3-D computer imaging technology and it allows you to view your own virtual treatment plan when you start, so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete. It is not suitable for everyone and it can be established at your initial consultation if this is the method best suited to give you a perfect smile.
Normally each aligner is worn for approximately 2 weeks before moving on to the next aligner, so long as your teeth have moved into the correct position. They should be removed only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. You’ll visit the practice about once every 6 weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned. Total treatment time averages 9-15 months and the average number of aligners worn during treatment is between 18 and 30, but both will vary from case to case. Learn more about Invisalign or visit their web site at http://www.invisalign.com
Some problems that orthodontists are trained to deal with involve correcting jaw disharmonies using dentofacial orthopaedics. In growing patients, functional appliances can be used to put the jaws in balance, achieve good facial muscle function and create natural facial proportions. Functional appliances are available in many forms with different names. Twin block, Activators, Bionators, and Frankels are only a few of those available. Age assessment is done by 10-11 years of age as the treatment has to be timed with the growth spurt. These appliances can be designed to not only move teeth but also correct the alignment of the jaws which hold the teeth. The most common objective is to correct an underdeveloped lower jaw.
Functional appliances can sometimes be used alone to correct a problem but often correct treatment can only be provided by a combined approach using functional appliances as well as “Fixed” appliances.