Treatment with fixed appliances usually starts once all the adult teeth have erupted and usually lasts 18-24 months. They are attached onto the teeth using tooth coloured filling material (composite resin). An orthodontic wire (archwire) is tied (or ligated) into the bracket. As treatment progresses, the orthodontist will progress to thicker wires, which can place greater forces onto the teeth. Appliances can easily be removed at the end of treatment. All fixed appliance treatment is followed by retention with either fixed or removable retainers that ensure your teeth stay in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened. The different types of fixed appliances are:
Traditional metal braces
Traditional metal braces are the most common of the four types of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. They are the smallest fixed brace available but are not as discreet as ceramic or clear aligners. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding coloured elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colourful smile.
Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth.
Lingual braces are hidden behind the teeth and are therefore “invisible” when you smile. Lingual braces are 100% customized to match the shape of your teeth, and therefore the metal appliances are created uniquely for you. Lingual braces are a very reasonable option for athletes, models, actors, musicians, who play wind instruments and adult professionals.