Braces, also called brackets, are small devices made of metal or a more esthetic material, like ceramic. Braces are traditionally glued on the outside of the surface of the tooth. They connect the tooth to the archwire, pushing and pulling the teeth into the correct positions. Elastics and rubber bands are sometimes also used to help move teeth.
Traditional metal braces are made of high-grade stainless steel and are the most common type of braces
Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns.
These are made by different companies (SPEED or Damon braces among others) but they all work the same way. They do not require elastic ties to hold the wire in place because they have a titanium clip that keeps the wire always activated.
Lingual braces are hidden behind the teeth and are therefore “invisible” when you smile. Lingual braces are a great option for athletes, models, actors/actresses, musicians who play wind instruments, and adult professionals.
There are other invisible orthodontic treatment options that use a series of clear, removable, and comfortable plastic trays to straighten your teeth. Not only are the aligners transparent, but they are also removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment, and brush and floss as usual.
Mini implants, or temporary anchorage devices (TADs), are tiny screws that are temporarily placed in the upper or lower jaw to help with difficult tooth movement. Placement through the gum is accomplished quickly and easily with just topical anesthesia, using a precise, minimally-invasive technique. The heads of the mini implants protrude from the gum tissue providing a strong hold to move teeth over a large distance and in a more predictable manner. Removing the mini implants after treatment takes just a few minutes and does not require anesthesia.
Other Orthodontics Tools
Sometimes orthodontists need to use elastics to accomplish different tooth movements These are rubber bands stretching from different teeth in the same jaw or different jaws , that help improve the fit of your upper and lower teeth.
Little rubber donuts also called separators or spacers, may be placed between your teeth to push them apart so that orthodontic bands may be placed at the following appointment. The separators are removed before bands are placed
Removable appliances are made of acrylic and wires and can be fully removable or temporarily attached to some teeth. These appliances are used during early interceptive treatment when the orthodontists can guide the growth of the jaws and create space to allow the permanent teeth to erupt into their correct position. Removable orthodontic appliances include palatal expanders, lip bumpers, bionators, facemasks or headgears, tongue cribs and bite plates.
Micro-Osteoperforations also know as MOPs, are tiny holes placed through the gums into the bone, that result in increased bone remodeling and double the speed of tooth movement. This procedure invented by Drs Alikhani and Teixeira was licensed by Propel Orthodontics Inc who developed a tool to allow delivery to patients mouth in a safe and confortable manner. To learn more about this procedure watch the video featured by the American Journal of Orthodontics when the original results of the clinical trails conducted by Drs Alikhani and Teixeira were published.