There are several types of braces available. Dr. West will advise you of the most efficient bracket type or appliance to straighten your teeth and improve your smile.
These are the most common braces used by orthodontist because of their reliability and cost for the patient. The brackets are stainless steel, therefore silver in color; the arch wires used with these braces are also silver. Most patients in traditional metal braces elect to have colored arch wire ties to create a bright and colorful smile.
For those patients that need orthodontics but do not want to wear silver braces, ceramic braces are an option. Ceramic braces differ from stainless steel in that they are breakable; for this reason they may not be a good choice for younger patients. Because these braces have the disadvantage that they may break, the forces placed on them at any given appointment needs to be less, therefore using ceramic brackets may extend treatment time. Also, ceramic braces and the clear arch wire ties can discolor if you eat certain foods (mustard, marinara sauce) or drink certain beverages (coffee, tea and soda). These braces are more commonly used for adult patients who have concern for their professional appearance.
Another popular form of braces is the self-ligating bracket. The self-ligating bracket can be made of stainless steel or ceramic. This bracket is unique because it does not require wire ties. The advantage to this type of bracket is the rubber arch wire ties are not needed, thus there is less friction on the arch wire. The arch wire is held in the bracket by a clip designed to be opened and closed when arch wires need to be adjusted or changed. Without the need to periodically replace the arch wire ties, orthodontic visits may not be needed every six (6) weeks.
By now everyone has heard of “Invisalign” and the process of moving teeth with clear plastic aligners. Clear aligners are an alternative for selected cases requiring minor corrections, but are not always the best treatment option for more complex cases. An advantage of clear aligners is the cosmetic appeal: however, it requires a very responsible patient because the appliances are a hard plastic and removable, if they are misplaced or broken the progression of treatment could be affected.