Crooked teeth can be a cause of lack of confidence, anxiety, and depression. They are known to cause long term psychological and emotional effects.
Don’t let the fear of a mouthful of metal keep you in distress.
Today there is a wide range of different types of braces easily available. This has led to the growing popularity of orthodontic treatments amongst adults in the UK.
According to the British Orthodontic Society, almost 75% of orthodontists across the UK have experienced an increase in the number of adult private patients.
Orthodontic treatments have improved substantially in recent times. With the help of technology and new materials, braces have come a long way. From yesteryear’s metal wires crisscrossing over teeth to modern day’s almost invisible plastic aligners.
The two main types of braces available are:
Fixed braces are widely accepted around the world as the most popular teeth-straightening solution. Fixed braces as the name suggests are fixed to the patient’s teeth by an orthodontist.
Fixed braces usually consist of square brackets that are cemented to each tooth. They also have a wire running through them to join the brackets together. The wire is used to maneuver the misaligned teeth into the correct position. The typical treatment time is approximately one to two years.
Fixed braces are commonly used by orthodontists for solving numerous dental problems like:
The different types of fixed braces are:
Metal braces are often called Traditional braces or Conventional braces. These have been used for years by dentists and are still one of the most preferred forms of treatment for poor jaw alignment.
Metal braces are made of high-grade stainless steel brackets and a flexible metal archwire which guides the teeth to the correct position. Modern-day archwires may also be heat activated for quicker movement. Metal braces also come with fun and quirky colorful rubber bands that are used to attach the wire.
Ceramic braces are also known as clear braces. They are similar to metal braces, but they use transparent or tooth-colored brackets instead of stainless steel brackets. Tooth-colored or clear brackets are attached to the teeth with the help of similarly colored or transparent wires and rubber bands.
Self-ligating braces are one of the most popular types of braces in recent years. They are quite similar to metal braces and ceramic braces. They consist of a bracket and wire system.
However, they do not use rubber bands. Instead, they make use of a sliding bracket mechanism with “doors” or “clips” that attach to the wire. This sliding mechanism ensures minimum friction and is less painful than metal or ceramic braces. They are available in both metals as well as ceramic colors.
Lingual braces were first invented in the 1970s by an American and Japanese orthodontist duo. They are similar to traditional metal braces. But, in the case of lingual braces, the metal brackets and wires are attached on the inside of the teeth.
Lingual braces are not at all visible to people since they are hidden behind the teeth. They are often also known as “incognito” or “hidden” braces.
Though they offer discretion during treatment, they are not quite commonly used. Initially, they were not very suitable for teeth strengthening and causing discomfort to the patient due to their bulky nature. However, over the years, lingual braces have evolved and are now considered as good as other braces.
Removable braces do not remain fixed in the mouth. They can be easily removed by the patient without visiting the orthodontist. The most common type of removable brace available today is invisible braces.
Invisible braces as the name suggests are almost invisible to people. They are made of transparent, clear plastic and are also commonly known as clear aligners.
Orthodontists use modern technology like x-rays, scans, and mouth photos to create a 3D model of the patient’s mouth. They then go on to make customized plastic aligners that are an exact fit over the patient’s teeth. With regular visits to the dentist, these aligners work at “aligning” the teeth to their correct position.
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