Treatment can be delivered often through a variety of different appliance therapies including:
The traditional braces made of stainless steel or gold plated, which consist of brackets (the metal squares glued directly onto the teeth), bands (metal rings that surround a tooth and usually used only on back molars) and wires used to strategically move teeth during orthodontic correction. They are currently very low in profile for enhanced patient comfort and esthetics.
Esthetic, Tooth Colored Braces
An esthetically pleasing alternative to the look of metal braces, these brackets blend in with the natural color of one’s teeth but still allow the uncompromising control of having braces on the outside. White wires also enhance their esthetics and make braces hardly noticeable.
These can be used either alone or together with traditional braces to accomplish more extensive movement of the jaws that house the teeth. For example, a headgear can be worn to push back the top teeth in cases where they stick out beyond the bottom teeth and can also be used to help retard the growth of the top jaw, allowing the bottom jaw to catch up if used during periods of growth. A palate expander can be used to widen the top jaw in young and adolescent patients whose top jaw is narrower than their bottom jaws (crossbite situations). This type of correction is easier to accomplish in patients of a younger age where growth can be harnessed and taken advantage of.
These are appliances that actively reposition the jaws into a desirable relationship to encourage favorable growth or accommodation of the jaws to maintain their new position.
Habit Breaking Appliances
There are many variations of such appliances, all designed to break a persistent habit such as finger/thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. They remain in place until the habit is successfully resolved and the correction is stable.
A system of progressive, clear laminates that, if worn correctly, gently guide teeth into their new position in gradual increments. Each laminate is worn for a period of three to four weeks and is virtually undetectable. As with any technique, case selection is very important for successful treatment.
These appliances are clear and molded to each individual’s teeth. They can be used to accomplish minor tooth movement or simply to retain the teeth at the conclusion of active treatment in their newly acquired position.
Removable Appliances Or Retainers
Removable appliances can be used to either retain teeth in their current position or to accomplish minor corrections in tooth movement. They vary in their design and can often be made in a rainbow of color and design assortments.
Length of treatment varies with the type of correction. Most orthodontic problems are usually handled within two years followed by six months of retention. Treatment is generally well tolerated and relatively comfortable.