The variety and advancements in orthodontic treatments have swiftly changed in the last two decades. Nowadays, orthodontics relies on mechanical engineering, special software, materials research, and nanotechnology to produce state-of-the-art appliances, minimizing discomfort, shortening treatment times, and enhancing aesthetics.
Accordingly, we can’t deny the importance and effectiveness of the traditional metal braces system that has also incorporated more resistant materials and offers an unbeatable advantage when treating severe malocclusions. Furthermore, using conventional metal braces as a canvas, more sophisticated orthodontics started to gain space.
For instance, patients can draw upon ceramic braces that imitate teeth color and are less noticeable. Furthermore, Orthodontists cement lingual braces on the backside of teeth, which is unperceivable at smiling. However, no system is perfect, ceramics break easier than metal, and lingual braces overcomplicate oral hygiene routines.
So, suppose you are considering starting orthodontic treatment with braces. In that case, an alternative offers advantages over the traditional metal braces, especially when it comes to resistance, facilitating oral hygiene and comfort. This article is a short guide to self-ligating braces, including a brief comparison, system advantages, and patient costs.
What Are Self-Ligating Braces?
In appearance, self-ligating braces are visibly similar to traditional metal braces. However, the main difference in appearance is that these braces do not require ligatures (elastic bands).
Mechanically, the archwire is held in the brackets with either a sliding door-like system or a clip in the bracket, being as effective as the traditional metal braces system. However, comparing the differential benefits between metal and self-ligating braces is the best approach to define what self-ligating braces are?
Comparison With Traditional Braces
First, ligatures (elastic bands) increase detail attention during routine oral hygiene. Bacteria accumulate predominantly in the irregular shapes of orthodontic appliances, including ligatures. So, not having ligatures helps decrease food particles sticking between braces and rubber bands.
Ligatures (rubber bands) tightly press the archwire against the bracket’s inner wall. Self-ligating braces have either clips or sliding doors, allowing teeth to move more freely, causing less friction. The possibility of teeth freely moving help reduce the discomfort of patients.
Another advantage of self-ligating braces is their mechanical advancements requiring fewer adjustment visits to the orthodontist. As a result, patients will experience minor discomfort.
According to each case, orthodontists can recommend active self-ligating [ASLB] or passive self-ligating [PSLB] braces. Here we state their differences.
Active Self-Ligating Braces [ASLB]
There are mechanical differences between active and passive self-ligating braces. The mechanism includes a thick archwire and a clip-type door that locks the wire against the bracket. Consequently, active self-ligating braces induce more strain onto teeth making them more efficient.
Passive Self-Ligating Braces [PSLB]
There are two mechanical characteristics of passive self-ligating braces. First, the passive system includes a sliding door in the bracket. Secondly, the archwire is less prominent.
These two mechanical factors allow teeth to move with natural flexibility but exert less traction over teeth than active self-ligating braces.
What Type of Self-Ligating Braces Is Better? Active or Passive?
There is no definite answer to this question, so we explain why. Orthodontic treatment is about the gradual and calculated movement of teeth.
To move teeth, mechanical stress needs to be applied. However, some cases require a little effort, so applying unnecessary pressure would undoubtedly cause pointless discomfort.
However, some malocclusion cases require additional torque to pull teeth to their natural position. Consequently, no type is better than another, as they depend on a professional evaluation.
Do Self-Ligating Braces Hurt?
All types of braces cause discomfort, and in some cases, strain leads to jaw aches. Again, though, self-ligating braces are less uncomfortable than traditional metal braces.
It is important to know that with disregard of the type of braces used, feeling jaw ache is normal until your body gets accustomed to it after the first visit to get your braces.
Adjustment visits also lead to some discomfort. However, self-ligating braces require fewer adjustment visits that significantly reduce the molesting sensation of stress, causing soreness.
SLX bracket braces reduce the discomfort during treatment minimizing pressure over teeth. Also, the design of the low-profile braces has rounded edges that prevent soft tissue irritation.
Are These Braces Faster?
Self-ligating braces produce less friction. However, the mechanics applied by this orthodontic system can, depending on a patient’s specific condition, be more effective by moving teeth faster.
How Much Are Self-Ligating Braces?
As with any other orthodontic alignment system, malocclusion severity, treatment length, orthodontic brace type, and orthodontist facility location determine the cost of treatment. However, the average cost of self-ligating braces is between $3,800 and $8,000.
At Pavlo Orthodontics, we offer the latest technology in self-ligating bracket braces. We invite our patients to consider the advantages of a treatment that provides faster results, less discomfort, fewer adjustment visits, and reduces debris accumulation. All of these design advantages lead to fascinating results.