According to the Canadian Association of Orthodontists, over 4 million people get orthodontic treatment in Canada and the United States alone. Orthodontic treatment, such as braces or Invisalign, can help you get straighter teeth.
However, straighter teeth aren’t the only benefit of orthodontics. If left unchecked, other orthodontic issues may cause dental health issues. Problems such as bone destruction, tooth decay and gum disease can occur from maligned teeth. Misaligned bites may even cause speech impairments or dental injuries. If you are questioning whether or not braces are right for you, consider reading on for detailed summaries for all that is entailed with treatment!
Conventional Ceramic/Metal Braces
Putting in Separators /Spacers
If the teeth at the back of your mouth are too close, your orthodontist may put spacers between them before placing your braces. The purpose of doing this is to create space between your teeth for metal bands to fit. Patients can experience mild to moderate soreness from the spacers. However, this often disappears after the first couple of hours.
Your dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth to ensure that the brackets are able to adhere to your teeth properly. This step aims to remove any tartar and plaque from your gum line and polish your teeth. For a smoother process, ensure you thoroughly brush and floss your teeth before your appointment to remove any residue.
Cementing the Brackets
Brackets are small ceramic or metallic pieces attached to the teeth that hold your arch wires in place. There are two methods used to place them on your teeth. The direct bonding method involves the clinical assistant placing each bracket individually on your teeth utilizing light- curing cement. They will then be cured in place. This method is typically used in cases where there are fewer brackets to place. For the indirect bonding method, a 3D model of your teeth is digitally printed in our lab, we then place the brackets on the printed model, and precisely measure the location of each one to ensure the ideal placement. We then make a tray with the brackets in it to place them on your teeth all at once, or in sections. This method is used when placing full upper and lower brackets to increase speed and accuracy of the procedure.
Placing the Bands
Dentists place metal bands around the back molars to support the braces or appliances as needed. The bands are fit to the teeth like rings are fit to a finger. We will try on several sizes until we find ones that fit snugly. After selecting the size, dental cement is applied and cured using a light.
Attaching the Archwires
We use two different bracket systems in our practice. Our younger patients receive brackets that hold the archwires in place with small rubberbands or o-ties. This o-ties vary in color, which can be changed at each visit. We have a full array of fun colors (or color combinations) to choose from!
Our patients that receive full upper and lower brackets have self-ligating brackets, these brackets hold the archwire in place with a small door that opens and closes on the front. This allows the bracket to freely move on the archwire between visits. This leads to fewer appointment, and more movement occurring between visits. It’s a win-win!
Once the archwires are in place, we review wear and care instructions and send you on your way with your ever-improving smile!
Clear Alignment Systems
We also offer Invisalign treatment which can provide the same results as braces (when prescribed by an educated orthodontist)! Aligners are made using a 3D scan of your teeth, they are then sent to a lab to create a series of aligners with movement programed into them. The aligners are then manufactured and shipped to us. Once your aligners are placed, we will put some attachments (clear lumps and bumps) on your teeth to aid in the finite movements we would like to achieve. Once treatment is completed, these attachments are removed. Once the attachments are placed, we will clean up the edges of them with a handpiece, go over wear and care, and send you on your way. You will switch your aligners out weekly until your next in-office visit.
Swan Orthodontics Does Braces Better
Our team at Swan Orthodontics, headed by Dr. Kathryn Swan, is committed to addressing your dental issues as stress and pain-free as we possibly can. If you need to get braces or desire to solve malalignment, contact our offices to schedule a consultation or appointment!