Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces are the classic choice for patients with severe teeth overcrowding in their mouths. The primary drawback of this orthodontic system is the obvious appearance of the braces however modern metal braces are much more discreet than in the past. The brackets are now available in various colors, including clear, to help patients straighten their teeth more inconspicuously.
Traditional Metal Braces
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
A board-certified orthodontist will use a cheek retractor to expose the inner mouth when placing traditional metal braces. A dental hygienist cleans, polishes, and air dries the teeth before applying a conditioner to prepare them for the bonding agent. An adhesive primer is applied before the cement is used to affix the brackets. The brackets, which are available in various color choices, are then placed at predetermined positions of the teeth. Excess cement is removed and then a high-intensity light is used to cure the brackets in place. Finally, archwire, hook, and bands are placed as needed to begin realigning the teeth. Traditional metal braces are more effective for patients that have overcrowded mouths than some “invisible” devices like clear aligners The main downside of the metal braces is that they are highly visible to other people. Lingual braces placed on the backsides of the teeth next to the tongue produce similar corrective results and are much less obvious to others. Having traditional braces placed takes less than an hour in most cases. The average cost for metal braces in the United States is $3,000-$7,500.
The goal of braces is to improve a number of dental imperfections such as crowding, too much space between teeth, overbite, crossbite, openbite, overjet, and gummy smile.
What to Expect
Traditional metal braces are the classic choice for patients that have overcrowded. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after traditional metal braces.
- X-rays, photos, and impressions will be made
- Some permanent teeth may be removed
- Separators may be placed between molars
- Teeth will be cleaned and polished
- Conditioner applied to teeth to prepare for bonding agent
- Cement is used to affix the brackets
- Excess cement is removed
- High-intensity light is used to cure the brackets
- Archwire, hook, and bands are placed as needed to realign the teeth
No recovery time is needed once the braces are in place. It is common for patients to feel changes in teeth sensation and discomfort, however, these are temporary and can typically be resolved by applying wax around irritating wires. If that does not relieve the pain OTC medications can be taken as necessary.
The ideal candidates for braces are those whose teeth are in good general health who wish to improve dental imperfections such as crowding, too much space between teeth, overbite, crossbite, openbite, overjet, and gummy smile.
Not Recommended For
Braces are not recommended for patients who have severe cases of gum recession, have bone loss in their jaw, or who have weak bones.
Side effects from metal braces may include headaches, jaw and tooth pain, and irritation in the mouth.