Self Ligating Braces
Self Ligating braces are a special type of orthodontic device. These braces are similar in construction and materials to traditional metal braces, but they are unique because they don’t require the use of elastics to guide teeth into an optimized alignment. The absence of elastics generally creates a more comfortable feel for the patient because each individual tooth experiences less pressure compared to traditional metal braces. Because self ligating braces don’t use elastics, they also have a more discreet appearance than traditional metal braces. It’s common to attribute most of the classic appearance of traditional metal braces to the metal brackets attached to each tooth. While it’s true that metal brackets are visible, patients are often surprised to see how discreet the appearance of brackets can be when elastics aren’t present to draw attention. Self ligating braces are visible, but are significantly less noticeable than traditional metal braces. This makes self ligating braces a logical option for patients seeking a discreet orthodontic device who also have a moderate to severe orthodontic case which can’t be corrected using invisible orthodontic devices like Invisalign or other brands of clear aligners.
Self ligating braces use a tiny proprietary fastener to direct teeth into their optimal position. Using this system which is free of elastics is still very effective at correcting the alignment of teeth, but it accomplishes this while reducing the amount of pressure on each tooth. Most orthodontic treatments completed using self ligating braces require less frequent office visits because these tiny fasteners do not require replacement like elastics do. As with all orthodontic treatments, you will still need to visit your orthodontist on a regular basis to have your treatment monitored.
Self ligating braces are available in two primary configurations; passive self ligating braces and active self ligating braces. Passive brackets create less pressure on the teeth using a small archwire. Active brackets create more pressure on the teeth using a larger archwire. Depending on the case, some patients may wear active and passive self ligating braces during different phases of the treatment. Whether your orthodontist chooses passive or active brackets depends on many factors including the severity of your case. When correcting a more severe orthodontic condition, active brackets are often used in order to provide extra control of the bite and ensure optimal results. For mild cases, passive brackets are more comfortable and create less pressure on the teeth, but are still effective at optimizing the bite.