Traditional braces consist of metal brackets that attach to a patient’s teeth. Running through the brackets is an archwire. The force the archwire applies to the brackets allows them to shift the position of a patient’s teeth, correcting a misalignment or malocclusion.
In traditional braces, metal ties or elastic bands ensure the archwire remains in place. Self-ligating braces are different. They use a mechanism built into the brackets themselves to secure the archwire.
Are Self-Ligating Braces Effective?
According to a study in the journal Contemporary Clinical Dentistry, self-ligating braces are as effective as traditional braces. The study also indicates that self-ligating braces may correct a smile more efficiently than traditional braces, potentially shortening a patient’s overall treatment time.
Benefits of Self-Ligating Braces
More efficient treatment isn’t the only advantage self-ligating braces offer in comparison to traditional braces. Other benefits this treatment option may offer include:
- More Hygienic: Food can become trapped in the elastic ties that might secure an archwire in traditional braces. Because self-ligating braces don’t rely on elastic ties, cleaning them may be easier.
- More comfortable: Self-ligating braces may also apply less force than traditional braces. Some patients find this results in less discomfort during treatment, teeth will move faster and the most important more cases can be treated with no extractions and no expanders.
- Greater convenience: A patient who corrects their smile with traditional braces may need to schedule multiple appointments with their orthodontist for the purpose of adjusting and changing the elastic bands or metal ties. Patients who opt for self-ligating braces don’t need to schedule these appointments, resulting in more convenient overall treatment. When a patient with self-ligating braces does attend follow-up appointments, the length of these appointments tends to be shorter than it would be if they wore braces with traditional metal ties or elastic bands.
- Aesthetics: Self-ligating braces are typically less bulky than traditional braces. Thus, they have a minimal effect on a patient’s appearance.
Research backs up this claim. According to a 2014 study in Scientific World Journal, patients wearing traditional braces tend to report experiencing greater discomfort than patients who wear self-ligating braces.
Types of Self-Ligating Braces
Self-ligating braces come in the following two forms:
- Active: Active self-ligating braces rely on a spring clip to keep the archwire in place. As the name implies, this type of self-ligating braces involves the application of active force to the archwire.
- Passive: Instead of a spring clip, passive self-ligating braces rely on a sliding mechanism that doesn’t apply force to the archwire. More comfortable and more effective.
Discuss Self-Ligating Braces With Your Orthodontist
Only a qualified orthodontist can determine whether self-ligating braces will effectively serve your needs. Discuss this treatment option in greater detail with your orthodontist to learn if you’re a candidate for self-ligating braces.
If you are, you stand to enjoy a wide range of benefits. Self-ligating braces can correct your smile the same way traditional braces can while requiring a shorter treatment time and causing less discomfort.
Learn More About Self-Ligating Braces in Lewisville, TX
At Castle Hills 3D Orthodontics, we’re prepared to take a closer look at your teeth to determine if self-ligating braces are right for you. Get started today by contacting us online or calling us at 469-598-1700 to request an appointment.