For a long time, people assumed that orthodontic care was just synonymous with braces, but this is no longer the case. Orthodontics has been around for longer than braces and will persist long after they have become obsolete.

Did you know that teeth can be straightened without traditional braces? Let’s find out more about how we use Invisalign Leicester at Smile Care Dental Clinic to help our patients.

Alternative brace types

In order to meet the next demands of adult patients, hybrid brace designs have become more popular; these include a number of innovations.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces have the same trappings as standard dental braces; a bracket on every tooth connected by an archwire. But they are mounted to the back of the tooth with the archwire facing towards the inside of the mouth.  With no overlapping components of the brace showing on the outward-facing tooth surface, it can be difficult to tell that someone is wearing a lingual brace unless they open their mouth very widely.

Light minimal braces

Light minimal braces are an umbrella group that describes several attempts to streamline processes focusing them on a smaller number of more aesthetically relevant front teeth rather than the entire mouth. Systems like Cfast or the Inman aligner share these characteristics; they are limited in the amount of force they can generate, but as they focus on less complicated cosmetic cases, this is an acceptable limitation.

Transparent ceramic braces

Transparent ceramic braces were one of the first examples of a low visual impact brace, when pioneering orthodontic engineers realised that glass had an appropriate tensile strength to manufacture a brace from.  What it lacked was the toughness of metal and when a brace was under tension, it shattered in a patient’s mouth. The resulting lacerations could be significant.  Modern transparent ceramic braces use reinforced glass with a blend of composites. This makes them tough and safe even for use in contact sports or with patients who have very active lifestyles.

The drawback is that they are at the end of the day still a brace. They can’t be removed and have all the complicated nooks and crannies to clean every time you eat. And without thorough cleaning, any transparency is compromised.

Clear aligners

Clear aligners like Invisalign Leicester seem to have hit the sweet spot of being an extremely subtle orthodontic tool, but also having the necessary capacity to move teeth properly.

Invisalign Leicester with our dentist uses plastic shield-like aligners rather than a set of brackets and an archwire to move teeth over time. The force required to move teeth is stored in the elastic deformation of the aligners themselves; this is an innovative and brilliant solution, but it does have its limitations. Each aligner is only capable of generating enough force to move teeth a short distance. This is overcome by using a set of aligners, with different forces applied in succession, each one moving the teeth slightly before passing on to the next like runners in a relay race.

Growth of adult patients

Adult patients have been a wonderful stimulus to orthodontic dentistry, providing new challenges to overcome. Throwing down the gauntlet to designers and medical equipment manufacturers to consider day-to-day use and patient comfort as well as clinical efficiency. If you are considering orthodontic work contact us at the practice, we should be glad to help with your orthodontic journey.