Ready for braces 101? If you’re considering orthodontic treatment for yourself, or you’ll be getting braces for your kids, you can get ahead of the game by learning the difference between various types of braces. Then, when you have the initial consultation with your orthodontist, you’ll be prepared to make the best decision.

Why Braces?

Braces are used for either cosmetic issues (crooked teeth) or for structural issues (helping reshape the jaws and palate or aligning the jaws correctly). There are several types of braces that offer different advantages, whether you’re looking for something that’s more comfortable, more cost effective, requires fewer visit to the orthodontist, or is nearly invisible. Here are the five types of dental braces offered at Dunn Orthodontics.

 

Metal Braces

This type of dental braces is the most common among children and teens. Traditional metal braces are highly effective at correcting bite problems, crooked teeth, irregular gaps between teeth, malocclusions, and other common issues. Metal braces correct crooked teeth with stainless steel wires that are held against the teeth with metal brackets. Each month, the orthodontist tightens the wires, creating a gradual shift in the placement of the teeth and fixing problems. Shorter treatment times often make metal braces the preferred treatment for children and teens. Recent advancements in technology have improved the comfort of traditional metal braces, since the brackets and wires are now much smaller and thinner than they used to be. This also makes it easier to keep your braces clean. You can also select your favorite color of bands (which go around each bracket), so you can wear your school colors one month or sport the fashion color of the season the next.

  • Great for the widest range of dental issues
  • Shorter treatment times than in the past
  • Cost-effective
  • Appearance can be customized with colored bands
  • Can correct even complicated dental issues

 

Damon System Braces

Utilizing the latest in technology and the highest quality materials, Damon System Braces are regarded as the most comfortable type of metal dental braces. They employ a smooth, self-ligating bracket system, and boast rounded, more comfortable corners and hardware. This makes them more comfortable than other metal braces. If you have Damon System Braces, you won’t need an elastic tie around each bracket because the arch wire is held in place with a sliding door mechanism. The treatment time needed while wearing Damon System Braces is approximately the same as with other metal braces.

  • Smoother edges means they’re more comfortable
  • No elastic ties needed (faster appointment times)
  • Same treatment time as with metal braces
  • Most durable of all types of braces
  • Can correct most complicated dental issues

 

Lingual Braces

This type of braces employs many of the same basic techniques as traditional metal braces, except that the brackets are mounted to the backside of the teeth, making the braces invisible to others. Lingual braces are a cosmetic option and are often preferred by adults or older teens who don’t like the appearance of traditional metal braces on their teeth.

  • Approximately same treatment times as other metal braces
  • Invisible to others (mounted on backside of teeth)

 

Clear Braces

As a cosmetic alternative to traditional metal braces, clear braces are less noticeable than metal braces because the brackets are the same color as the teeth. The brackets are usually made of porcelain or plastic material, with clear elastic ties. They are not completely clear—there will be a visible metal wire with clear braces—but since the brackets are the same color as the teeth, clear braces are often preferred for cosmetic reasons. Due to the materials used to make clear braces (porcelain and plastic), this type of braces is more delicate and breakable than traditional metal dental braces.

  • Equal treatment times as other types of metal braces (faster than Invisalign)
  • Can correct many complicated dental issues
  • Are more delicate and breakable than metal braces

 

Invisalign

This virtually invisible orthodontic system utilizes a progressive set of clear plastic aligners to gradually straighten crooked teeth. You will have molds taken of your teeth so the trays will fit you perfectly and provide the proper pressure to realign the teeth. The aligner trays can be removed to eat and brush, which makes it much easier to keep your teeth and braces clean than with traditional braces. However, because there are no wires, this system doesn’t work well for complicated orthodontic treatment or for structural or bite issues. The clear plastic aligner trays can twist and rotate the teeth, but there isn’t enough force from a plastic aligner tray to adjust the positioning of the roots of the teeth, which is why Invisalign only works for mild to moderately crooked teeth.

  • Clear plastic aligner tray is virtually invisible
  • Cannot correct bite problems or other structural issues
  • Can correct slightly crooked teeth
  • Can be taken out to eat, brush, and floss
  • May require longer treatment time than metal braces
  • Wearer must be diligent about wearing aligner trays and night and day

 

At Dunn Orthodontics, you’ll receive excellent treatment utilizing state-of-the-art technology. Please contact us to schedule an initial consultation, and Dr. Matthew Dunn or Dr. Courtney Dunn will assess your needs and determine which treatment options would be best for you. We look forward to meeting you and helping you get an absolutely awesome smile!

 

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