At a glance, self-ligating braces and regular metal braces appear visually very similar. It isn’t until you look closer that you notice the different bracket design that gives the former its name. Our Grand Rapids, MI, orthodontists offer the self-ligating treatment option for all patients, especially those who aren’t in love with colored elastics.
Here’s how self-ligating braces work, what you can generally expect if you choose them for treatment, and a few things to keep in mind when mulling them over.
Standard braces, even those of the ceramic variety, tend to always feature some type of ligature elastic that is wrapped around each bracket, holding the archwire in place. Braces that are self-ligating ditch the elastics in favor of a built-in system to ensure the archwire stays secured.
When it comes to self-ligating brackets, there are two distinct types to be aware of: active and passive brackets. Both make use of a small “gate” or “door” that close over the bracket and help with securing the archwire. If active brackets are placed, they utilize a sliding spring clip mechanism that presses against the wire. Passive brackets instead have a simple sliding mechanism that doesn’t apply active force onto the wire.
Dr. Miller will determine which type of bracket works best. All you need to do is sit back and relax while our team bonds them to your teeth. Of course, if you have any questions before, during, or after the process, please don’t hesitate to ask!
Just because self-ligating braces have unique brackets does not mean they don’t still require scheduled adjustments. While there are no elastics to replace, the brackets need to be opened up to swap out or adjust the archwire.
This process is much quicker compared to what needs to happen with traditional braces, leading to an overall shorter appointment inside our Grand Rapids orthodontics office. If every minute counts for you, self-ligating braces may be the right choice.
Whether you’re about to get them as a teen or you’re pursuing adult braces, there are a few things to consider before moving forward with self-ligating braces. One of which is that oral hygiene can prove to be easier thanks to no elastics in the way, helping to trap left behind food bits.
Treatment may not be faster than other types of braces, however. Many claims exist that boast about faster, more effective treatment compared to standard metal braces, but there is no credible research to support this. Ultimately, your specific case will determine treatment length.
Lastly, brackets are not immune to failure. Just like with other braces, self-ligating brackets can have issues due to repeated opening and closing and may result in wear. Dr. Miller and our team can easily replace brackets if needed though it may mean that your visit is slightly longer than usual.
Our orthodontists in Grand Rapids, MI, believe that self-ligating braces are a great choice which is why we offer them here at Miller Orthodontics! If you still need more information, please give us a call today at (616) 942-9320 or request an appointment online.