Metal braces are the most common type. They are made of high-grade stainless steel. Today's metal braces are smaller, more comfortable and more attractive.
Damon® Brackets (self-ligating brackets)
Damon® braces were invented by Dr. Dwight Damon and are just one type of self-ligating (self-tying) brace or bracket. There are many self-ligating brackets on the market. These braces utilize a little door or clip that shuts down over the wire and holds it in place into the brace. This technology allows for reduced friction between the wire and the brace which is advantageous in certain situations. Because there is a small clip or door holding the wire in place, there is no need for colored rubber bands (small elastics) or small steel lace ties to hold the wire in place. Self ligation braces may reduce the overall treatment time by a few months in certain situations. These braces are available in traditional metal or ceramic varieties.
Ceramic Braces (clear braces)
Ceramic braces are made of a translucent (clear or white opaque) material called alumina. They are most popular with adult patients, due to their cosmetic appeal, and are often worn on the upper front teeth. The primary advantage is the white or clear color. Traditional metal braces are somewhat smaller and are stronger than ceramic braces, however. Patients must be careful when wearing ceramic braces because they are a little easier to break!
The Invisalign® System is a series or set of clear plastic overlay aligners. They snap snuggly onto the teeth and one wears them at all times except eating, brushing, and for special events. The length of treatment and the number of aligners needed depends on the severity of the case. The more tooth movement that is needed, the more aligners that are needed. One wears each set (upper tray and lower tray) for two weeks, then progresses to the next set of aligners in the sequence. This is repeated until all desired movements are completed. The advantage of this system is it is removable and the aligners are clear. Thus, no one sees that you are wearing them! Moreover, one can clean their teeth easier than with traditional braces! They are fabricated by a computer simulation (CAD/CAM) to gradually move the teeth. This system is designed for adult patients and older teens that are essentially non-growing and have most of their adult teeth fully grown into position. Finally, not every person is a candidate for this system, as it is not proficient in the correction all possible bite or tooth misalignments. Ask us if you are a candidate for the Invisalign® system! See our before and after pictures for our Invisalign results!