Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on realigning misshapen teeth so as to give proper tooth function and improved appearance to patients. This treatment is undertaken using the help of fixed or removable braces. These braces work to correct the position of misplaced teeth using gentle pressure and gradual adjustment. In order to accomplish this, some of the braces are permanently placed in the mouth with existing pressure, while other removable braces use different molds to adjust the teeth into place. These are the different braces available.
Metal braces are the traditional braces that were first created to accomplish teeth alignment. They are metal brackets connected by taut wires that offer directional pressure to get the teeth into their rightful positions. The arc wires are gradually tightened every month or so to adjust their position. The treatment usually takes one to three years. Once done, a retainer is fixed to hold the teeth in their correct positions for about a year. Metal braces which were once unsightly large metallic fixtures, are now smaller and come in colors that blend more easily with the patient’s mouth and style.
These braces are similar to the traditional braces both in form and technique of alignment, which is pressure. The only difference is that they are affixed in the interior of the mouth, giving these braces the name invisible braces. They tend to be more expensive than traditional braces since they need greater customization.
Invisalign braces are aligner trays made from plastic that shift a patient’s teeth gradually in place. This is using customized trays. The trays are changed bi-monthly, effecting the gradual change using continuously adjusted trays. The advantage to these braces is they are aesthetically pleasing and one is able to better care for their teeth, removing them to eat, brush, and floss.
These brackets use a slide mechanism to adjust the teeth in place. They offer the benefit of being aesthetically pleasing as well as having reduced treatment time. They are, however, more expensive than traditional metal braces.