Malocclusion refers to the misalignment of upper and lower teeth, but also to any irregularity of the bite (such as overbite, crossbite or open bite) and to incorrect position of the teeth. Malocclusion can be inherited or acquired (due to bad habits like tongue thrusting and thumb sucking, dental trauma and some medical conditions that cause loss of teeth). Nowadays, it is a common condition because of adoption of soft food and lack of stimulus of the proper jaw growth. In addition, an incorrect position of the teeth may allow retention of food leftovers and bacteria, stimulate dental plaque formation and its impact on the development of caries and periodontal disease.
Almost every case of malocclusion requires an adequate orthodontic treatment to achieve the alignment of teeth in the dental arches. Aesthetic is only one of the reasons for orthodontic treatment, although it is almost the sole motivation for patients to visit a dentist. If there is any of the above-mentioned reason for orthodontic treatment, it is necessary to ensure collaboration of a patient, an orthodontist, and other dental therapists in order to get best possible final outcomes of the therapy.
Since there is an increasing need of having a bright smile and aligned teeth, patients are looking forward to the correction of orthodontic abnormalities. There are various types of braces in the dental market, so it can be really difficult to decide which one to choose. The evolution and types of braces came along with the progress of materials and dental technology. Depending on their clinical performances, technical solutions and details, aesthetic appearance and cost, they can be divided into the few types of braces.
Types of Braces
1. Metal Braces
Metal braces are the most commonly used orthodontic fixed appliances in the treatment of malocclusion. Traditional braces consist of metal brackets that are attached with the dental adhesive to the facial surfaces of the teeth, metal wire and elastics ligatures (also known as rubber bands or O-rings). When the metal wire is placed in the slot of the brackets, it makes the connection between them and produces forces responsible for orthodontic tooth movement. The change in periodontal vascular system provokes the alveolar bone cells response (activation of osteoclasts and osteoblasts) which leads to remodeling of the alveolar bone and the “bodily” tooth movement. The wires and the brackets are connected to each other through elastics which are used for tightening the brace. New types of braces exclude elastics ligatures from the treatment since their technical solution lies in special clips or brackets which are used to help the archwire move the teeth into place. The clips allow greater freedom of tooth movement, so they might reduce the pain and discomfort that is sometimes associated with a traditional ligature.
2. Clear Braces
When it comes to discretion, these types of braces along with lingual oriented ones are the best option for the patient. They are not literally invisible but have excellent aesthetic characteristics thanks to the new high technology ceramic materials. According to some authors, considering the translucency and the mechanical strength of esthetic brackets simultaneously, high-translucency ceramics should be used when high-level esthetics are required since high-strength ceramics tend to be more opaque and pose a challenge when trying to match tooth color . Since they produce enough force for the orthodontic tooth movement, equal to traditional metal braces, and are much more attractive for patients due to the same color as teeth, they are an exceptional choice for the orthodontic treatment. Some patients take a step further by choosing the archwire in white color.
3. Lingual Braces
Lingual braces are made of tiny metal brackets bonded to the lingual surfaces of the teeth, so considering the visual aspect of the treatment outcome this type of braces gives the best possible result. This treatment requires a higher level of knowledge and special training and can be provided by only a few dentists. For this reason, lingual braces tend to be the most expensive option when it comes to straightening teeth. On the other hand, problems that are often connected with these braces are that they can cause speech problems, irritate the tongue and since it takes more time fit the brackets, increase patient’s time spent on the dental chair . Once when patient get used to the braces (in a few weeks) this adverse effects mostly disappear.
Invisalign is the relatively new concept in dentistry which refers to a series of clear, plastic aligners that are custom made to fit patient’s teeth. This type of teeth straightening is specific, compared to other braces, because these aligners can be removed from the mouth. Once the treatment plan is established, the patient will change aligners every 15 to 20 days. More or fewer aligners will be used and it depends on the case and the complexity (from 12 to 48). The patient will have to follow instruction by his dental therapist and the best result can be achieved if he wears the trays for 22-23 hours per day. Maintaining good oral hygiene is the main advantage of this system. However, serious malocclusion problems can’t be resolved by using these aligners. Biomechanical properties of braces are still the first choice in complicated orthodontic treatments, such as tooth rotation or closing the diastema (space between teeth).
If you are still not sure which orthodontic treatment is best for you, be free to contact Dental Suit team. Dental Suite clinics have a great experience with malocclusion problems and offer you various treatments to align and straighten your teeth and as the result of strive for clinical excellence and excellent patient care they won many awards.
About The Author:
Inga Lindstrom is a freelance writer who lives like a digital nomad. She loves yoga, veganism and healthy lifestyle in general. Inga is a CBD evangelist. She’s an author at HuffPost, StudentUniverse and many other blogs.
- Spear F., Holloway J. Which all-ceramic system is optimal for anterior esthetics? J. Am. Dent. Assoc. 2008;139:19S–24S. doi: 10.14219/jada.archive.2008.0358.