Self-Ligating Braces: Are They Right for You?

4 August 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

So your dentist told you that you, a full-grown adult, need to get braces. Unfortunately, you just have no idea what type to get. Self-ligating braces are one alternative to traditional braces that have been gaining a lot of interest with people who need teeth correction. Understanding how self-ligating braces work, their advantages, and their disadvantages can help you decide if they're right for you.

Self-Ligating Braces Definition

Self-ligating braces are very similar to traditional braces in that small metal brackets are glued to the front of each of the teeth. However, they differ from normal braces in that these brackets are not connected to each other via a series of wires, but instead connect separately to the main wire that corrects teeth straightness. This greatly decreases the number of necessary wires and rubber bands.

Types of Brackets

There are two different types of brackets used with self-ligating braces: passive and active. Passive brackets attach to a smaller arch wire and are used at the beginning of severe correction and are sometimes used as the only treatment method used for minor correction.

However, active brackets are designed for use with a larger arch wire that corrects more severe misalignment. Teeth have to be prepared for active brackets by the use of passive brackets, as the pressure active brackets assert is too severe to start with.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Self-Ligating Braces

There are multiple benefits of self-ligating braces. These benefits help set them apart from traditional braces and could make them a good investment. These benefits include:

  • Less frequent adjustment
  • Quicker alignment
  • Smoother braces
  • Fewer bands to adjust
  • Decreased risk of trapped food

However, there are several disadvantages associated with self-ligating braces. These disadvantages include:

  • Higher installation cost
  • May require tooth extraction
  • Risk of mouth distortion or displacement
  • Uncomfortable during early adjustment period

People Who Should Get Self-Ligating Braces

As with any type of braces, you have to weigh the advantages and the disadvantages carefully before making a decision. For example, if you don't have the extra money necessary to install self-ligating braces, they may not be right for you. However, if you need to get your teeth adjusted more quickly, self-ligating braces should probably be your choice between the two.

By now, you should have a pretty clear idea of whether or not self-ligating braces are right for you. If you think they sound like the adult braces you want to use, call up an orthodontist, like one from Fayetteville Family Dentistry, as soon as possible and make a fitting appointment.