Dental braces are orthodontic appliances which are used to treat various teeth misalignment issues. They are composed of brackets, which are glued on to the surface of the teeth, and wires, that interconnect the brackets and help apply pressure on the teeth. Braces are said to be so efficient that they can treat any type of malocclusion issue including open bite, closed bite, crossbite, overbite, underbite, spacing, crowding, etc.
Why should you choose braces?
Braces are either made of metal, ceramic or plastic and are fixed to the teeth. The wires can be used to apply pressure on the teeth in a controlled way so that the teeth are moved to the desired position. Nowadays, tooth colored and transparent braces have been introduced which are either made of ceramic or plastic and wouldn’t ruin the aesthetics of your dental set-up.
What are the types of braces?
- Metal braces: They are the most common type of braces and are being used for a long time. They consist of stainless steel brackets which are fixed onto the surface of the teeth with the help of adhesives and archwires, which interconnect the brackets. Colored plastic wires can also be added to them to give a better appearance. Sometimes, the metal brackets will be coated with gold to give a better appearance.
- Ceramic braces: They are made from ceramic and are visually less noticeable compared to metal braces. However, the aesthetic upgrade is achieved at the cost of strength, as ceramic braces are less stronger compared to metal braces.
- Lingual braces: They are special braces which are fixed to the dorsal (back) surface of teeth and will be completely invisible when you smile.
What are the various malocclusion issues that braces can treat?
- Spacing: The teeth are placed too far away from each other and the gap between adjacent teeth is too much.
- Crowding: The teeth are crowded and are too close to each other. In most cases, they look very shabby and make brushing and flossing of teeth difficult.
- Open bite: Though the molars touch each other, the frontal teeth do not overlap or touch each other and often leave a direct opening to the mouth.
- Overbite: The frontal teeth of the upper jaw protrude too far over the frontal teeth of the lower jaw, causing the teeth of the lower jawbone to grind into the palate.
- Underbite: The lower front teeth will be overlapping the upper front teeth.
- Crossbite: In this condition, one or more teeth of the upper jaw fit on the wrong side of the teeth of the lower jaw. The cause of this could be the growth of a permanent tooth even before the milk tooth has fallen off.
Procedure for installing dental braces
- Consultation: The dentist carefully examines your dental set-up and determines which type of malocclusion you’re suffering from.
- X-rays: Profile and panoramic x-rays of the teeth are taken to determine the exact position of each tooth and also to find the existence of any impacted teeth.
- Extraction: During this, the dentist determines which tooth has to be removed to make space for the movement of the remaining teeth. The selected tooth will be extracted.
- Spacers: Spacers are inserted between molars to create ample space between them.
- Taking impressions: Highly precise impressions of the teeth are taken to determine the exact spacing and position of the teeth.
- Banding: During this process, bands are wrapped around the molars so that they act as anchors to the braces.
- Bonding: The brackets are bonded onto the surface of the teeth with the help of dental adhesives after the teeth are thoroughly cleaned.
- Inserting wires: The wires are attached to the brackets with the help of rubber bands and tightened precisely to apply pressure on the teeth.
- Readjustments: The bands will have to be readjusted from time to time to accommodate the movement of the teeth.
- Removal: After the teeth are properly aligned, the wires and brackets will carefully be removed.
The dentist would give suggestions related to the maintenance of your braces. Care must be taken to see that food particles do not get stuck between the wires or brackets.