Friday, 5 June 2009

The 5 Different Types of Orthodontic Braces Explained

Were you one of those lucky teenagers who had braces growing up? If you were, you were probably plagued by your friends calling you names. And it probably irritates you that braces today can be applied to the back of the teeth, clear, or just for night time wear.

Dental braces correct a misalignment of the teeth that can cause problems eating, talking, and simply functioning on a daily basis.

Because there are so many different types of dental braces available it's hard to know what your orthodontist may be talking about. Here is a quick rundown of the most common types of braces that are being used today. You may be surprised at how many there really are.

Traditional Braces

These are the braces that make children cringe even today, although the stigma of having braces is not as bad as it used to be. Made of metal and wires, these braces apply pressure to the teeth in an effort to get them moved into the right position in the mouth. Bands are placed around the molars to support the wires and anchor them to help move the rest of the teeth into the right spot.

Ligual Braces

Ligual braces are the standard braces that are placed on the back of the teeth instead of the front. They are actually affordable, and many dentists use them on adult patients. Unless you are close to the person wearing ligual braces, they are not visible, making them perfect for the patient who is conscious of their appearance.

Self-Ligating Braces

Ligatures, the metal pieces applied to the front of the teeth, are eliminated in these types of braces. Self -ligating braces are not as bulky and noticeable as traditional braces and they actually act more like an Inman aligner, moving the teeth quicker. This is accomplished due to the lack of friction between the teeth that is caused by traditional braces as the teeth are moved into place.

Inman Aligner

Nicknamed 'speed braces', Inman aligners are a variation of the traditional and invisible braces in that they are not as obvious as the others. However, these braces actually move the teeth at an accelerated pace and are considerably cheaper than the old fashioned metal braces. Traditional braces can take up to three years to move the teeth into the proper alignment. Inman aligners only take a few weeks and are used on patients who need only a little bit of alignment work.

Invisalign Braces

The Invisalign braces are, to a point, invisible. They are made of a material that is clear, allowing the actual color of the teeth to be seen through them. They are designed using CAT technology that snaps a picture of your current dental structure. They are removable, making eating and cleaning it as well as your teeth a breeze, and they are less awkward for the patient to wear on a daily basis.

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