Which brace is right for me?
Whether you’ve got a peculiar bite, a less-than-confident smile or just a couple of wonky teeth, the world of orthodontics can be a confusing place. Gone are the days of standard train tracks: we are entering an era of choice when it comes to tooth-straightening technique. However, there is a not always a spectrum of opportunity for everyone: some braces are not suitable for particular malocclusions (unusual bites) and others are only viable in patients with more simple cases. Despite this, the market is still broad and here are the most common orthodontic treatments, simplified for ease of selection.
After a thorough consultation and assessment with our orthodontist, the choice will become easier due to the joint construction of an ideal treatment plan.
Call our dental team on 0121 357 5000 to arrange an orthodontic consultation where you can discuss your treatment options.
These braces can only be placed and removed by an orthodontist.
Metal Fixed Braces
Also known as train tracks, metal fixed braces comprise generic metal brackets that are attached onto the front of the tooth with a special orthodontic glue. The brackets are then connected together with an orthodontic wire; with the memory of a perfect arch, this wire is able to gently pull the teeth into alignment. The wire is attached to the brackets through individual elastics. For discretion these can be clear or silver, but more popular amongst our younger patients are the colourful varieties.
White Fixed Braces
Similar to metal train tracks, white fixed braces consist of brackets attached to the tooth, connected with an orthodontic wire. However, the brackets are constructed from tooth-coloured ceramic and are accompanied by a similarly coloured wire, making them a more aesthetic option. Both white and metal fixed braces require the same treatment time and the same number of appointments.
Lingual (Incognito) Fixed Braces
Tailor-made gold alloy brackets are attached to the back surface of the teeth so they cannot be seen. Kate Middleton is rumoured to have used lingual braces to secretly achieve her royal smile.
These braces can be placed and removed by the patient.
When teeth require either tilting or tipping into place, removable appliances are an ideal way to achieve a perfect smile.
Used to change the relationship between the upper and lower jaw (especially during years of growth), functional appliances are often used as an adjunct to fixed braces. Commonly used is the Twin-Block appliance, a removable brace used to open the jaw to correct an overjet (when the upper front teeth are too far in front of the bottom teeth). This is most commonly followed by a course of fixed braces.
For smaller tooth movements, invisible brace treatment comprises a series of plastic clip-in braces that are comfortable and inconspicuous. Each brace will provide a small amount of tooth movement, before the subsequent brace is prescribed.
Retainers are made from clear plastic material and are recommended for nightly wear after completion of orthodontic treatment. Because teeth may continue to move slightly throughout life it is recommended to continue using the retainer long term.