DENTAL BRACES (also known as orthodontic braces, or braces) are devices used in Orthodontics that 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 underbites, 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 are often used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances to help widen the palate or jaws and to otherwise assist in shaping the teeth and jaws.
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, arch wire, and ligature elastic, also called an “O-ring” to help align the teeth. The teeth move when the arch wire 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. When braces put pressure on one's 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 process loosens the tooth and then new bone grows in to support the tooth in its new position. It is called bone remodeling. Bone remodeling is a biomechanical process responsible for making bones stronger in response to sustained load-bearing activity and weaker in the absence of carrying a load. Bones are made of cells called osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Two different kinds of bone resorption are possible which are called direct resorption, starting from the lining cells of the alveolar bone, and indirect or retrograde resorption, which takes place when the periodontal ligament has become subjected to an excessive amount and duration of compressive stress. Another important factor associated with tooth movement is bone deposition. Bone deposition occurs in the distracted periodontal ligament and without bone deposition, the tooth will loosen and voids will occur distal to the direction of tooth movement. A tooth will usually move about a millimeter 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
• Traditional metal wired braces are stainless steel and are sometimes in combination with titanium.
• "Clear – Ceramic” braces serve as a cosmetic alternative to traditional metal braces by blending in more with the natural color of the teeth or having a less conspicuous or hidden appearance.
• Gold-plated stainless steel braces are often employed for patients allergic to nickel (a basic and important component of stainless steel), but may also be chosen because some people simply prefer the look of gold over the traditional silver-colored braces.
• Lingual braces are custom made fixed braces bonded to the back of the teeth making them invisible to other people. In lingual braces the brackets are cemented onto the backside of the teeth making them invisible while in standard braces the brackets are cemented onto the front side of the teeth. In Our Office we recommend Invisalign Aligners as the Ideal Cosmetic Orthodontic Treatment Choice!.
• Titanium braces resemble stainless steel braces but are lighter and just as strong. People with allergies to the nickel in steel often choose titanium braces, but they are more expensive than stainless steel braces.