Metal fixed braces
Orthodontic treatment is often carried out using fixed braces.
This system uses a combination of metal brackets and flexible wires to gently move your teeth. Most orthodontists believe this is the most effective and precise way to move your teeth.
The metal brackets we use are very small – smaller than the ones that many people remember from 10 or 20 years ago! Colours can be placed on the brackets.
Ceramic or tooth coloured (clear) fixed braces
Ceramic fixed braces are an ideal option for those patients needing the precise, detailed movement achievable with traditional metal braces but who want a less visible alternative.
Ceramic braces work in the same way as metal braces but use brackets made from a clear ceramic material which is almost invisible when bonded to the tooth, making these braces much less noticeable.
Traditional removable plates consist of an acrylic or plastic plate with metal clasps to hold the plate, and springs or screws or bite planes to move the teeth.
They are mostly used in early orthodontic treatments for young children such as to correct a single tooth or expanding the upper jaw. Sometimes they are used just before fixed braces.
Twin Block Appliance
A twin block appliance involves double plates and is an example of a functional appliance and is used both to move the teeth and to modify the growth of the jaws - most commonly used for prominent front teeth. This is worn on both the top teeth and lower teeth at the same time.
Occasionally this is the only orthodontic treatment that is required.
However, more commonly fixed braces are also required and are either worn at the same time or just after the functional appliance. Functional appliances are best worn when the patient is going through his/her pubertal growth spurt.
Invisalign® clear braces
The Invisalign system uses a series of virtually invisible aligners to gradually move and straighten your teeth.
Each aligner is custom made using a state-of-the-art 3D computer imaging system. The aligners are removable, which means you can still eat and drink what you choose during treatment. This also allows you to brush and floss as normal.
Invisalign is a great option for patients who wish to improve their smile without wearing fixed braces. Although not suitable for everyone, it may be used in cases where the correction needed is relatively minor.
Teeth move as we get older - whether we have had braces or not.
Retainers may be removable plates, transparent plastic 'mouthguards' or wires fitted behind the teeth. You must wear your retainer if you want to prevent teeth from after orthodontic treatment.
Retainers play an important role in orthodontic treatment. If they are not worn according to instructions, the teeth are likely to move back toward their original position.