Fixed appliances, or braces, are used to treat teeth misalignment and correct bad jaw alignment. These appliances and composed by brackets within which the archwire is inserted. Then, moderate orthodontic forces move the teeth to the ideal position of dental arch. Fixed appliances can be positioned to the front or to the back of the teeth and they will not be removed until the end of the therapy.
Types of brackets and fixed orthodontic techniques
The common fixed appliance is composed by brackets within which the archwire is inserted and attached by metal legatures or elastic ties. Thanks to various innovations in orthodontics, the aesthetic of braces has been substantially improved, therapy duration has been shortened and the associated pain has been diminished. Innovative self-ligating brackets, that enclose the archwire without the aid of other elements, lower friction and forces, minimising pain and possible problems to the gums. Moreover, these brackets are easier to position, aid shortening therapy duration and render it almost painless.
Aesthetically more pleasing are white or transparent brackets, and in particular those manufactured from ceramics of zirconium, as they will not discolour with time.
Course and duration of therapy
The duration of orthodontic therapy varies greatly between patients, depending on the encountered problem and the chosen solution. In spite of this, standard therapy duration is 18 months, with possible shifts spanning from three to six months. As regular check-ups are crucial for the success of the procedure, the orthodontist will advise each patient on a check-up regime, although usually these are performed within six to 10 weeks intervals.