Orthodontics [awr-thuhdon-tiks]-Braces

Orthodontia, currently known as orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, was the first specialty created in the field of dentistry.  It is the branch of dentistry dealing with the prevention and correction off irregular teeth, as by means of braces.

The word originated around 1905-10; orth- + -odont + -ics

Who is an Orthodontist ?

Orthodontists are concerned with the study and treatment of mal-occlusions (improper bites), which may be a result of tooth irregularity and/or disproportionate jaw relationships. Orthodontists are dentists who went on to complete a three years MDS program in orthodontics. They deal with more serious dental problems like issues with tooth and jaw alignment. Most people who have visited an orthodontist did so because their dentist advised them that they needed braces. Orthodontists assess alignment problems, take scans and measurements, and fit patients with the appropriate type of braces to correct their problems and straighten their smiles. Orthodontists used specialized equipment to assess and measure alignment problems with the jaw and teeth, and may recommend different forms of treatment than just braces, though this is what people think of when they hear the term “orthodontist.”

Braces (Orthodontics)  is the treatment of choice when the top priority is keeping the natural unaltered tooth. It is without doubt the best way to correct mal-positioned and or crooked teeth and, it is also useful when the roots of adjacent teeth are impossible to separate for crowning.

Occasionally it is necessary to extract teeth in conjunction with repositioning, particularly in cases where the crowding is causing bone loss.

At Modern Dental Care along with Metal braces, Ceramic and Lingual “behind the teeth”  braces are available which are not very visible. Ceramic braces serve as a cosmetic alternative to traditional metal braces by blending in more with the natural colour of the teeth or having a less conspicuous or hidden appearance. Typically, these brackets are made of ceramic or plastic materials and function in a similar manner to traditional metal brackets.

In the past orthodontics was shunned by many adults because the treatment was lengthy and old fashioned metal braces were conspicuous and unattractive. Now with Ceramic and Lingual Braces, many adults opt for orthodontic treatment.

Braces aren't just for kids anymore. In fact adults now comprise more than 20% of patients who seek braces, some are more than 50 years of age.The availability of clear ceramic brackets and plastic matrices makes braces a more acceptable alternative than before.

The usual treatment time is six to thirty-six months.

In order to avoid the teeth moving back to their original position, Retainers may be worn once the treatment with braces is complete.

Teeth to be braced will have an adhesive applied to help the cement bond to the surface of the tooth. In most cases the teeth will be banded and then brackets will be added. A bracket will be applied with dental cement, and then cured with light until hardened. This process usually takes a few seconds per tooth.

Modern orthodontics makes frequent use of nickel-titanium arch-wires and temperature-sensitive materials. When cold, the arch-wire is limp and flexible, easily threaded between brackets of any configuration. Once heated to body temperature, the arch-wire will stiffen and seek to retain its shape, creating constant light force on the teeth.

The result of orthodontic treatment far outweighs the relatively short period of time that fixed appliances have to be worn.

Types of Braces

  • Metallic Braces
  • Ceramic Braces
  • Lingual Braces
  • Clear Aligners


 Metallic Braces  

Metal Braces with Colored Modules

Metal Braces with Colored Modules

Traditional braces consist of standard metal brackets that are adhered to your teeth with an adhesive and connected by wire. They require periodic tightening so pressure can gradually straighten your teeth and align your jaw as needed. While metal braces brackets are still the most common, other treatment options are available today. There are options in metallic braces consisting of normal braces which hold the wire with the help of a small band known as a module, other option being self ligating which hold the wire by special attachments built into the braces itself.

Ceramic Braces

ceramic braces

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces have brackets are made of ceramic or composite materials. These are gaining popularity with the patients in comparison to metallic braces as the are not very prominent, mimic the color of natural teeth, the time requires for treatment is almost same as for metallic braces.

The newer “SELF LIGATING” braces offer even more comfort and faster treatment. Ideal suited for working professionals and adults.

Lingual Braces

Usually brackets and archwires are placed on the outer surface of the teeth. As they are visible when talking or smiling patients often feel insecure. Now a days there is an alternative the so called ‘Lingual braces’.

This allows the whole apparatus- brackets and wires- to be places on the inner surface of the teeth which conceals it from outside. The effect is same as when using the normal brackets, the only difference being that the force is applied from the inner side. The Incognito Orthodontic Braces from 3M are custom made of gold alloys for invisible orthodontic treatment.

Clear Aligners /(invisalign)

Clear Aligners are a series of plastic sheets, custom fabricated to fit a patients’ teeth, transparent matrices that are changed every two weeks. When you wear the aligners, pressure is applied to specific points on teeth, moving them into space. Each tray or matrix moves the teeth to a specific positonaccording to the custom computerisation plan until the ideal placement is achieved.  Clear Aligners need to be worn all day and night, except during meal times when they can be taken off. There are no restrictions in food as the aligners are removable, proper brushing and flossing are possible too.

Braces reposition the teeth so that they come together perfectly.It is the treatment of choice when the top priority is keeping the teeth natural and unaltered.

  • Before Braces
  • After Braces

The Various Stages of Orthodontic Treatment

This phase involves  taking patients medical and dental history. Getting Panoramic X-rays and Cephalometric X-rays done. Taking pictures and making models. 
This is the actual treatment phase. Braces are placed on the teeth an movement is brought about in the position of teeth as per requirements. In case of Invisalign or Clear Aligniers patients start wearing the removable trays in series. 
When the teeth have been correctly aligned, fixed braces and removable devices will be removed and discontinued.  The most cumbersome part of the orthodontic treatment is now over. The orthodontist will next create a custom retainer.  The goal of the retainer is to ensure that the teeth do not begin to shift back to their original positions.  Retainers need to be worn for a specified amount of time per day for a specified time period.  During the retention phase, the jawbone will reform around the realigned teeth to fully stabilize them in the correct alignment. Sometime permanent retention is given in the form of splints.