What are the Different Types of Braces – Overview
Misaligned and broken teeth cause loss of confidence, extreme self-consciousness, anxiety and even depression.
This can also lead to long-term emotional and psychological effects. However, braces have become the ideal solution to treat crooked and damaged teeth, thanks to advances in dental technology.
Braces are available in different types and are among the most sought-after dental treatments globally.
If you are looking to correct crooked teeth and bring your charming smile back, then getting dental braces might be the best solution for you.
Different Types of Dental Braces
The past couple of decades has seen substantial improvement in dentistry and dental healthcare. Using new and innovative technology, orthodontists have designed various types of dental braces.
Initially, metal wire braces were used to put crooked and misaligned teeth in line. Today, you can install almost invisible plastic teeth aligners.
Braces are generally divided into two main types – Fixed braces and removable braces.
#1. Fixed Dental Braces
Fixed braces are probably the most popular teeth-straightening solution in the world. These, as the name suggests, are fixed to your teeth by an orthodontist.
These braces are usually square-shaped brackets that are cemented to each tooth. These braces also have a metal wire running through them to keep the brackets fixed close together.
The wire is useful to maneuver the crooked teeth into a normal position.
Using fixed braces to realign crooked teeth usually takes 1 to 2 years to complete treatment.
Fixed braces are popularly used to remedy dental problems, such as:
Irregular bite (under-bite or over-bite)
Abnormal teeth eruption
4 Types of Fixed Dental Braces
These are the different types of fixed dental braces that are commonly used to realign crooked teeth:
1 – Metal Braces
Metal braces are also known as conventional dental braces. These braces have been used for decades by orthodontists and are one of the most commonly preferred methods to treat poor jaw alignment.
Metal braces are manufactured from high-quality stainless steel brackets.
A flexible metal archwire is a part of the braces and directs the teeth into their proper position. Modern archwires can also be heat-activated for quicker movement.
Metal braces can be combined with colorful and quirky rubber bands that reinforce the metal wire in the brace.
Pros of Metal Braces
Most inexpensive type of dental brace
The strongest type of dental brace
A faster form of orthodontist treatment
Solves numerous dental problems
Colorful rubber bands make these attractive for kids and adults alike
Cons of Metal Braces
May develop gum irritation
Some might find them too noticeable and unattractive
Regular re-visits are required to adjust the wire
2 – Ceramic Braces
Also known as Clear Braces, ceramic dental braces are quite similar to metal braces. However, these are transparent or teeth-colored and not made from stainless steel.
These almost invisible dental braces are fixed to the teeth using colored or transparent rubber bands or wires. This makes ceramic braces more discreet and less noticeable.
Ceramic braces are less visible than metal braces. This makes ceramic braces an excellent and affordable alternative to metal braces.
However, these braces are noticeably bigger than conventional metal dental braces. Depending on your diet and oral hygiene habits, these are also more prone to getting stained.
Pros of Ceramic Braces
Significantly more comfortable than metal braces
Highly affordable dental solution
No need for frequent repair or replacement
Cons of Ceramic Braces
You might need to avoid particular food to prevent staining
Extensive pressure may cause the brittle ceramic bracket to crack
3 – Self-Ligating Braces
Self-ligating braces have become the most popular dental braces in use today. They are somewhat similar to ceramic and metal braces, including a bracket and wire system.
However, these dental braces do not use rubber bands. In contrast, it uses an advanced sliding bracket mechanism. This mechanism consists of doors and clips attached to the metal wire.
The sliding mechanism helps to lower friction to a minimum and is significantly less painful than ceramic or metal dental braces.
Self-ligating braces are available in ceramic and metal colors.
Pros of Self-Ligating Braces
Less painful thanks to the sliding mechanism
Reduces treatment time
Needs less frequent visits to the dentist
Cons of Self-Ligating Braces
Not suitable for all patients
Needs special equipment to maintain oral hygiene
Slightly more expensive than conventional metal and ceramic braces
Not advisable for appearance-conscious patients
4 – Lingual Braces
Lingual braces were introduced in the 1980s and are similar to conventional metal dental braces.
However, the difference is that the wires and brackets are fixed on the inside of the teeth in lingual braces.
Lingual braces are virtually invisible as they are fixed to the back of your teeth and are called “incognito” or “hidden” dental braces.
Despite being discreet, lingual braces are still not too popular. Earlier, they were considered unsuitable for effective teeth straightening and would also cause discomfort.
However, technological advances have helped evolve lingual braces to become more streamlined and lighter.
Pros of Lingual Braces
Suitable for patients who play breath-operated music instruments
Cons of Lingual Braces
It may be uncomfortable compared to conventional braces
Treatment time is longer
More expensive than traditional dental braces
It may cause a lisp to develop when speaking
These are the different fixed dental braces popularly used worldwide to fix teeth alignment problems.
As the name suggests, removable braces are not fixed to the teeth. Patients can easily remove them without the need to visit their orthodontist.
Types of Removable Dental Braces
There is one type of removable dental brace that is highly popular: the invisible brace.
5. Invisible Braces
Invisible braces are rightly named as they are virtually invisible to others. They are usually made from clear and transparent plastic. This type of brace is also called a clear aligner.
Orthodontists use advanced technology, such as oral photos, x-rays, and scans, to develop a precise 3D model of the patient’s mouth.
This is then used to make customized plastic aligners that perfectly fit the patient’s teeth. Gradually, these aligners work to correct teeth position.
You need to go for regular visits to the dentist till the treatment is over.
Pros of Invisible Braces
Extremely comfortable to wear
Easy to install
Hardly visible to others
Easy to remove
Easy to clean
Needs low maintenance
Smaller treatment duration
Cons of Invisible Braces
More expensive than other dental braces
Not advisable for patients with severe dental problems
You may need buttons at the back of the teeth to remain fixed in position
Regaining your charming smile is easier and more convenient thanks to dental braces. These braces are available in fixed or removable types.
Conventional braces include those made from metal and ceramic. Ultra-modern dental braces are discreet yet efficient, making them incredibly more popular than traditional dental braces.
It is highly recommended that you consult your orthodontist for the best-suited dental brace.
Considering your oral health and the status of your teeth disease, the orthodontist can advise you on the most affordable and convenient dental brace.