Different styles of braces
Over the last few decades, orthodontic practices have advanced significantly and we can now offer a variety of braces in styles and fixtures to treat most problems. Not only are we able to contend with previously too extreme anteroposteriors (misalignments and over/underbites) but braces are subtler and less obtrusive than ever before. From our Invisalign range to retainers and appliances, take a look at what orthodontic methods are now available.
Firstly, the traditional brace is still an option. Braces run on ‘tracks’ on your teeth, the wires of which are attached to small brackets and then the tightening of these wires enables an orthodontist to ‘train’ the teeth into the correct position. Traditionally, braces are fitted to children aged between ten and fourteen. However, as older people chose to undergo orthodontic work for aesthetic or anteroposteriors reasons, braces began to change. Ceramic braces are now offered. These are clear or tooth coloured and far less obvious than the traditional metal ones and work just as quickly.
Taking this progression one step further was Invisalign who developed a completely clear casing which is sculpted to each patient’s individual mouth. These aligners are made using x-rays and impressions which are combined to create a digital 3D image of your teeth. Using this, orthodontists can develop a specific treatment plan and have the clear case made for you to begin treatment. The Invisalign aligner can be taken out when you eat or brush your teeth so you don’t have the hassle that comes with regular braces. They are more comfortable and don’t cause the problems which traditional metal braces do (poor/awkward oral hygiene, injuries from wire, painful rubbing on the gum, limited diet). However, the treatment does usually take longer using Invisalign because the movement is not as severe. It is however less painful than traditional braces which have to be regularly tightened — with Invisalign you only need to return to your dentist once every four to six weeks. Teenagers and adults with modest alignment issues are the best candidates for Invisalign.
Retainers are typically worn at night after braces are removed to ensure the teeth don’t move back into place. Often a year or two of nightly wearing is enough to ensure the orthodontic treatment has been successful. Sometimes they are fixed however and consist of a small piece of wire your orthodontist will place as a permanent measure to ensure your teeth do not shift back to their original positions.
There are a number of appliances which can be used for more extreme jaw misalignments or problems with the bite. A maxillary expansion appliance, for example, is designed to widen the upper jaw by pushing the teeth gently outwards, increasing the pressure each day for a period of time and then it is worn for about a year as the jawbone shifts into its new, wider position. In the case of bite correction, elastic bands or correcting springs can be used to train the jaw into the correct alignment. If the overbite is severe, a Herbst Hanks may be used to simultaneously pull the upper molars back and the bottom jaw forwards. Also the Clark Twin Block Appliance works on both the upper and lower jaws to correct alignments.
Whatever problem you or your child are experiencing, the recent developments in the orthodontic treatment capabilities mean we are ready to deal with anything. Come down to iSmile Orthodontics and take advantage of our free consultation where you can speak to a fully qualified orthodontist about your concerns, problems and what you hope to gain from orthodontic treatment. We will then discuss a no-obligations plan and give you all of the information clearly formulated in a report to enable you to make this decision with all of the facts