Straightening teeth using all kinds of appliances: regular braces, self-ligating Damon braces, invisible braces (lingual braces), retainers, Invisalign, eCligner, Clear Aligners, expanders, functional appliances, headgear, face-masks, etc. Orthodontic appliances are used to treat various kinds of orthodontic problems, including open bite, deep overbite, protruded teeth, protruded lips, prognathic mandible, missing teeth, extra teeth, impacted teeth, gummy smile, crossbite, crowding etc.
The following provides an overview of the appliances:
Invisalign – These are clear plastic shells that wrap around the teeth, moving them in little steps. Many aligners (up to 50) may be required to achieve tooth movement.
Metal braces – inexpensive, strong, durable, comfortable, reliable. Suitable for almost everyone. Not suitable for those with poor oral hygiene and high sugar intake. If ‘invisible’ braces were that good, why are orthodontists all over the world still using metal braces, after all these years? It’s because no other material can replicate the physical qualities of metal.
Ceramic braces – They blend in with the teeth, so they are not so visible at a distance. More expensive, slightly larger than metal braces. Suitable for adults who want a more aesthetic option.
Lingual braces – Invisible, as the brackets are placed behind the teeth. Less easy to clean, more expensive, and more difficult to adjust. Suitable for those who want truly invisible braces.
See also : Can I have totally invisible braces?
Self-ligating braces, e.g. Damon braces, InOvation – These may be metal or ceramic. They allow the teeth to slide more freely along the wire, with speedier tooth movement, gentler forces. Suitable for those who require tooth extractions (i.e. lengthy treatment).
Removable appliances – These are used for short term alignment of teeth. These include expansion appliances that create space in the jaws for the teeth to align.
Functional appliances – These are special removable appliances that correct bite problems, and influence jaw growth in growing children.
Retainers – They may be removable or fixed. Fixed retainers are short spans of wires cemented to the back of the front teeth, to prevent them from shifting. Removable retainers may be all-plastic, or made of plastic and wires combined.