Metal braces have historically been known as one of the most traditional and successful treatment options in the field of orthodontics. Commonly considered a middle school standard issue accessory, metal braces can mean success for adults and kids alike in reaching their orthodontic goals!
What are Metal Braces Made of?
- The brackets on metal braces are very durable and often made from a mixture of stainless steel, nickel, and other medical-grade metals. Each bracket has a “slot” where a wire is positioned and then secured by closing a metal door or placing an elastic overtop of the wire.
- Glue or bonding composite
- Although it sounds strange, “glue” or composite bonding material is used by Dr. Willett to attach the brackets to your teeth. Rather than glue, the material is more similar to tooth-colored filling materials you might also see at your dentist’s office, the material is durable and ensures your brackets will stay put throughout your entire treatment as long as you’re a little careful with your diet and habits.
- Orthodontic wires are precisely measured and fabricated thin pieces of metal that connect one bracket to another. Dr. Willett will adjust and modify the shape of the wire to move your teeth in the customized way desired, and she may also bend the wire to help push or pull any especially stubborn teeth. Some cases require the wire to be attached to all of your bottom or upper teeth together, while others are cut strategically to connect just a few teeth.
- Elastics are small rubber bands that are essential to help accomplish any bite correction. Depending on where the elastic is hooked, they will work to pull the lower jaw forward for overbite correction and to help with airway orthodontics, or the lower teeth backward for underbite correction.
- Orthodontic Bands
- These bands are stainless steel rings that encircle the molars and are orthodontically bonded to your teeth using dental bonding agents. These bands can provide a nice anchor for your braces if needed and are especially helpful to work around complex dental work in adults, like crowns.
- These small elastic circles look like little blue donuts and are used to create space between your teeth. Separators , also known as spacers, are typically used before orthodontic bands are placed to allow enough room to work in between the teeth, but are not required for everyone or every case.
- Elastic Ties/O-rings/Ligatures/Colors
- These tiny rubber bands attach the archwire to the brackets. These ties are the fun part of braces as they come in dozens of colors and can be changed at every appointment for you to personalize your braces like an accessory.
The Metal Braces Process
The first step Dr. Willett and her highly trained team takes is collecting photos and a 3D CBCT x ray of your teeth, smile, bite, profile, and gums. We often use our iTero Element scanner to scan your teeth so that a fully customized plan can be made to reach your goals. The photos, x rays and scan are used when Dr. Willett is reviewing your orthodontic treatment needs, your goals, and our possibilities to give you a smile to last your lifetime. The CBCT xray is unique in that is is used to analyze not only the teeth, but the surrounding bone and structures as well as TMJ and airway.
Following your photos and xray, Dr. Emily Willett will work with our team to customize a treatment plan for you. Each tooth is looked at individually to see how it will need to be moved to place your teeth in the best possible position. For example, if some teeth need to be tilted, the placements of those brackets will differ from those on teeth that need to be turned.
When Dr. Willett has reviewed her diagnosis and created your customized treatment and you’re ready to start your braces journey, we’ll put the braces on! The teeth are individually cleaned, shampooed, and prepped for our dental bonding. Each bracket is individually placed and adjusted by Dr. Willett. Once all of the braces are attached, Dr. Willett’s expert clinical team will insert the wire and adjust it to provide different types of pressure on different teeth. These bends can assist a tooth to turn the correct way and align. At each appointment, the wires are adjusted and Dr. Willett will assess the progress and make improvements as treatment continues
Why Metal Braces?
Metal braces are great at fixing complex tooth issues and have been researched and used more often in both traditional and contemporary orthodontics. They can work more efficiently at closing gaps and aligning teeth compared to other treatments. You can count on the strength, durability, and affordability of traditional metal braces as they are repeatedly the top form of treatment for orthodontic patients year after year across the world!
Not your mom’s metal braces.
This isn’t heavy metal from the 80’s. Our modern metal braces are nothing like the awkward and bulky braces of the past. Our braces at Lincoln Orthodontics are smaller, less conspicuous, and more comfortable than ever before. With sleeker brackets and lighter wires, you will benefit from a smoother feel and appearance as well as less irritation.
Metal braces also offer fun customization of color at no extra cost. The elastics that fit around your brackets come in a wide variety of colors that allow you to showcase your personality however you want! Choose the colors of your favorite sports team or school colors to show some spirit! Or lean towards a more neutral approach with our silver, gray, white, or black elastics.
What is the treatment time for metal braces?
The golden question. “How long will I have these things on?” Now, although we don’t have a concrete answer for everyone, the average time spent in metal braces is about 18 months. But every mouth is different, and every patient will respond to their treatment differently. Some patients may see the results they need in as little as six months, while more complex issues can take more than two years to fully complete the process. With that being said, your time can be shortened if you stick to the plan and follow Dr. Willett’s directions to more quickly achieve those perfect teeth.
If you think you may need metal braces in Lincoln, Nebraska or the surrounding area and you are looking for the best, visit Dr. Willett at Lincoln Orthodontics at 6825 S 27th Street, Ste 202 Lincoln, NE 68512. Call 402-498-8841 to schedule a free consultation. We’ll make sure you know all our braces options, so you can make the best decision for your orthodontic treatment.