What are the options for fixing a smile?
We have many different types of brackets to correct alignment problems with the teeth. As seen above, all of the brackets – no matter what they look like – function the same way. They give us a handle with which to “grab onto” the tooth to apply the forces necessary to move them where they ought to be.
Different bracket types include ceramic (clear) brackets, traditional metal brackets, WildSmiles brackets (the bracket bases come in different shapes selected based on patient preference such as footballs, stars, flowers, football/baseballs, diamonds or hearts. We also have gold brackets available.
For patients that do not want fixed appliances (brackets that are glued to the teeth), we also have removable options: Invisalign and removable spring aligners.
We will address how Invisalign works in the answer to another question, but basically the plastic of the tray gives us a “handle” on the teeth and applies the pressure necessary move them where we want them to the correct position.
Spring aligners look like the traditional acrylic and wire retainers, and can accomplish small, simple tooth movements. These are also best at correcting certain types of relapse.
We occasionally need to use other appliances (besides braces or Invisalign) to carry out growth modification – forces that will change the way the face and jaws are growing rather than just affecting the alignment of the teeth. We will also discuss this in more detail in the answer to another question.