Types of Braces
With the continuing technological changes that are taking place in orthodontics, patients have more ways to correct their bite problems than ever. Although metal braces are still the most widely used, clear braces are becoming increasingly popular. Clear aligners may also be used in mild cases of misaligned teeth or for many retreat cases.
Metal braces are the most common type because they are the most durable kind of braces. Made of high-grade stainless steel, today’s metal braces are smaller, more comfortable and less noticeable than in years past.
Ceramic braces are made out of a porcelain material. They are most popular with adult patients due to their cosmetic appeal. The drawbacks to ceramic brackets are that they are more fragile and difficult to remove at the end of treatment, and they may discolor mildly depending on what a patient may eat or drink.
The braces we use in our office – whether metal or clear – are all self-ligating braces. These brackets have a sliding-door that hold the wire in and allow the wire to move more freely within the bracket, resulting in improved patient comfort and treatment efficiency…no more “tying in and tightening” like is done with traditional braces. Self-ligating braces also reduce the number of unexpected treatment setbacks due to loose wires or lost colored elastics on brackets.
Clear Aligners (such as Invisalign)
Clear aligners allow for tooth alignment without having to have braces physically attached to your teeth. These aligners are typically a series of clear bleaching tray-like aligners that have been fabricated by a computer to gradually move teeth. This system is available to adult patients with certain orthodontic bite problems. But because aligners are typically not as robust as braces, the may not effectively correct all bite problems. If using clear aligners is a treatment option that interests you, ask us if you are a candidate for them.