Orthodontic braces are the metal brackets and wires that most people picture when they hear the word “braces.” Braces have come a long way from the “train track” look of years ago. Compared to braces in the past, the modern self-ligating braces are less noticeable, less painful, and more efficient. Plus, new heat-activated wires move teeth with constant, more gradual pressure, so each adjustment hurts less and teeth straighten faster. With all these new technologies, you don’t have to wear braces as long—meaning there’s a good chance they’ll come off sooner than you think!
What are Self-Ligating Braces?
With traditional braces, the arch wire is ‘tied’ to the braces with elastic or metal ties. Self-Ligating braces eliminate the need for elastic or metal ties, and instead use a permanently installed movable component to entrap the wire.
The “ties” used with traditional braces do an effective job of holding the wire in place, but impart significant disadvantages including frictional binding and food trapping. Through elimination of these “ties” Self-Ligating braces reduce frictional resistance. This may permit the teeth to move more freely, and with less applied force. As a result, treatment may be more comfortable, and tooth movement more efficient. Additionally, food trapping is also reduced due to the elimination of “ties”.
Advantages of Self-Ligating Braces
Cost effective Since the self-ligating braces treatment technology has been established for a period of time, it has become more affordable. When compared to other cosmetic orthodontic technologies, self-ligating braces often are the most cost effective treatment option. This is beneficial for families with more than one child needing orthodontic treatment, or those who are seeking the most cost effective treatment.
Shorter treatment time The self-ligating technology has advanced significantly. Compared to some other treatment options, self-ligating braces can often provide the quickest result in the shortest time frame. Most patient will see dramatic results within a relatively short period of time. Self-ligating braces makes an ideal treatment option for those who want to achieve significant results in the shortest possible amount of time.
Established technology Self-ligating braces has retained and improved on the technology of traditional braces, which has been long established and perfected over time. This option is suitable for most orthodontic cases, including the more complex cases.
Smaller The modern self-ligating braces are much smaller, hence less noticeable, than traditional metal braces.
Efficient treatment Self-ligating benefit from the lack of friction presented by elastic or metal ties. The friction present in traditional braces can reduce the efficiency of movement and thereby extend the amount of time braces need to be worn.
Less discomfort to teeth Self-ligating braces is designed to allow teeth to move more freely, hence less force is applied to the teeth.
Easy to clean and maintain good oral hygiene The designers of self-ligating brackets have worked to keep the brackets smooth and rounded, reducing spaces where food can get caught. Additionally, food trapping is also reduced due to the elimination of “ties”.
To find out more about self-ligating braces, see one of our specialist orthodontists for an assessment.