Many patients opt for orthodontic treatment to remedy various oral conditions that prevent them from achieving a healthy lifestyle and the smile they want. Orthodontic treatment involves using braces to move your teeth into the required dental formation, to provide a well structured dental formula. Metal braces were the first design in orthodontic treatment, dating back to the early twentieth century. Since then, many modifications to the form of treatment have emerged, mostly serving to improve on the aesthetic of a patient undergoing the procedure by making the braces less visible. An example of the modification to traditional metal braces is Invisalign. Nevertheless, metal braces are still trendy among patients seeking orthodontic treatment to assure desired results in the end.

You need to find a qualified dentist to begin orthodontic treatment, as it is a form of cosmetic dentistry that alters your facial and dental structure significantly. Finding a skilled dentist with years of experience will ensure that you do not face unnecessary hardships and disappointment after treatment. At the Encino Dentist, you will receive professional orthodontic treatment as well as guidelines related to metal braces installation. Over the years, we have helped many patients attain an improved smile, thanks to the orthodontic service of installing metal braces.

What are Metal Braces

Metal braces are the small metallic structures on a patient's tooth surface that facilitate teeth movement into the required alignment or position in their jawline. Braces consist of different structures that work together to produce results. The main component called a bracket is the small structure made of Titanium and stainless steel that sits on the tooth surface. It forms the foundation for the two other elements by holding them in place for the dentist to adjust. During installation, your dentist places the bracket onto each tooth and uses an adhesive to hold it securely.

Secondly, metal braces include an archwire that works as the muscle of the entire treatment. Since the wire is flexible, it undergoes several adjustments by fastening it against the teeth surfaces and cutting the excess length to push your teeth into the desired position. Each bracket has a small opening to accommodate the archwire so that it sits in place as it applies pressure to your teeth for movement.

 Lastly, braces use durable elastic bands as ligating structures. A ligating structure functions to fasten everything into place by closing the brackets and holding the wire securely within the bracket enclosures. Without the ligating bands, the archwire can easily fall off the metal bracket or change shape and break, especially when you chew. Therefore, braces cannot function at all without the ligating bands.

The combination of these three structures on your teeth leads to functional braces adjusted according to your dental arrangement to help you achieve the dental alignment you need.

Functions of Metal Braces

Most people know that braces help to straighten teeth. However, that statement has a broad application because straightening the teeth depends on your teeth and jaw placement condition. Therefore, metal braces serve more specific functions, creating a well-aligned dental and jaw structure for the patient. Some of the functions are:

Opening Up Spaces To Eradicate Teeth Crowding

Some patients experience a lot of discomfort from the alignment of their teeth if they appear too crowded in the mouth. The most common occurrence for such a condition arises when the jaw bone is too small to accommodate all the teeth. As a result, when you shed your milk teeth, all the permanent teeth that must subsequently grow will lack adequate space to fit on the jaw. The effect often causes some teeth to grow in front of or behind others because of the intense force caused by crowding. Orthodontic treatment using metal braces serves to push all the teeth back in line after opening up space in the jaw. To do this, your dentist has to pull out several teeth to create space for the braces to push the remaining teeth into the correct position.

Correcting Behavior that Damages Teeth

If you are prone to clenching your teeth or grinding them, especially in your sleep, it could cause severe wear and tear that damages your enamels significantly. An orthodontist may recommend metal braces to help align teeth better so that you cannot reach the profoundly affected or damaged tooth. Additionally, the dentist will add a hard layer of synthetic enamel on the surface of your molars known as a bite block to prevent your clenching or teeth grinding habits.

To Align your Teeth

Sometimes, other conditions apart from teeth crowding may cause your teeth to grow in misplaced positions. For example, most children who wait too long to extract milk teeth experience misalignment when the secondary teeth grow out of place. The cause of such misalignments could be genetic, or even a natural occurrence. We recommend waiting for all secondary teeth to grow so that the metal braces can push the teeth unanimously.

To Close Teeth Gaps

Additionally, some patients would like to get rid of tooth gaps that occur naturally or have smaller teeth than usual. Moreover, if you lost a tooth after a traumatic injury causing a gaping hole, you may prefer to use orthodontic treatment to close the gap instead of settling for dental implants. Whatever the need may be, metal braces work well to create a push or pull pressure on the teeth, and eventually remove the gap.

To Reverse and Underbite or Overbite

Overbites occur mostly from teeth crowding and jaw positioning, causing the teeth on your upper jaw to produce significantly from their usual position. Patients who were fond of sucking their thumbs at a younger age are often the recipients of overbite treatment, to pull back the entire upper jaw teeth set in the required position. In Contrast, an underbite causes the corresponding protrusion of teeth, but on the lower jaw set. Patients with these conditions struggle to close their mouths because of the imposing pressure caused by teeth protrusion. Metal braces, therefore, work to reduce the force and promote proper closing of the mouth through pulling the teeth back in line. Additionally, the orthodontic treatment for overbite and underbites dramatically changes your facial structure. In return, you get a more youthful look by the end of your treatment.

