What are the options for aligning our teeth?
July 1st, 2022 by Catherine Marqueses
When it comes to smiles, aligned smiles are what most people want. Traditional orthodontics with metal brackets is the best known method of correcting occlusion-related problems, but it is not the only one. There are alternative orthodontic systems that offer numerous aesthetic advantages, such as the clear aligners treatment by Impress.
This post details the different options that exist for aligning our teeth.
What types of orthodontic treatments exist
There are different types of orthodontic systems, or different techniques and attachments that orthodontists use to align teeth and level them to improve their aesthetics and preserve oral health.
The different techniques for correcting teeth are: traditional fixed orthodontic systems or invisible or removable orthodontics, with transparent aligners. Below are the characteristics of each of these and the different types that exist.
In this type of orthodontics, wires and brackets are used, these being the fixed part that adheres to the teeth and to which the wires are attached. There are two types of fixed orthodontics:
– Traditional braces: these are placed on the outside of the dental arch and are therefore clearly visible. Despite these, perhaps because they are the least expensive, metal brackets are the most frequently used, especially in the case of children and adolescents. However, there are also brackets that are known as aesthetic brackets, as they are less visible as they are made of plastic, ceramic or sapphire materials.
– Self-ligating braces: Self-ligating brackets are an orthodontic system that uses special brackets that do not require ligatures. This is because they contain a clip that holds the archwire to the brackets, so they do not need ligatures to attach the brackets to the archwire. In this way, the full force can be transmitted to the teeth through the bracket.
The fact that there are no ligatures is what differentiates this type of orthodontics from traditional brackets.
– Lingual orthodontics: in this case the brackets are placed on the inside of the dental arch, leaving the external surface of the teeth free. This is the most suitable option for those people who do not wish to use external brackets for aesthetic reasons.
– Palate expander: these braces are made of acrylic materials and are attached to the molars by means of hooks. They are used especially in children aged 7-8 years, who must wear them at least at night and between 4 and six hours a day, although the longer they are worn the faster the correction of the problems that have led to the practice of orthodontics. But this device is not exclusive for kids. They have the advantage that they can be removed, for example, for eating and brushing teeth, which facilitates oral hygiene and cleaning of the appliance.
– Impress clear aligners: This is the latest innovation in orthodontics. These are splints made of plastic-like materials, which means that they are hardly noticeable to others and can be removed and put on whenever necessary. For their manufacture, the patient’s teeth are first carefully scanned. These images are then processed by a complex 3D computer system, which, in addition to designing the orthodontics (one splint for the upper arch and another for the lower arch), allows a simulation of the changes that will occur weekly in the correction of the teeth. Depending on this, different appliances are made that the patient will change as the objectives established in the simulation are achieved.
What dental malocclusions are treated with orthodontics?
Malocclusion can be defined as an irregularity in the contact and interlocking between the teeth of the upper jaw and the mandible. This anomaly, as well as causing certain problems related to a bad bite, can also cause joint pain or even difficulties in the development of speech in children.
Malocclusions can be related to different aspects, such as genetic inheritance, congenital defects or certain habits acquired during childhood. The most common types of malocclusion are explained below.
Crossbite, which can be of skeletal or dental origin, occurs when the upper jaw is narrower than the mandible. Thus, when the patient bites, the upper teeth are placed inside the lower teeth.
In this case, this malocclusion occurs when the teeth of the maxilla and mandible, when closing the mouth, do not make contact with each other. Open bite can occur in the following ways.
Anterior, when the central teeth do not make contact.
Posterior, when there is no contact between the molars.
Another of the most common malocclusions is protrusion, when the lower teeth protrude in front of the upper front teeth. This malocclusion is usually due to insufficient development of the upper jaw.
In this type of malocclusion, the teeth of the upper jaw generally cover up to two thirds of those of the lower jaw. Again, in these cases the specialist may opt for orthodontic treatment to correct the problem.
There are more problems that clear aligners can solve, but these types of dental problems are treated through orthodontics. Among the different orthodontic systems, there is the possibility of having Impress clear aligners, which is a novel treatment, easy to wear and which, in terms of aesthetics and pain, has many advantages.