Braces consist of brackets bonded directly to teeth, archwires, and ligatures (metal or elastic ties). The wire is run from bracket-to-bracket and is held in place by the ligatures, which come in clear or a rainbow of colors. Tension in the wire gradually moves the teeth into the desired position. We use thermally-activated wires for gentler movement so there is no more ‘tightening’.
Types of Braces
When you think of braces, you most likely envision traditional, fixed metal. Today, however, there are several types of braces to choose from based on your orthodontic goals. The good news is, all of them are more comfortable, more quickly effective, and less conspicuous than ever before!
- Metal Braces: Metal braces are made with stainless steel and are still the most commonly used type of braces. The advantages of metal brackets are that they are very strong and can withstand most types of treatment. Metal braces are also generally the least expensive. Gold braces are also available for those who want an upgraded look, but they are more expensive.
- Ceramic Braces: Ceramic braces are translucent, tooth-colored brackets that are designed to blend in with the natural color of your teeth. This makes them less noticeable, which many people prefer. Ceramic braces work the same as metal braces. The wire is attached to the braces with tiny, tooth colored elastics to hold it in position and move your tooth. In terms of cost, they are slightly more expensive than traditional metal braces.
- Lingual Braces: With lingual braces, the brackets and wires are placed behind the teeth, rather than in front, making them virtually unnoticeable. While they’re just as effective as front-facing braces, lingual braces require a more involved process. Brackets for lingual braces are custom-made to follow the specific contours of each tooth. The wires are bent to a precise shape with robotic technology to ensure that your teeth move in the most efficient manner possible and you get the results you want. Because of this customization, lingual braces are generally more of an investment in time and money than other types. They also may take more time for you to adjust to them, but they are the most invisible form of treatment.
Placing the braces requires only one appointment. Treatment length varies patient to patient, but it typically takes anywhere from nine months to three years. After the process, a retainer is used to maintain the position of the teeth.
If you have any questions about braces, our knowledgeable team would be happy to answer them. Feel free to contact us at our dental office for more information or to schedule an orthodontic consultation. We proudly serve Norwood, Walpole, and surrounding areas.