Metal Fixed Appliances
Fixed appliance treatment is the most precise way to control tooth movement to achieve the perfect smile. There are three main components to such appliances:
- Brackets – these are attached to the teeth and determine the final tooth position. Brackets can be made of metal or tooth-coloured ceramic materials.
- Archwires – the wires are placed into the brackets and act as the motor that place the necessary forces to initiate and sustain tooth movement.
- Auxiliaries – for example elastics
Clear Fixed Appliances
Fixed appliance attachments (the brackets) can be made from tooth-coloured ceramic materials in order to reduce their visual impact. Such appliances are commonly termed ‘ceramic fixed appliances’.
- Conventional ceramic fixed appliances use small elastics to hold the wire into the bracket and self–ligating brackets use an integral clip mechanism that secures the wire into position. Please note thatthe small elastics used with conventional fixed appliances can discolour between visits particularly with foods containing bright colouring.
- The wires used to align teeth are commonly termed ‘archwires’. These are made of metal (stainless steel or nickel–titanium) materials. They can be covered with tooth-coloured coatings to make them less obvious. However, these coatings do have a tendency to decay between visits and may slow tooth movement.
Lingual orthodontic appliances are an exciting way of improving the smile for those conscious about having visible fixed appliances.
These appliances are virtually invisible as they are attached to the back (lingual) surfaces of the teeth. They can be used to produce high quality results in cases requiring complex tooth movements where Invisalign would be unsuccessful.
At Guildford Orthodontics, we use the InCognito system which has the following advantages over other lingual systems:
- Improved patient comfort
- Less speech interference
- Better quality
- The appliance is fully customised to you
Fixed Braces FAQs
Sometimes dental extractions have to be undertaken by the general dentist before starting fixed appliance treatment if space is required to correct tooth positions.
The placement of fixed appliances is pain free and does not involve dental injections. There is some discomfort for 3–4 days following placement of fixed appliances, which can be controlled by mild pain killers (e.g. paracetamol).
Adjustments are typically undertaken at six-weekly intervals. Sometimes breakages can occur and appointments have to be scheduled between the main visits. The duration of fixed appliance treatment can vary between 6–18 months depending on the complexity of the case.
The risks of fixed appliance treatment include dental decay (if there is excessive sugar within the diet and if tooth brushing is poor) and slight root shortening which is frequently minimal.