Orthodontic Treatment

Whether you have crooked teeth, crowding, spacing between the teeth or teeth that are protruding out or too pushed back. All these concerns can be addressed by Orthodontic therapy.

Reasons people get braces:

There are various reasons people get braces one of the most important is aesthetic. They want to fix their smile or are unhappy with how their teeth look. These also include cases of:

  1. Open bite: In this the front teeth do not close completely, such patients have a gap or spacing between their front teeth.
  2. Deep Bite: In this the upper teeth overlap the bottom teeth almost completely. In such patients the bottom front teeth do not show at all.
  3. Cross bite: This the lower teeth or jaw is positioned ahead of the upper teeth in a reverse bite.

All the above conditions can be successfully treated with orthodontic treatment.

There are some medical or functional reasons to go ahead with this treatment like:

  1. TMD(Temporo Mandibular Disorders) - Sometimes malocclusion or problems with the bite can lead pain and discomfort in the TMJ which is the joint between the upper and lower jaw. This over time can become a chronic painful condition.This can lead to joint problems like subluxation, joint dislocation, clicking on closing the mouth, joint deviation to one side and in severe cases jaw locking and pain radiating to the head and neck region.
  2. Parafunctional Habits - Some people have night grinding of bruxism habit and sometimes children have prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier habit. This can affect the growth and development of the jaw bones and lead to malocclusion over time.These habits can be intercepted at an early age if addressed and treated with orthodontic therapy.

Metal Braces

Metal braces are the oldest and most conventional fixed orthodontic systems.
They have been around for over 100 years .They offer a fast, reliable and predictable option for aligning or fixing various malalignments of teeth.

There are various advantages or pros of this system:

  1. It offers a fast and predictable solution.
  2. It does not rely on patient compliance, hence popular with children and adolescents.
  3. No waiting period, can be started immediately.
  4. Most Affordable option.

Cons or disadvantages

  1. Most noticeable or not very aesthetic.
  2. Appointments every 4 to 6 weeks.
  3. Requires very good oral hygiene habits for maintenance.

Ceramic Braces

These are similar to metal braces only difference is that the brackets are made of ceramic and are tooth coloured.
So, they merge well with the natural teeth. In some cases even tooth coloured wires can be used for a more aesthetic result.

Advantages or Pros

  1. They are much more aesthetic or pleasing to the eye as compared to the metal braces.
  2. They give fast and predictable results.
  3. Can be used in patients with metal allergies and is much more tissue friendly and comfortable as compared to metal braces.

Disadvantages or cons
These brackets are not as strong as the metal brackets and can break easily as compared to the metal brackets.

Self Ligating Braces

Although this system has been around since a long time, they have become popular in the recent past. The basic difference between this system and the conventional braces are they do not have elastic bands or ties to attach the bracket to the wire. Instead there is a spring loaded metal door that holds the wire in place.
Advantages of this system like -

  1. Less friction and force on the teeth thereby resulting in less discomfort for the patient.
  2. Faster treatment - Due to the freedom of movement of the wire on the bracket, the malocclusion is corrected faster.
  3. Easier to clean and maintain - as there are no elastic bands or ligatures, there are less chances of
    plaque and food accumulation.
  4. Latex free - as there are no bands and elastic ligatures.
  5. More aesthetic - They come in both metal and a clear variant. They are much smaller and aesthetic as compared to conventional braces.

The only short comings of this system are: they are not completely clear and are somewhat visible and is relatively more expensive as compared to conventional braces.


Clear aligners have brought about a revolutionary change in orthodontic treatment. They have provided a viable option to most adults and adolescents who want to correct their malocclusion or fix their smile.
This consist of transparent removable aligners or trays which need to be changed periodically during the treatment. They are completely different from fixed orthodontic therapy. One of the most important things in this line of treatment is patient compliance. Here are many advantages of this type of orthodontic treatment:

  1. Aesthetics or appearance - they are highly aesthetic and almost invisible as there are no brackets, wires or clips. This is a huge factor for many patients specially in adults and adolescents. They are not at all visible unless someone is at point blank range and is looking at your teeth.
  2. Comfort - Aligners are extremely comfortable and easy to use. Due to the absence of wires and brackets they do not poke or pinch the lips or cheeks. They are much easier to get adapted to.
  3. Removable - This provides a big advantage, as they can be removed for 3 to 4 hours in a day. So eating and chewing food becomes much easier. This also gives the patient the freedom to remove them foe a function or gathering.
  4. No dietary restrictions - Since there are no brackets, its much easier to chew and enjoy food. The patient does not need to restrict their diet in any way.
  5. Lesser number of visits - Since the aligners need to be changed periodically every 2 weeks, it is not mandatory to visit the Orthodontist every month. The treatment can continue even when the patient is travelling or is outstation.

Every procedure has a few disadvantages:

  1. Costing - this is a relatively expensive treatment as compared to fixed braces.
  2. Patient Compliance - The treatment result relies largely on the patient wearing the aligners. If for some reason they do not wear the aligners or trays, they keep adding that much time to their whole treatment duration. For this reason we prefer to not do this treatment for young children.

Hence, overall this is a great option for anyone looking to get their teeth aligned or fixed and do not want others to see their braces or for someone looking for a very comfortable option.With advancements in treatment modalities now we can treat any kind of malocclusion even the more severe cases.


Dr. Gargi Kandhari

Conservative Dentist and Endodontist, Aesthetic Dentist

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