Types of Braces
Now is a great time to be alive if you need to get your teeth straightened! Decades ago, getting braces meant having bulky metal bands and brackets on your teeth. No colors, no choices, just metal, wire and rubber bands. Today there are many choices, sleeker appliances and considerably more comfort.
- Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional braces are the most common type. High-grade stainless steel is used to make the brackets and archwires for our metal braces. Today’s versions are smaller than in the past, and you can add colored elastics to make your smile colorful and unique.
- Ceramic Braces
Similarly applied with brackets attached to the teeth and using archwires, ceramic braces are less noticeable. They are made from clear materials and are a popular choice among older teenagers and adults concerned about their appearance. Ceramic braces require a higher level of maintenance. They are more likely to break because they tend to be brittle and are larger than metal braces. This type of appliance works well on upper front teeth and is not recommended for lower teeth.
- Self-Ligated Braces
Elastic and metal ties are not needed with self-ligating braces. Those are replaced with a permanently installed movable component that entraps the wire. There are several brands available: Damon, In-Ovation, T3 and Empower. Self-ligating braces create less friction during tooth movement and, in certain situations, the movement is faster. Some patients prefer self-ligated braces because of these benefits. Dr. Schatz has experience using a variety of the self-ligated appliance systems.
- Invisible (Clear) Orthodontic Appliances / Invisalign®
One of the most popular alternatives to metal braces is the Invisalign® system. This method uses sets of clear removable aligners to straighten teeth. Made from a smooth patented thermoplastic called SmartTrack® created exclusively for this system, Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible on your teeth. Remove the aligners to enjoy meals and snacks or for cleaning and brushing your teeth, and put them back in when you are finished.
Each system for straightening teeth has advantages and disadvantages. Schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Schatz, and learn more about the different types of braces and how you and your smile can benefit.