Traditional Metal Braces
Braces are the treatment of choice for the majority of orthodontic treatments. While there have been a variety of advancements in orthodontics in the way of clear braces, invisible aligners, and modified forms of traditional braces, the ability of the traditional brackets, wires, and elastics configuration of traditional metal braces is still the most versatile treatment solution in terms of the range of the orthodontic problems that can be solved. Although the concept of using archwires, elastics, and brackets attached to teeth to improve the alignment of teeth and optimize bite patterns is relatively unchanged in recent years, the braces themselves have become significantly more comfortable.
Compared to other bite optimization and alignment techniques, traditional metal braces can solve the largest range of orthodontic problems. Solutions such as Invisalign are fantastic for treating mild to moderate cases in a relatively short amount of time, and providing comfort in the process. But there are cases in which clear aligners can’t effectively solve the problem. If there are vertical alignment issues, or severe instances of deep bites, cross bites, very severe crowding, or extreme cases of common problems like underbites or overbites, then the traditional metal braces will give an orthodontist the greatest possible control over correcting jaw position, optimizing teeth alignment, and maximizing the results of the orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontics is part science and part art. A skilled orthodontist not only has mastered the medical science behind the greater concept of teeth straightening, but has also developed a unique intuition about the nature of each orthodontic condition that their patient may be experiencing. Using this intuition, the orthodontist must assess the patient’s existing condition, visualize the end result of treatment, determine the best treatment to achieve the end result, and carefully make adjustments over the course of the treatment to skillfully guide the treatment process. Because the orthodontist’s unique abilities, experience, and intuition plays a major role in the end result of the patient’s orthodontic treatment, the orthodontist you choose has a large impact on your long term results and your overall oral health.
Braces aren’t just for kids. While we recommend two phase orthodontic treatment followed by braces or other bite optimization devices when appropriate, we treat patients well into adulthood. While many adults who have never received orthodontic care may be perfectly comfortable with their teeth, braces aren’t always for purely cosmetic reasons. Using braces to optimize your bite has oral health benefits which include a smaller chance of tooth decay and tooth loss, in addition to other oral health benefits. For mild to moderate orthodontic cases, we may recommend Invisalign for adults for the most discreet and convenient solution, but if more nuanced adjustment is needed, traditional metal braces or clear braces remain the most effective treatment.