Types of Braces
The Basics of Braces
Braces are the perfect way to achieve a beautiful straight smile. For the majority of orthodontic patients, traditional metal braces will be their first choice. However, metal braces are no longer the only way to straighten your teeth. At Scott Orthodontics, we can provide the best and most effective treatment for you. With locations in Silver Springs and Mitchellville, our experienced staff conveniently serves the greater Bowie area.
There are two categories of braces: fixed and removable appliances. Fixed appliances are attached to the teeth by metal bands (metal braces) or a special cement (ceramic braces). They aren't normally taken off until treatment is complete. Removable appliances, like Invisalign, are made up of clear aligners. These are typically worn for 22 hours per day, but may easily be taken off as needed. While clear aligners can be effective in treating mild to moderate orthodontic problems, fixed appliances are generally needed for more comprehensive treatment. Dr. Scott can assess your orthodontic needs and fit you for fixed or removable appliances, he will find the best option for you!
Typically made of high-grade stainless steel, traditional metal braces remain by far the most common type of fixed orthodontic appliances. They consist of metal bands that wrap around the molars in back, and smaller metal brackets that are cemented to the front surfaces of the other teeth. A thin, springy metal wire, running through the brackets, gently guides the teeth into a proper position. This archwire may be fixed to the brackets by flexible elastics, metal ties, or other types of clasps.
There are many good reasons why time-tested metal braces remain popular — because they offer a reliable, effective and economical treatment option. In contrast to the appliances of the past, today's braces are actually smaller, lighter, and more comfortable to wear. If you want a less traditional look, you may be able to choose colorful elastics for the brackets, or other modifications.
Clear ceramic braces are a new variation on the traditional system that provides a far less noticeable method of treatment. They use the same components as traditional braces — except that the brackets on the front side of the teeth are made of a translucent ceramic material that blends in with the tooth's natural color. This system has become a favorite for adults (including some well-known celebrities) because, unless you look closely, it's hard to notice they're there.
Several types of ceramic braces are currently available, and the technology is constantly improving. Their aesthetic appeal is undeniable... but there are a few tradeoffs. The ceramic brackets can be less durable than their metal counterparts; plus, while the brackets themselves don't stain, the elastic bands that attach them to the archwire do (however, these are generally changed each month.) Ceramic braces also cost more than metal — but for many people, the benefit of having an inconspicuous appliance outweighs the costs.
Discuss Your Options & Book A Consultation
Depending on your teeth and specific orthodontic needs, one type of braces may be more appropriate and effective than another. Dr. Scott and our staff would be happy to talk through all of the orthodontic treatment options with you. We realize that each patient has different needs and specific smile goals. Because of this, we always want to ensure that the most suitable method is chosen for you, whether that means metal braces, ceramic braces, or Invisalign. Call or stop by one of our two locations in Silver Springs or Mitchellville, MD, both in the Bowie area, to discuss your options today. A beautiful, straight smile is right around the corner. Let us help you achieve it!
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