Whenever a dentist finds out that you need additional treatment for your teeth, unless they have the necessary training, they will likely refer you to an orthodontist. These are “dentists” who specializes in orthodontics which is to cure problems like crowded teeth or incorrect bites. The most common treatment or one we are very familiar with is dental braces. The general idea of this method is to move the teeth so that it goes in the right position eliminating any dental issues. In the past there was only one way to go with regards to this treatment. At present there are now different types of braces for you to choose from.
- Traditional/Metal Wired
This is the most common and it uses stainless steel though there are those that combine steel with titanium. They have metal brackets where a “rubber band” holds the wire to the brackets. There is however what is called as ligating braces wherein the elastic bands are removed and instead the wire simply goes through the metal bracket.
While not technically clear, they are made of ceramic that blends with the natural color of the teeth. Thus it is not as visible and at times may seem hidden. The principle is the same as the traditional ones except that the material used. Thus both the elastic bands and wire are made in such a way that it has the same color as your tooth.
- Gold Plated/Silver Plated
Contrary to what you may think gold plated ones are not done to make you look flashy. Remember that traditional ones are made up of stainless steel where nickel is one important component. The problem is that some patients are allergic to nickel thus the need for other materials. There are silver plated ones but some choose gold plated more for its look. Functionality wise they have no differences.
These are braces that are custom made and bonded to the back of one’s teeth. Thus unlike the clear ones, it is very difficult to see the lingual type since they are really hidden. They still have the function of other types except that this one is cemented to the back and is more of an aesthetic choice.
If the patient is allergic to nickel contained in the steel but do not want the flashy effect that gold plated ones give then the best option would be titanium. This type is not just lighter but stronger as well. The main drawback is that it is the most expensive among the different types.
Regardless of what type you decide to have though, you will still need to wear retainers afterwards. As you can see, while function remains to be the most important part, deciding what type of braces to wear is not that simple anymore. In addition to cost considerations you will need to consider the aesthetic part as well. When in doubt, never hesitate to ask your local orthodontist as they can give you the help you need in these matters.