This is the most popular and common type of orthodontic treatment and is also commonly known as “train tracks”. It can provide the best possible outcome for misaligned teeth if a really straight perfect smile is required.
A fixed brace consists of various components that are all connected and work together to ensure a certain type and speed of movement of the teeth. The exact process of motion will have been pre-planned to create the perfect alignment of teeth.
See also: Lingual Braces | Removable Braces | Stainless Steel Fixed Braces
These are small precisely designed buttons known as “brackets’ that are stuck/bonded to each tooth. They can be made of different materials depending on what type of movement and speed of the movement is required. One way of looking at brackets is to see them as a handle that is able to precisely control the movement of each individual tooth. The brackets are highly sophisticated and design engineered to achieve the correct position and angle of axis for every individual tooth.
Sometimes, a small ring called a “band” is fitted around the molar or back teeth. They are used to secure the rest of the brace and allow the intensity of movements required.
The brackets are then connected to each other with thin wires, also known as “archwire”. In the early parts of the treatment especially when the teeth are also up and down and misaligned, this archwire will also appear to be fitted up and down in correlation with each tooth. But once the treatment begins to work, then this will be seen to level out.
Small elastic rings called “modules” are used to then hold the wires securely to each bracket; sometimes, thinner wires are also used called “ligatures”.
Regular appointments are needed so that the wires can be adjusted at specific intervals to slowly re-align the teeth and correct the bite.
Main benefits of a fixed brace:
- Precise control of movement
- The appliance is fixed to your teeth and in the orthodontist’s control so you don’t have to worry about doing anything.
- No plastic in the roof of the mouth, hence speech is not affected and flavours of food and drink can be enjoyed fully.
- Since the appliance is fixed and cannot be removed it is in a constant active state and hence the most effective.
There are now so many variations of systems, types, materials and products on the market that these appliances can be used to do very subtle and individualised movements. Your orthodontist will discuss the best options with you.
Next: Functional Braces