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Types of Braces

There are many different types of orthodontic braces available. Each type, though made of varying components, realigns the teeth to enhance chewing, biting, and aesthetics. Available styles of orthodontic appliances allow the wearer a great amount of flexibility, control and convenience.

The two main types of braces available are removable and fixed devices. As the names suggest, removable devices can be moved into and out of the mouth at any time, while fixed devices are both applied and removed by the orthodontist. Though fixed dental braces are often used to correct severe alignment issues, removable devices are popular because they afford the wearer more control over their treatment. During your initial appointment, and during your treatment work-up, he will discuss the pros and cons of each treatment option and make recommendations for your particular treatment.

Traditional Fixed Braces

During application of fixed braces, individual brackets are attached to each tooth on the arch and a thin wire connects the brackets. Traditional fixed braces work on the premise that consistent pressure is applied to the teeth. The appliances must be modified by an orthodontist at routine appointments to continue exerting appropriate pressure.

There are several different types of brackets available, including metal and ceramic. The metal brackets tend to be the least problematic structurally, but they are also the most visible. Ceramic brackets are equally effective and less visible, but they have a tendency to stain if not cared for properly. 

Removable Devices

Clear aligner systems are a series of removable aligning trays, which gradually reposition the teeth into the correct alignment. Generally, aligning trays are worn for two weeks before they are discarded for trays which fit the new positioning of the teeth. Aligner trays can be easily removed for eating and social functions, but must be worn as much as possible for expedient results. This is a convenient type of orthodontics, but requires commitment from the wearer. Clear, removable braces are generally recommended for minor to moderate alignment problems.  Dr. Agnetta utilizes several different systems of clear aligners, including Invisalign® and SureSmile®.

If you have questions or concerns about any type of braces, please contact your dental care provider.

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