If you have crooked teeth, your orthodontist or dentist would recommend solutions to address your issue. He can tell you that you have the option to choose between using dental braces or clear aligners depending on the severity of your teeth misalignment. But what are the different types of braces? How are they different from the dental aligners? And how can one choose which type is best for them?
Types of braces: What are braces?
Dental braces are fixed dental appliances or devices used by orthodontists to correctly align and straighten your teeth to position them depending on a person’s bite. Having straightened and correctly aligned teeth can help improve your overall dental health.
Types of braces: What are they?
There are four different types of dental braces, all aiming to reach one goal – teeth alignment.
These fixed appliances are also called the traditional braces. Metal braces have two basic components – the bracket and the archwire. Metal brackets are glued securely to the front surface of the teeth and are connected by a bendable metal archwire. Your dentist applies pressure on your teeth by gradually adjusting the tightness of the archwire, every so often, making your teeth move. This type is called the traditional one because this is the prototype of the improved versions of dental braces. Though this may be the most basic kind of braces, it is still the go-to orthodontic device for parents of children and teenagers as this is the least expensive and the most dependable among all types of braces.
As mentioned earlier, metal braces are the first type used for orthodontic corrections. However, though the metal appliance is effective in correcting a patient’s bite and teeth alignment, its aesthetic appearance bothers its users. This was when ceramic braces were invented. Dentists and orthodontists alike designed an orthodontic appliance that uses the same process as that of the metal braces but would be a bit more pleasing to the eyes. So instead of using thick metal brackets and wires that are just too visible and eye-catching, they made use of tooth-coloured ceramic material for the gears. Having your orthodontic procedure using ceramic braces may be a good idea if you are self-conscious about your looks. Just be mindful on how you take care of your ceramic gears since staining is a common complaint with this type of braces. Also, it is found to be more expensive than the metal ones and are a bit more fragile than the traditional ones.
If invisibility is a must-have for you when getting dental braces, the only solution for that is lingual braces. This type is another innovation of the metal braces that instead of placing the brackets and wires in front of the teeth, they are attached to the back surface of the teeth, in front of the tongue. This type really solves the issue of aesthetics, though lingual braces can still be seen when the patient opens his or her mouth. Being the least noticeable may be the only positive trait of this brace type. Numerous complaints were noted by dentists from patients using lingual braces, including difficulty in speaking, eating, and cleaning the dental appliances. Moreover, severe cases of malocclusion cannot be addressed by lingual braces, and this type is more expensive than the traditional ones. As a matter of fact, fewer people are turning to lingual braces as their orthodontic procedure choice.
Like the metal, ceramic, and lingual braces, the self-ligating braces also use brackets and archwires. The only difference this type of braces has when compared to the traditional way that metal or ceramic braces are used is that self-ligating braces use brackets with clips or doors that hold on to the wire. So instead of using rubber bands to apply additional pressure on the teeth for them to move (like what metal and ceramic braces use), the specialised brackets get the job done on their own. This innovation makes your orthodontic braces less painful, and a bit less expensive because trips to the dentist may also be lessened. However, like other braces upgrades, not all orthodontic problems get addressed by this type, particularly the severe ones.
Knowing the different types of braces, we hope that it will be easier for you to choose which type would suit you. Discuss all your concerns with your dentist and let him explain to you further his professional opinion on which type of braces would fit your needs.