Traditional Braces

Current Options of Traditional Braces

Orthodontic appliances (braces) can be made of metal, ceramic or acrylic. Some are designed to primarily move teeth (orthodontic), while others are used “orthopedically” to modify facial growth. Some appliances have both orthodontic and orthopedic treatment effects. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to a corrected position. This is a great time to wear braces! Gone are the days when a metal band was placed around each tooth. You can choose silver, gold or clear brackets, and even opt for multi-colored ligatures. Wires are also less noticeable and by using the latest technology, teeth move faster with less discomfort to patients.

Appliances come in two types: they may be removable or fixed appliances bonded to the teeth. The orthodontist selects the appliances based on an individual patient’s treatment needs and how much cooperation or compliance (following the orthodontist’s instructions) can be expected from the patient. Removable appliances are easier to keep clean, but can be lost or misplaced. Fixed appliances are worn all the time and are often indicated for problems that require a more aggressive or time-sensitive treatment. Patients who have trouble wearing removable appliances can often be treated with fixed appliances.

Treatment time for full treatment typically ranges from 15 to 24 months, depending on the growth factors and the severity of the problem. Interceptive, or early treatment procedures, may take as few as six months. Patients grow at different rates and treatment time varies. Diligent use of prescribed rubber bands and/or headgear is an important factor in achieving desired results and finishing on time.