Types of Braces

Are there any other alternatives to metal rail-tracks?

Apart from the traditionally used metal brackets, semi-transparent brackets made of ceramic or reinforced plastics are gaining popularity. Clear braces are more aesthetically pleasing as they are less visible at a distance. The brackets may be made of ceramic material or plastic. Ceramic material is very hard and can lead to wear of opposing teeth. They are also more expensive than metal braces. Plastic braces are not as durable as metal or ceramic ones and require addition care. If you need total invisibility there are lingual brackets to consider. With recent advances in technology, teeth can now be straightened with a series of clear, plastic, removable aligners without metal wires or brackets. Teeth will move - little by little, week by week - by a series of aligners until they have straightened to the final position the orthodontist has prescribed. These sequential plastic aligners (Invisalign®) can align teeth, but they cannot correct significant bite discrepancies. Your orthodontist would recommend the best alternatives, most suitable for your type of malocclusion.

My Child needs an orthopedic appliance- is that the same as having braces?

Orthopedic appliances, which can be removable or fixed, are used to correct jaw-growth problems only- they do not straighten teeth. These appliances are intended to influence growth and development of the jaws in children and/or teenagers in order to effect changes in facial structure during growth. These orthopedic appliances must be worn for a specified amount of time per day and treatment time can vary from months to years. Your orthodontist would prescribe the type of orthopedic appliance best suitable for your child needs. Once the jaw problem has been corrected, a second phase of treatment is usually required (with braces) to straighten the teeth and allow for a better bite.

My classmate is having her teeth straightened but she can take her appliance out, can I have my teeth straightened out using a removable appliance?

It all depends on how bad your malocclusion (bad bite) is. Removable braces are those which can be removed for cleaning. They can be used to tip teeth and correct minor irregularities, but they cannot be used to move teeth over significant distances with full control of the tooth's position. Fixed appliances (fixed to the teeth and cannot be removed for cleaning) can be used to move teeth over long distances with the orthodontist exerting full control on their position. Consult your orthodontist's opinion regarding the possibility of using removable appliances, but be warned -their uses are limited compared to fixed appliances.

My friend has told me something about metal braces which are invisible, does such a thing really exist?

Yes they do! The 'invisible metal braces' are called Lingual appliances which were developed almost 30 years ago. The appliance needs special brackets, skills and treatment methods but the treatment result and time needed is comparable to conventional labial appliances. Because the braces are placed on the back surfaces of the teeth, the advantages of this appliance is that they are virtually invisible, However, they are more irritable to the tongue and more difficult to manage than conventional braces, so cost-wise they are more expensive.

My Orthodontist told me that I need 'Fixed Appliances'. What are they?

Orthodontic appliances (braces) may be removable or fixed (cemented and/or bonded to the teeth). Fixed Appliances may be made of metal, ceramic or plastic. Metal braces are most commonly used which are very small these days and are well adapted by patients. Gold braces are also available, but less commonly requested.