Types of Braces
The Invisalign® System is a series of clear overlay templates—called aligners—that have been generated by computer simulation to gradually move the teeth. This system is available to adult patients with certain orthodontic bite problems. Ask us if you are a candidate for the Invisalign® system.
The SureSmile® system offers faster, more efficient treatment times than traditional dental braces. In fact, SureSmile® braces have shown to reduce overall treatment times by as much as 20-30 percent.
Metal braces are the most common type. They are made of high-grade stainless steel. Today’s metal braces are smaller, more comfortable and more attractive.
Ceramic braces are made of translucent material. They are most popular with adult patients, due to their cosmetic appeal. The only drawback to ceramic brackets is that they are more fragile, and the elastic ties can discolor between orthodontic visits.
When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. This phase lasts for a minimum of 24 months. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.
Attached to the upper molars through bonding or by cemented bands, the Rapid Palatal Expander is an orthodontic device used to create a wider space in the upper jaw. It is typically used when the upper jaw is too narrow for the lower jaw or when the upper teeth are crowded or blocked out of the dental arch.
When patients are still growing, their connective tissue between the left and right halves of their upper jaw is responsive to expansion. By simply activating the expander through turning a screw in the center with a special key we provide, gradual outward pressure is placed on the left and right halves of the upper jaw. This pressure causes an increased amount of bone to grow between the right and left halves of the jaw, and ultimately results in an increased width.
Separators/spacers are small elastics that fit snugly between certain teeth to move them slightly so bands can be placed around them later. Spacers can fall out on their own if enough space has been created. To determine if it needs to be replaced, slip some dental floss between the teeth; if it gets stuck, that means the spacer hasn’t created enough room and needs to be replaced prior to your banding appointment.
Elastics are a vital part of treatment and their success also is contingent upon patient compliance. They add extra pressure to the braces to help move the teeth. Generally worn at all times (except when eating, or brushing your teeth), elastics should be changed at least once a day. They come in various sizes, as they are each used for a specific purpose. We will provide you with the appropriate size.
It is important to wear them consistently to avoid treatment setbacks. If only one day is missed, it could cause your teeth to shift back to their original position.Humphrey’s Appliance
Occasionally, as a 6-year molar erupts, it can get caught under the curve of the baby tooth in front of it. One way to correct this is by extracting the baby tooth it is caught under (and is causing damage to), then moving the 6-year molar back to its proper spot using an orthodontic appliance. Then, a holding appliance would be placed until the permanent premolar is ready to replace the baby tooth that was lost.
In some cases, we are able to use a Humphrey’s Appliance to both save the baby tooth, AND move the 6-year molar backward. Once the permanent tooth has been moved into its proper position using the Humphrey‘s Appliance, the appliance can be removed. This eliminates the need for a holding appliance, because we did not have to extract the baby tooth.