Types of Metal Braces

The development of orthodontic treatment has helped improve the structure and functioning of the braces. Consequently, you can now choose from several types of metal braces that all serve to create the best teeth alignment you can achieve for a beautiful smile. The two main types of metal braces are:

Standard Metal Braces

If you prefer the conventional type of braces known for their unfailing success in giving you the results you expect, you can choose standard braces. The name hints offer the traditional mode of orthodontic treatment by incorporating metal brackets and the archwire as the main structures. On top of the two components, your dentist places the ligating bands that secure the entire structure. The elastic bands are available in a range of colors, giving you a chance for a personalized aesthetic. You can also choose to mix and match the colors to your liking.

The placement of the archwire for standard metal braces is closer to the teeth, creating direct contact between the wire and tooth surface. Thus, you may experience a lot of friction and pressure, especially the first few days after an adjustment appointment, where your dentist fastens the archwire to a tiger position. Because of this, your dentist will make gentle adjustments to ensure that you do not feel too much pain or discomfort after a tightening adjustment.

Subsequently, you will need to visit the dentist often for adjustment appointments, because the force applied on standard braces effects change quicker. Therefore, you should follow up on all your appointments to ensure that the treatment period is not slowed down by missing appointments.

Self-Ligating Metal Braces

Self-ligating metal braces are a modification on the standard design, specially made with an extra clip fracture on the bracket. The metallic clips that form part of the bracket click into position, to secure the wire into the bracket. Therefore, with self-ligating braces, you do not need the elastic bands that function as ligations on standard braces. However, they still function in the same way that the original design works by applying the required force on teeth that need to move their position. The design is also seen as an improvement from the conventional braces because the clips on the brackets prevent any food particles from accumulating inside the bracket, which is more common in standard braces.

Moreover, self-ligating braces apply less pressure on your teeth while performing the same way as regular braces. The gentle pressure is because of the extended position of the archwire that sits away from the teeth surfaces from the bracket design. Also, the improved design allows the dentist to make adjustments that move your teeth for longer, meaning you do not need multiple adjustment appointments.

Installing Metal Braces

Your dentist will require several measurements of your mouth and jaw structure, to prepare him/her for the final braces installation. These measurements help the orthodontist to make the accurate placement of brackets and the archwire for optimum teeth adjustment. Thus, you will come in for an initial consultation, followed by another session where we use a particular mold to replicate the placement of teeth in your mouth. With the mold's study model, we get a tangible apparatus of your mouth replica to try out several fixture strategies, aiming to give you the best orthodontic treatment.

Moreover, your orthodontist requires two types of X-Ray images to study the internal structure of your dental formula. You will need an OPG and Lateral Cephalogram image to show the side and panoramic view of your teeth placement. With this information, your orthodontist can make informed decisions on the treatment mode to apply with the braces, all personalized to suit your needs.

If the orthodontist finds that your treatment should eradicate tooth crowding, he/she may have to extract several teeth to create space for the braces' adjustments.

The installation procedure is a fast and painless process that involves mounting the metal brackets, wire, and ligations in place. You have nothing to worry about, and should try and stay calm throughout the process. The dentist assistant will place a wide plastic tool that covers your lips to keep your mouth open and give the orthodontist a free working space. After a brief cleaning process, the dentist goes straight to placing the brackets individually. He/she does this by first applying an adhesive to your tooth surface to hold the metal bracket. After placing the bracket on your tooth, he/she will use UV light to dry the glue so that the bracket locks completely onto your tooth.

When all brackets are in place, the orthodontist then places the archwire in between the brackets and closes them with the bands or self-ligating clips, depending on the type of braces installed. After closing all brackets, the extra archwire is safely clipped out using a special pliers set that holds the cut wire in a compartment to prevent it from falling into your mouth, as you may swallow it. After completing the bracket closing procedure, you are all set to check the mirror for your newly installed braces.

Caring For Your Metal Braces

The first few days after getting metal braces installed may be rough for you, as you adjust to the pressure and presence of additional features on your teeth. Also, your braces' force exerted on the teeth will make the teeth sensitive to any external pressure, especially when biting or chewing. Some of the care tips you can observe to help you adjust to the braces faster are:

  • Stick to a soft food diet the first week after getting metal braces, to reduce the discomfort caused by pressure
  • Avoid crunchy food like nuts, hard candy, and chips that may break your brackets
  • Use gentle pressure to brush your teeth, and reach for the front, top and bottom surface of the braces when brushing
  • If an accident damages your brackets or archwire, contact your dentist immediately to schedule a replacement appointment

The Cost of Metal Braces

Typically, getting orthodontic treatment is quite costly. The average cost of metal braces in Encino, California, ranges between $2500 to $7000. Despite the price, we offer flexible payment plans that give you adequate time to make a full payment, so that you do not miss out on receiving treatment. Moreover, we accept various medical cover plans and partner with insurance companies to reduce the load of paying for the full treatment amount.

Find a Dentist Near Me

Often, you may be unaware of the orthodontic options available to remedy your dental condition. With the use of metal braces, you can correct multiple disparities that cause misalignment of teeth and enhance your smile and oral health. At Encino Dentist, we offer orthodontic treatment that includes installing metal braces for our patients seeking to improve their smiles. We will be happy to hear from you and help start treatment as soon as possible. Call us today at 818-650-0429.