Dental braces (also known as orthodontic braces or simply braces) are devices used in the orthodontic industry that help align and straighten teeth and help to position them with regard to a person’s bite, while also working to improve dental health. They are often used to correct under bites, as well as, malocclusions, overbites, cross bites, open bites, deep bites, crooked teeth, and various other flaws of the teeth and jaw. Braces can be either cosmetic or structural. Dental braces or orthodontic braces are often used in comparison with other orthodontic appliances to help widen the palate or jaws and to otherwise assist in shaping the teeth and jaws. While they are mainly used on children and teenagers, adults are also big contributors to this type of treatments.
How braces work
The application of braces moves the teeth as a result of force and pressure on the teeth. There are four basic elements that are needed in order to help move the teeth. In the case of traditional metal or wire braces, one uses brackets, bonding material, archwire, and ligature elastic, also called an “O-ring” to help align the teeth. The teeth move when the archwire puts pressure on the brackets and teeth. Sometimes springs or rubber bands are used to put more force in a specific direction. Braces have constant pressure, which over time, move teeth into their proper positions. Occasionally adults may need to wear headgear to keep certain teeth from moving. When braces put pressure on your teeth, the periodontal membrane stretches on one side and is compressed on the other. This movement needs to be done slowly otherwise the patient risks losing his or her teeth. This is why braces are commonly worn for approximately two and a half years and adjustments are only made every three or four weeks. This process loosens the tooth and then new bone grows in to support the tooth in its new position which is technically called bone remodelling. A tooth will usually move about a millimetre per month during orthodontic movement, but there is high individual variability. Orthodontic mechanics can vary in efficiency, which partly explains the wide range of response to orthodontic treatment.
Types of braces
Modern orthodontists can offer many types and varieties of braces:
Traditional braces are mostly used in treating children as well as adults. They consist of a small bracket that is glued to the front of each tooth and the molars are adjusted with a band that encircles the tooth. An advantage is that one can eat and drink while wearing the brace but a disadvantage is that one must give up certain foods and eating habits while wearing them, such as, chewing gum and eating potato chips. Another disadvantage is they have to be periodically tightened by your orthodontist causing increased amounts of discomfort.
Procedure: the first step is to determine whether braces are suitable for the patient. The doctor consults with the patient and inspects the teeth visually. If braces are appropriate, a records appointment is set up where X-rays, molds, and impressions are made. These records are analyzed to determine the problems and proper course of action. Typical treatment times vary from six months to two and a half years depending on the complexity and types of problems. Orthognathic surgery may be required in extreme cases. About two weeks before the braces are applied brackets are required to spread apart back teeth in order confirm enough space for the bands.
When applying another type of dental brace such as invisalign, the process is quite different but there are similarities like the initial steps of molding the teeth before application. With invisalign they send your impressions to the invisalign company for evaluation and viewing who then create your braces. They then send the finished braces back to your orthodontist to be put on like a well fitted mouth guard. The dentist has no need for brackets or wires to be placed on the teeth but does need the appliance, glue, metal knobs, and rubber bands that can help the teeth move more effectively.
Post Treatment Retainers: in order to prevent the teeth moving back to their original position, retainers may be worn once the treatment with braces is complete for the patient depending on their specific needs. If the patient does not wear the braces appropriately for the right amount of time, the teeth will move towards their previous position. For regular traditional braces Hawley retainers are used. They are made of metal hooks that surround the teeth and are enclosed by an acrylic plate shaped to fit the patient’s palate. For invisalign braces an Essix retainer is used. They are similar to the regular invisalign braces have a clear plastic tray that is form fitted to the teeth that stays in place. There is also a bonded retainer where a wire is permanently bonded to the lingual side of the teeth, usually the lower teeth only.
Since starting our ad campaign with "Smile Canada" we have noticed an increase in new patients arriving at our practice. We receive multiple emails from interested patients on a regular basis. The service with "Smile Canada" has always been prompt, professional and proficient. More importantly, is the quality of the patients we are receiving into our practice as a result of Smile Canada's efforts. I would recommend Smile Canada's services to any dental practice looking to generate new patient flow into their practice.