What are dental braces? Braces refer to removable or fixed orthodontic appliances normally used to correct various teeth defects such as alignment of bite and teeth. Dental braces can either be placed on the lower side, upper side or both sides based on the type of correction required.
These braces may be used together with other types of orthodontic appliances used in widening of the jaws or palate, shaping the jaws and teeth and creating spaces in between the teeth. Normally, dental braces exert pressure on the teeth hence moving them to the required direction in order to achieve the right bite as well as alignment.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BRACES AVAILABLE?
Advancement in dental technology has led to invention of different types of braces ranging from clear to tooth-colored, ceramic braces to metal braces hence providing wide selection depending on the needs. Different types of braces include:
Plastic or metal braces: these are dental braces made up of either metal or plastic material.
Under this category, there are:Stainless metal braces that are specifically meant for those individuals not allergic to metal and are considered to be the most popular due to their economy and ruggedness.
Ceramic braces: these dental braces consist of high-tech glass-like composite component or material is hence being quite expensive as compared to other braces. Ceramic braces are very strong and capable of resisting to most stains, except those stains caused by curry, smoking, foods, coke and coffee etc.
Sapphire brand braces: pure monocrystalline sapphire is used to make this type of braces. They are quite strong, translucent and capable of withstanding most stains except those arising due to smoking, food etc. sapphire braces blend in very well with the patient`s teeth hence being unnoticeable especially if the patient has white teeth. These qualities make sapphire braces to become quite expensive over other types of braces.
Traditional silver braces: these are the most popular and most common style of braces, comprising of the latest bracket designs and functionality hence creating precise and most efficient teeth movement. Besides, they can be decorated via various color patters and combinations as per the user specification or through use of computer-generated templates.
Gold braces: these types of metal braces consist of gold archwires and are mostly preferred due to their aesthetic appeal.
Invisible braces: these types of dental braces are considered ideal for those patients not having severe malocclusions. They contain custom-made treatment trays fabricated based on the jaw`s structure using a computer. They are usually invisible/un-noticeable and are usually placed on the front side of the teeth. Normally, invisible braces are resistant to stains and do irritate. Clearstep, invisalign and simpli5 fall under invisible braces.
Lingual braces: these braces are usually placed right behind the back side of the teeth. They are traditional form of metal braces consisting of wires though they are not usually visible from the outer side of the teeth hence being unnoticeable.
Other different types of braces include: bands that wrap the teeth makes using metal bands, Inman aligners generally used for minor teeth problems and lastly friction-free Damon braces meant for straightening teeth.
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR PLACING THE DENTAL BRACES?
There are various stages involved in placement of dental procedure including:
Initial consultation: this is the first step and involves initial extermination, x-ray of the mouth and teeth and discussion relating to dental history. It encompasses a couple of activities starting from x-ray, moulds to creating teeth impression in order to have a clear view of the problem hence selecting the proper/ best course of action.
This is the second step and involves: application of etchant to the teeth being braced to enable the cement to stick to the surface of the tooth, application of a bracket onto a tooth via a dental grade cement followed by curing of the cement using a light till it hardens completely, and lastly threading of an archwire in between the brackets as well as attaching using metal bands or colored elastic to help shift the midline, pull jaws or teeth strongly to the required direction and to close open bites.
Adjusting the braces
Here, adjustments of braces at regular intervals are carried out to enable the teeth to move to the right direction; followed by removal of rubber bands. Archwire is then modified, removed or replaced and restored into the mouth, and then fixation of new rubber bands i.e. to the metallic brackets is carried out.
This is the last step which involves wearing of retainers after the removal of braces to avoid teeth relapse since gums and bones requires more time to stabilize. The patient`s condition determines the period at which these retainers are to be worn.
By James O Kirk