Straight teeth are not simply a cosmetic matter. Having crooked teeth can make you more susceptible to dental problems, poor oral hygiene, and issues with oral function. Because of the potential long-term effects of misaligned teeth, leading Los Angeles-based orthodontist Dr.Atoosa Nikaeen recommends that alignment problems be addressed as early as possible.
What Are Metal Braces?
Metal braces refer to an orthodontic appliance that can be affixed to the teeth. The system consists of high-grade stainless steel brackets and wires, which work together to move your teeth into the desired position. The small brackets are placed on the front of each individual tooth and the wires are threaded through the brackets. The wires are custom shaped for each individual patient. Over time, the tension created by the wire-threading system repositions the teeth into their ideal configuration.
The Benefits of Metal Braces
Clear aligners (Invisalign) are an excellent option for some patients, but not everybody is an ideal candidate. For some individuals–particularly those with complex issues, such as severe overcrowding–metal braces are the best straightening option. Dr. Nikaeen advises that patients consider metal braces if they have:
- Bad bites
- Severe malocclusion (crooked or crowded teeth)
For younger patients, metal braces can mean a more colorful smile–literally. Today, patients can choose from an array of stylized colors to highlight their “smile-under-construction” in unique ways.
Metal Braces for Adults
Although Dr. Nikaeen suggests early treatment, metal braces can be worn by adults. Today’s metal braces are smaller and more comfortable than ever before. In addition, metal braces can be more efficient at fixing imperfections.
Despite massive orthodontic hardware improvements, some adults still have reservations about wearing traditional metal braces, as they tend to be more concerned with aesthetics. Meanwhile, most of our younger patients, who are used to seeing their peers with braces, tend to adapt to braces quite easily. Dr. Nikaeen works closely with adult patients to design the best orthodontic care to fit their lifestyles.
Before and After
Right in a corresponding section of our website, you can see metal braces before and after photos to better understand, which of dental problems can be addressed with the help of these orthodontic appliances and how impressive the results of the treatment can be.
In many cases of crowded teeth, bites can be corrected and smiles can be improved through using metal braces alone, though some cases require a combination therapy, for example in conjunction with teeth extraction or wearing a palate expander. Gap teeth are also among common reasons for braces installation since the orthodontic appliance allows pulling adjacent teeth together to close the gaps. Thus, in many cases, wearing metal braces is an effective option to teeth replacement, especially when the gaps are comparatively narrow. Besides, both overbite and crossbite can be corrected with the help of metal braces, the more so that this type of braces is one of the fastest ways to align your teeth without turning to surgical methods.
Along with viewing before and after photos, you can search for images illustrating how fun metal braces can look, especially when it comes to youngsters.
Treatment Time for Metal Braces
The treatment time will vary, depending on the anatomy of your teeth and jaw. In general, the smile-perfecting process usually lasts between 12 and 30 months. During your consultation, Dr. Nikaeen can provide a realistic timeframe for your orthodontic correction.
How Metal Braces Work
How do metal braces work? Many patients don’t quite understand the process of changing teeth positions, and therefore cannot realize why the installation involves so many visits to their dentists and a lot of adjustments, not to mention the cost.
Braces consist of brackets, which are square-shaped elements fixed to the enamel of your teeth, archwires, designed to fix all the brackets together, and various kinds of bands, serving to hold different elements and to change their position during the treatment. Prior to the treatment, your dentist makes a cast model from your teeth, which is used to create a unique braces design to treat your dental problem. This is achieved through pressure created mainly by archwires – they press your teeth so that they could move forward, backward or sideways.
The treatment always begins with using the thinnest elastic arc wires to create comparatively weak pressure in order to avoid both much pain and damaging your teeth. After your dentist fixes the archwires, which feature a certain shape to line up your teeth, the braces start working. Trying to return to the designed shape, the arc wires slowly but surely pull your teeth into the “right” position with the help of brackets attached to their surface.
However, the dentist needs to gradually change the arc wires to enhance the pressure, thus correcting the position of your teeth. Also, your dentist can adjust other elements of your braces, serving to help the alignment process. With this aim, various additional elements can be used, including rubber bands, coil springs and so on. All these numerous elements of the bracket system work together to deliver gradual and relatively painless alignment of your teeth, which results in your beautiful straight smile and anatomic bite.
Pros and Cons
Similar to all other braces types available on today’s market, metal braces have advantages and disadvantages you need to consider.
- Metal braces are the strongest option on the market, which is difficult to damage when eating hard foods or brushing your teeth.
- They provide the fastest way of aligning your teeth, all other things being equal.
- Unlike transparent and white-colored brackets made of ceramic, metal is resistant to staining and allows drinking tea, coffee or wine without any bad effects.
- Metal braces offer the most affordable treatment compared to brackets made of other materials.
- Metal braces are highly visible that can be rather embarrassing for many people both adults and teenagers.
- Some patients and orthodontists report that metal braces cause more discomfort including metallic off-flavor, cold sensation when they are worn in sub-zero environments and irritation of oral mucosa.
Discuss metal braces pros and cons with your dentist to make the right choice.
How Much Do Metal Braces Cost
Many people wonder why they cannot get a simple answer when they ask their dentists “How much do metal braces cost?”. Actually, the answer is not that simple as it may seem. Though metal braces are commonly believed to be the most affordable among all types of modern braces, the price varies a lot depending on several factors:
- the complexity of your dental problems;
- the style of braces you choose;
- the number of components in your braces and their complexity;
- the status of your dental clinic and the qualification of your orthodontist;
- the duration of your treatment and number of visits for the adjustments required.
Since the cost of braces comprises many factors including the cost of materials for your specific braces and working hours of your dentist, it is calculated individually.
Your Metal Braces Consultation with Dr. Atoosa Nikaeen, Los Angeles, CA
As one of LA’s top-rated orthodontists, Dr. Nikaeen consistently achieves transformative results for her Southern California patients. During your orthodontic consultation, she will thoroughly examine your teeth and jaw and and determine the best way to improve your smile.
If you are a resident of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, including Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, contact her office today at (310) 444-1113 or send an email to schedule your free initial consultation.
“I am at the very end of my treatment and just recently fitted for my final set of retainers.” – Heavynn G. Los Angeles, CA