Every patient dreams of a healthy and beautiful smile. Straight aligning and white teeth boost confidence and make people proud of an attractive image. Smile aesthetics and well-being can be disturbed by malocclusion of different kind. In such case it is worth consulting an orthodontic to find out about possible treatment.
Nowadays there are many braces available on the market. In general, we can distinguish between removable and fixed appliances. Which braces would be best for treatment depends on several factors, like age, type of orthodontic defect and patient’s expectations about aesthetics. Orthodontic treatment can improve the aesthetics of a smile significantly, as well as the psychological well-being of a patient. Braces can also have a positive impact on condition of teeth, periodontium and temporomandibular joints, and they can even improve phonetics.
The first step to a beautiful smile is booking an appointment in the clinic. During a consultation one can learn about the type of defect they suffer from and how it should be treated. A preliminary treatment plan is made and dental impressions are taken for diagnostic models that help plan a treatment precisely. 2 dental x-ray images need to be taken during the consultation. After a thorough case assessment and agreeing on patient’s expectations, a doctor prepares the final plan of treatment.
In case of fixed braces treatment, the appliance is placed during the next visit of the patient to the clinic. Teeth are cleaned thoroughly and prepared for placing the brackets. Then the doctor positions the brackets precisely on each tooth. It takes approximately 30 minutes to attach the archwire and it is completely painless. However, often it is necessary to install both braces. In such case, usually they are installed at once. When the braces are already affixed, a patient is given short instruction how to clean the appliance and they receives a kit, which is necessary to maintain good hygiene. After the installation, there can be a feeling of discomfort in the mouth for several days following the procedure.
To remove the braces brackets are taken off, and the surface of teeth is polished carefully to peel off the glue that bonded the appliance. However, the treatment is not over after removing the braces. It is key to retain the effects of treatment. In order to prevent recurrence of the defect, a retainer should be put in place. It can have different forms. It can be either fixed, i.e. a wire glued to the palate; or removable, i.e. a tight transparent overlay that fits perfectly.
Fixed braces are made of 3 basic elements:
- orthodontic brackets – fixed elements made of metal (in case of standard braces), or transparent plastic (in cosmetic braces). Brackets define future position of teeth in the arch.
- archwire – which goes through all brackets of the braces and provides the necessary support for defect correction
- ligatures (so-called elastics) – rubber bands in different colors, used to join brackets with the archwire. Self-ligating braces do not have the so-called elastics – in that case the archwire is attached only with brackets.
Rubber bands are replaced once a month, whereas the decision on possible change to other (stronger) wires is made by the doctor during a follow-up appointment.
Lingual braces are attached on the inside of the teeth (tongue side). Actually, braces are invisible throughout the entire period of treatment – the brackets are hidden even in a wide smile. Lingual braces keep the highest level of aesthetics during the complete treatment.
Self-ligating braces regulate better the force that is generated from the braces. In comparison with standard braces, the treatment is shorter, and check-up appointments may be less frequent – every 2 months. Elimination of rubber ligatures makes it easier to keep self-ligating braces hygienic.
Clear Aligner is an innovative method of orthodontic treatment that uses transparent overlays that eliminate defects without fixed braces. Overlays are easy to use and nearly invisible. They are made of soft material and have no metal elements. They can be removed at any time before eating or teeth brushing, which makes oral hygiene – in comparison to fixed braces – incredibly easy. Overlays match teeth perfectly, which makes patients feel comfortable while laughing or talking (overlays do not affect phonetics).