Orthodontic treatment is highly predictable and immensely successful. Depending on the severity of the malocclusion (bad bite) or irregularity, orthodontic treatments may occur in either two or three distinct phases.
The benefits of correcting misaligned teeth are many. Straight teeth are pleasing to look at and greatly boost confidence and self esteem. More importantly, properly aligned teeth enhance the biting, chewing and speaking functions of the jaw. There are several types of irregularities, including:
Phase 1 – The Planning Stage
The orthodontist makes an exact diagnosis in order to realign the teeth in the most effective and expedient way. The first several visits may comprise of some of the following evaluations:
Phase 2 – The Active Phase
All of the above diagnostic tools will be used to diagnosis and develop a customized treatment plan for the patient. Next, the orthodontist will recommend custom orthodontic device(s) to gently move the teeth into proper alignment. This orthodontic appliance may be fixed or removable. Most commonly, traditional fixed braces are affixed, which utilizes individual dental brackets connected by an archwire. Lingual braces are also fixed, but fit on the inside (tongue side) of the teeth to make them less visible.
Removable devices are an alternative to fixed braces. Examples of removable devices include the Invisalign system, headgear and facemask. These devices are designed to be worn for a specified amount of hours each day to expedite treatment.
Whatever the orthodontic device, the orthodontist will regularly adjust it to ensure adequate and continual pressure is being applied to the teeth. It is essential to visit the orthodontist at the designated intervals and to call if part of the device breaks or becomes damaged.
Phase 3: The Retention Phase
When the teeth have been correctly aligned, fixed braces and removable devices will be removed and discontinued. The most cumbersome part of the orthodontic treatment is now over. The orthodontist will next create a custom retainer. The goal of the retainer is to ensure that the teeth do not begin to shift back to their original positions. Retainers need to be worn for a specified amount of time per day for a specified time period. During the retention phase, the jawbone will reform around the realigned teeth to fully stabilize them in the correct alignment.
1. Ceramic Conventional Braces
Ceramic braces are the ones with clear brackets. They use tooth color and blends more naturally with your teeth. The shape and size are the same as metal braces. These are less visible on the teeth and as a result, are preferred by older teenagers and adults who might have aesthetic concerns. Sometimes, even the wires used are of tooth color which makes them less noticeable. Being less prominent, they require more care and protection compared to metal braces as they are larger and more brittle. They require extra protection, hence, are used more in upper teeth than lower.
Lingual Braces are heavy metal braces which are placed behind the teeth. These metallic braces can be made even of silver or gold. The individual Bracket is customized using CAD-CAM / 3D Designing. The treatment is highly aesthetic and less visible. This, however, can cause mild speech difficulties during the course of the treatment.
Clear Aligners are medical grade plastic trays that do not require any braces or wire. They are totally invisible hence; the aesthetic concerns are duly met and make them very appealing with adults who need orthodontic treatment. Though placed inside they do not have any food restrictions associated. People believe that being placed on the inside, they might face speech difficulties; which is a myth. On the other hand, transparent braces are highly comfortable and hygienic. Clear Aligners also hide existing gaps.
These are metal Brackets with a shutter or lock system and do not require the use of elastic to tie the wire. In comparison to traditional metal braces, metal self-ligating braces are more comfortable and smaller in size. These are helpful in achieving arch expansion and minimize the need for extraction.
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