The Types Of Braces

There’s never been a better time to be a braces patient! Orthodontic technology has made today’s braces more aesthetically pleasing, more comfortable, and more effective than ever before. There’s an option to fit every lifestyle, and here at Dillehay Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer a variety of braces to patients of all ages. Using the latest innovative techniques and materials, our doctors are able to successfully treat a wide range of orthodontic issues, including

  • crowded teeth
  • gaps between teeth
  • protruding teeth
  • overbites
  • underbites
  • crossbites
  • impacted teeth

If you’ve been thinking about braces as a way to improve your oral health and transform your smile, you may be wondering what options are available to you. When you schedule a consultation with Dr. Dillehay or Dr. J.K., it will include an orthodontic examination that will help them determine which treatment option is right for your unique needs. Let’s take a closer look at the types of braces we have available, how they differ, and how they can help you achieve a healthy, happy smile!

The Types Of Braces

A bit about braces

Braces have a proven track record for being exceptionally good at fixing complex tooth issues. These orthodontic powerhouses can also work faster at closing gaps and aligning teeth than other treatments might, which has the potential to shorten your treatment time. Every case is different, so treatment time with braces will vary from patient to patient. In general, however, the average patient tends to be in them for anywhere from 18-36 months. The good news is, signs of improvement can often be seen in just a short period of time, which can be very encouraging as you head into your orthodontic journey!

The maintenance that is involved with traditional braces can be a little tricky in the beginning, but it gets easier with time and a little patience! A good dental hygiene routine is essential for oral health, and this is especially true during orthodontic treatment. There are a number of accessories designed to make cleaning braces easier, such as water piks to help rinse any hard to reach areas and ortho picks to assist with flossing. We recommend that all of our patients brush twice a day for at least two minutes each time, and floss every night before bed.

Some foods will need to be avoided while wearing braces in order to protect them, including anything sticky or crunchy since these can damage the brackets and wires. Although you may have to skip a few of your favorite snacks for a while, it won’t last forever. Any temporary frustrations will be more than worth it once we remove your braces and you see your beautiful new smile!

Patients wearing braces can expect follow-up appointments in our Wichita or Derby offices every 4-8 weeks or so throughout the treatment process. During these visits, one of our doctors will change the bands that are attached to the brackets, and may replace the wire as well. These check-ups tend to be fairly quick, so you can get back to school or work without taking too much time off! 

These visits are a very important part of the overall treatment plan. To ensure you get the best results in the least amount of time, we encourage you not to miss any of them if you can help it. 

Metal braces

Metal braces are one of the most recognizable symbols of orthodontics, and also the most common type of treatment. Thanks to a mix of stainless steel, nickel, and other high-quality metals, the brackets are very durable and long-lasting.

Modern metal braces are much more comfortable and lighter than they used to be, and they’re also customizable, thanks to a variety of fun colored bands to choose from! These braces deliver excellent results, and are especially useful in cases that are more severe or complicated.

Since they don’t require some of the more complex technology or expensive equipment that newer treatments do, metal braces also tend to be a slightly more affordable option. The overall strength, durability, and cost-effectiveness of traditional braces keep them the top treatment for orthodontics, year after year.

Clear braces

Sometimes referred to as ceramic braces, tooth-colored braces, or esthetic braces, ceramic braces function in much the same way metal braces do, with the added benefit of semi-translucent or tooth-colored ceramic brackets. While ceramic braces are about the same size and shape as metal braces, they’re better able to blend in with a patient’s natural smile for a more subtle straightening option.

Although ceramic braces are tough, the material they are made from can be prone to chipping or cracking. Since metal braces can tolerate more pressure than ceramic ones, they may be a better option for those who have severe corrections that need to be made.

Ceramic brackets are often slightly more costly than metal brackets, as well. Since they can be more expensive and are more prone to breakage, we believe ceramic braces are generally better suited to adults and older teens. That said, ceramic braces can be an excellent option for many patients. When paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties, they are an incredibly discreet and efficient way to straighten smiles!

Self-ligating braces

These innovative braces eliminate the need for elastics by using self-ligating brackets. This means it has a built-in door that holds the wire passively to the bracket, eliminating the need for additional attachments and decreasing the amount of force required to move the teeth. This can minimize the need for extractions of permanent teeth, headgear, or high force palatal expanders. 

Self-ligating braces can be very precise and effective. In fact, they work so efficiently that fewer adjustments are often required! As a result, appointments tend to be faster and fewer in number. The unique design also moves teeth into their correct positions with less discomfort than traditional braces. 

The Types Of Braces

Lingual braces

These are similar to traditional braces in several ways. For instance, both have brackets attached to the surface of the teeth, and both use wires and rubber bands to slowly move them into more desirable positions. However, the brackets used with lingual braces are placed on the back sides of the teeth facing the tongue, rather than the front of the teeth. This makes them virtually invisible, which can be especially attractive for image-conscious teens and adults!

Before lingual braces are placed, we will take a digital impression using a scanner  of the teeth to customize the brackets to fit each patient’s mouth perfectly. They are then placed onto each individual tooth with wires connecting them. These wires are also customized by a robot according to each patient’s specific needs. It’s essential to have the perfect fit from the very start when it comes to putting lingual braces on, so we use a customized tray that allows us to cement all the brackets to the teeth at the same time. Once the lingual braces are placed, they work in much the same way as traditional braces do to gently move the teeth into the desired positions over time.

Find the best braces for you at Dillehay Orthodontics

Here at Dillehay Orthodontics, we know that every smile is unique. What works for one patient may not be a good choice for another, and that’s why our doctors create a customized treatment plan for every patient! You can always count on us to only recommend the treatment we feel will work best with your specific needs.

If you’re in Derby, Wichita, or the surrounding communities, and would like to learn more about how braces treatment can help you achieve a confident smile, get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation and take the first step towards the smile you’ve always wanted!