Metal braces are also known as cases, braces and orthodontic cases. They are used to correct the alignment of the teeth and also to straighten them. Braces can also be used to fix the gaps I between teeth. Metal braces are designed also to correct malocclusions, open bites, under bites, over bites, cross and deep bites and kinked teeth. Sometimes it is required to make the palate or the jaws wide in order to give the teeth a proper shape. For this the metal braces are used along with a few other teeth fixing appliances. Misaligned teeth hamper normal functioning of teeth and hence, they need to be treated. Malocclusion or over-crowding or misalignment of teeth is generally passed from one generation to the next. Also, there may be some habits or acquired conditions that affect the shape of teeth. These conditions can be cleft palate and lip, using feeding bottle to drink milk till early childhood, sucking thumb till early childhood, tumours in jaws or injuries that caused misaligned teeth. Misaligned teeth must be corrected in order to prevent interference with chewing food, tooth decay, gingivitis, cavities, and increased risk of teeth breaking and from an ugly look. The types of metal braces used are traditional wired braces, stainless steel braces that are gold plated and titanium braces.
Braces are put on the teeth with a little pressure so that they fit in. The braces help the teeth align themselves appropriately so that the symptoms eventually are reduced. The four basic elements used in metal braces are brackets, arch wire, ligature elastic and bonding material. The brackets on the teeth are pushed and pressurised by the arch wire, causing the teeth to move. This movement of teeth in a specific direction is further done by using rubber bands or springs on the teeth. The constant pressure that the braces exert on the teeth help the teeth align. The new position acquired by the teeth is mainly caused by the process known as bone remodelling in which the teeth get loosened due to the pressure of the metal braces. Thereafter, new bone grows in the gaps to support the teeth. The biochemical process of remodelling the teeth occurs in order to make weak ones stronger to provide ample support to the newly positioned teeth and also to weaken some too strong bones in order to give space for the teeth to take new position. The braces are fitted onto the teeth after carrying out x-rays of the teeth, then setting molds and making impressions on the molds. Before the braces are fit in, adhesive will be applied on the teeth so that it holds the braces firmly. After the teeth are aligned and take new positions they are fixed. After that the braces need to be taken out. For this the dentist first breaks the bonds between the teeth and the brackets. The brackets are then squeezed and released without damaging the teeth.
People with malocclusion and crooked teeth will be eligible for the treatment.
People with broken teeth or slight misalignment in teeth will not be eligible for treatment.
The side effects of using a metal brace may include mild pain in the teeth and jaws after the placement of the braces. You may also face some initial discomfort in chewing food and in speaking as well. In very rare cases, patients have reported episodes of tooth falling of as well.
After wearing the braces regular monitoring for readjustments of the braces on the teeth are required as long as they are worn by the patient. Water pik and interdental brushes are used for regular cleaning of teeth to protect the teeth from decay. Such patients must avoid sticky, hard foods which may damage the brackets. Also foods with high sugar content and acid content must be avoided to maintain oral hygiene. After the braces are removed, regular cleaning of teeth must be done with the help of the dentist. Sometimes tooth whitening may also be considered.
Time for recovery may vary from person to person. It may take a few months to years for the teeth to take correct positions.
The price of metal braces in India may range from Rs. 18,000 to Rs. 35,000.
Yes, the results are normally permanent.
Alternative to metal braces can be surgery to fix the position of the tooth.