What Are Braces ?
Braces are fixed or removable orthodontic appliances used to correct alignment of teeth and bite. They are fitted on the upper, lower or both sets of teeth depending upon the correction required. They may be used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances that help to:
- Widen the palate or jaws.
- Create spaces between teeth.
- Shape the teeth and jaws.
Braces apply continuous pressure to move teeth in a specific direction to bring about the right alignment and bite. The treatment period lasts from as little as 6 weeks to three years, depending on the level of movement required and the type of brace that is used.
What Are The Different Types Of Braces Available ?
There are many different kinds of braces available depending on your needs : -
- Metal or Plastic Braces : - with brackets that are bonded to teeth : -
- Stainless Metal Braces : - for those who are not allergic to metal. They are popular for their ruggedness and economy.
- Ceramic Braces : - made of a high-tech glass-like composite material and are quite expensive. They are quite strong and resistant to most stains, excluding those caused by foods, coffee, Coke, curry, smoking, etc.
- Sapphire Inspire! Brand Braces : - made of pure monocrystalline sapphire. They are very translucent, strong and resistant to most stains, excluding those caused by foods, coffee, Coke, curry, smoking, etc. They too blend in with the teeth and are not noticeable, especially if you have white teeth. They are quite expensive compared to other braces.
- Traditional Silver Braces : - the most common and most popular style of braces, with brackets that are top in design and functionality, resulting in the most efficient and precise movement of the teeth. They can also be decorated using color combinations and patterns as preferred by the user or using computer-generated templates.
- Gold Braces : - gold-plated braces that also come with gold archwires. They are mostly chosen for their aesthetic appeal.
- Invisalign Braces : - invisible braces are ideal for those who do not have severe malocclusions. They comprise of custom-made treatment trays that have been computer-fabricated according to the jaw structure. They are almost invisible to the eye and bonded to the front of the teeth. They do not cause irritation to gums and are stain resistant.
- Lingual Braces : - these are attached to the back surfaces of the teeth; they are traditional metal braces with wires but they are not visible from the front surfaces of your teeth and so have the advantages of being invisible to everyone else. Read more about lingual braces.
- Bands : - cover most of the teeth with metal bands that wrap around the teeth.
- Inman Aligners : - the Inman Aligner is a newcomer to the UK market; it achieves rapid teeth movements and is used for problems related to minor movements of the upper and lower front teeth.
- Friction-free Damon Braces : - Damon braces offer a lower-friction solution to teeth straightening and boast faster treatment times than traditional metal braces. Read more about Damon braces.
What Is The Procedure For Placing Dental Braces ?
Initial Consultation : -
X-rays, moulds, and impressions of the teeth are taken to determine the problem and proper course of action.
Procedure : -
An etchant is applied to the teeth to be braced to help the cement stick to the tooth surface. A bracket is applied onto a tooth using dental grade cement. The cement is then cured with a light until it is hardened completely. An archwire is threaded between the brackets and attached with colored elastic or metal bands to help close open bites, shift the midline, or pull teeth or jaws strongly in the desired direction.
Adjusting The Braces : -
The braces are adjusted at regular intervals to help shift the teeth into the correct position. After they are adjusted, the colored rubber bands are removed. The arch wire is then taken out, and replaced or modified, and placed back into the mouth. New rubber bands are then fixed to the metal brackets.
Post Treatment : -
Retainers are worn once the braces are removed to prevent the relapse of the teeth, as bone and gums need additional time to stabilize around the teeth. The time period for wearing the retainers will depend upon the individual patient condition. They can be moved in and out of the mouth as required.
Risks And Limitations Of Orthodontic Care
Allergic reactions to the metal or latex. Increased risk in people with periodontal problems, such as people with type 1 diabetes, who are predisposed toward the breakdown of gum and supporting tissue, affecting the long-term integrity of affected teeth.
Side Effects : -
Immediately after dental braces are fitted there may be some discomfort. Shifting teeth and jaws as well as alien brackets can all cause discomfort, but there should be no real pain. Patients who experience any discomfort should report to their dentist or orthodontist immediately as adjustments may be able to be made.
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