What are the Most Popular Types of Orthodontic Braces?

Meadows Gate Dental provides a variety of types of orthodontic braces. The most popular are clear invisible braces, such as Invisalign® dental braces and Damon® clear orthodontics.

Many children, teenagers and adults want to have straight, well-aligned teeth, clearer speech and a beautiful smile – to achieve this, they may need orthodontic treatment. Early treatment can help straighten the teeth in a shorter time frame; however teeth can be straightened at any age. For children, a first orthodontic assessment is recommended at about seven years of age.

Orthodontics can be used to treat the following conditions:

Over-bite or under-bite (also known as anteroposterior deviations):  the over-bite is where the upper teeth are further forward; an under-bite is where the lower teeth are further forward than the upper teeth – in either case, the teeth are not properly aligned.

Overcrowding of teeth: As children lose their baby teeth and adult teeth come in, there may not be enough space for the normal growth and development of those teeth. This results in crowding and misalignment of the adult teeth.

Orthodontics provides solutions to these conditions and to other cosmetic problems.  At Meadows Gate Dental, we perform a visual examination, panoramic x-rays and obtain bite impressions to assess the problem. Then, we discuss the types of treatment options for you to consider and, if orthodontics is the recommended solution, we review with you the types of orthodontic braces available.

Types of Orthodontic Braces:

Fixed orthodontic braces:  A metal or ceramic dental base is affixed to each tooth, and a dental wire is inserted through each base.  The teeth are trained into proper alignment as we regularly adjust the wire. The braces are removed once the results are achieved.

Removable appliances:   In addition to braces, there are other appliances used in orthodontics, including headgear that correct over-bites; retainers that improve the position of the teeth and reform the jaw bone; and facemasks used to correct under-bites.

Two Brands that Meadows Gate Dental Recommends:

 1. Invisalign®

This is a removable type of dental aligner that is transparent or invisible.  It does not interfere with eating because of its removable nature and works much the same as traditional metal braces.  These braces do not work for all patients; particularly those who need more movement of teeth.  Invisible or clear orthodontics are almost invisible and straighten teeth quickly and contain no metal.  They are comfortable and not as obtrusive as traditional braces but are usually somewhat more expensive.

Invisalign® treatment uses a series of customized aligning trays.  We will change the trays every several weeks to fit the new tooth configuration.  We can also temporarily remove the aligning trays for special occasions (such as a graduation or a wedding) – this allows patients to have input in the treatment but it also means that patients need to be highly disciplined to ensure that treatment is successful.

The Treatment Plan

We will create a treatment plan before we develop the custom aligning trays.  Three-dimensional digital imaging will be taken of the entire jaw.  This imaging allows us to move teeth on the screen, view the jaw from all angles, and predict what the face might look like in future years.

Once the plan is developed a custom set of aligners will be created: approximately 20 to 29 sets of aligners per arch are typically required.

What do you need to know about wearing Invisalign® trays?

The tray needs to be worn constantly, except when eating or drinking; trays need to be removed then so that food or bacteria does not become trapped between the teeth and the tray and cause tooth decay. Typically trays need to be changed out for new ones every two weeks and progress will be visible. Regular follow-up appointments at Meadows Gate Dental for your invisible dental braces will be required.

 2. Another Alternative: Damon® Braces

The Damon Orthodontics® system straightens teeth quickly and comfortably.  This orthodontics system can produce results much quicker than traditional metal braces (in some cases six months faster than traditional systems).  For the most part, Damon® braces can be affixed without the removal of healthy teeth, because this orthodontics system works to create space naturally.

These braces use a lighter, shape-memory, type of technology with self-ligating wires that need no tightening. The system does not use elastics, ties or palate expanders.  It reduces the friction on each tooth by using a sliding mechanism that allows teeth to move gently into alignment.

Damon® braces provide good results, improved aesthetics during wear, comfortable treatment, minimized need for tooth extraction, fewer dental visits and shortened treatment time.

Straightening Teeth:

Teeth are used to chew, bite and help with speech; straight teeth perform better than crooked, or misaligned, teeth.  Straight teeth also promote confidence and self esteem and result in better oral health (as they are typically easier to care for than crooked teeth).

The Following Disorders are Commonly Associated with Crooked Teeth:

  • Periodontitis or gum disease begins with a bacterial infection.  The bacterial infection is most often caused by inadequate oral hygiene.  Crooked teeth are harder to clean, allowing food debris, plaque and bacteria to build up. Straight teeth are easier to clean and present less risk of contracting gum disease.
  • Temporomandibular Disorder (TMJ): crooked teeth may lead to improper jaw alignment, which causes TMJ and can lead to headaches, jaw pain, grinding of teeth, wearing of teeth and/or lockjaw.
  • Tooth injury:  crooked teeth are weaker and often protrude, making them far more vulnerable to external injury than straight teeth.
  • The uneven wear caused by crooked teeth can result in higher risk of damage to teeth.

To straighten teeth you can use either orthodontic braces or customized aligning trays (e.g. Invisalign®).  Orthodontic braces are usually fixed to the teeth for a period of time.  They are strong and comprised of individual brackets which are cemented to each tooth and which have an archwire that applies pressure (for re-alignment) on the teeth. Traditional braces are typically metal but are also available in clear synthetic material and in a tooth-coloured ceramic.  The ceramic brackets are more comfortable than wire but can be stained by coffee, smoking, wine, tomato sauces, and certain food and drinks.  We tighten the brackets and archwires regularly and remove them when treatment is complete.  Fixed braces can be placed on the front side or back side of the teeth and are effective for most types of malocclusion.

Aligning trays are fully removable and are used where the malocclusion is less severe, and the teeth need to move a shorter distance.  Trays are replaced every few weeks and are effective for straightening teeth.

Making the best treatment choice for your needs, and selecting from the different types of orthodontic braces, requires that you fully understand the treatment and the choices.  Book an appointment with our dentists at Meadows Gate Dental Clinic; we’ll be happy to discuss the details with you.

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