Dental braces consist of a system of bands, wires and brackets and their function is to align, anchor and position the teeth according to the orthodontic requirements of the patient.
The way braces system works is by application of sustained and consistent pressure on the teeth which moves them into the desired position. The process of orthodontic treatment has to be done very meticulously and carefully to ensure teeth are moved in a safe manner with minimal unwanted effects.
The typical treatment with braces ranges from six months to two or three years, depending on the type and complexity of correction required. In certain cases, removal of teeth may be necessary to make space for movement and alignment. Braces are typically inspected and adjusted regularly so that we could activate your braces and make sure your treatment is going well according to your treatment plan.
Traditional braces made of stainless steel or titanium is the most common types of braces. They have elastic bands (called modules or elastomers) that secure the wire to the metal brackets, which also give the braces colours that so many of our young patients love.
Modern dental materials have resulted in slimmer, sleeker metal braces that are more efficient and comfortable and braces that are made of transparent ceramic brackets. Ceramic braces are popular among those who want their braces to be less conspicuous to suit their life style and professions.
Braces can be fun and stylish too !
If you are fighting shy of traditional braces because you assume that they are chunky, uncomfortable and difficult to maintain, you should know that there are plenty of modern, sleek options available today. One such choice is the self-ligating braces, which use a permanently installed, movable component to trap the archwires, without the use of elastic bands.
Studies have shown self-ligating braces such as the Damon System (Fig 1) and Empower Brackets demonstrate several advantages over the traditional braces:
- Greater patient comfort, shorter treatment time, reduced chair time and more precise control of tooth translation.
- Self-ligating brackets demonstrate dramatically less friction in the whole braces system. Such reduction in friction can help shorten overall treatment time, especially in extraction cases.
- Self-ligation reduces the risks of percutaneous injury. It also protects the patient from soft-tissue lacerations and possible infections from the cut ends of steel ligatures.
- Elastomeric ligatures not only show a rapid rate of decay and deformation, but they are often associated with poor oral hygiene. With the elimination of plaque retentive elastomers, self-ligating appliances can significantly improve the hygiene of all patients.
Damon Clear (Ceramic) System (Fig 1)
Modern orthodontics offers several viable alternatives other than traditional braces and among them, clear aligners are a cosmetic substitute for braces with their brackets, elastic-bands and wires. Invisalign is a branded system of custom-built aligners made of smooth, comfortable and almost invisible plastic which gently shift the teeth into place based on the exact movement planned for you.
Invisalign has several advantages over braces system:
- Invisalign aligners are removable, so it is easier to clean your teeth and maintain your oral health during treatment.
- They are virtually invisible! So smile with confidence during treatment.
- With Invisalign clear aligners, you do not have to worry about your treatment interfering with your active lifestyle.
- With innovative SmartForce and SmartTrack technologies, the Invisalign System effectively straightens your teeth predictably and more comfortably.
- Virtually no food or drink restrictions (since they are easily removable).