Types of Dental Braces

Photos of different types of braces (metal braces, Invisalign/clear aligners, ceramic braces, lingual braces, and self-ligating braces) - Lansdowne VA dentist

If you or your child have been recommended for braces, you might be wondering what your options are. With so many types of braces available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. In this article, we’ll explain the different types of dental braces available and their benefits and drawbacks.

At Dental Innovations of Virginia in Lansdowne, VA, we are experienced in providing comprehensive orthodontic care to patients of all ages. We understand that every patient’s dental needs are unique and will work with you to determine the best type of braces for your specific situation. Our team will create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your concerns and helps you achieve the straight, healthy smile you deserve.

Traditional Metal Braces

Close up teeth with brace - Lansdowne VA dentist
Woman brushing teeth with braces using brush - Lansdowne VA dentist

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and have been used for decades to straighten teeth. They consist of metal brackets and wires that are attached to your teeth. The brackets are made of high-quality stainless steel, and the archwires are made of a thin, flexible metal alloy. The archwire is attached to the brackets with small elastic bands, called ligatures or o-rings, which come in different colors and can be customized to your preference.

Metal braces work by applying gentle and constant pressure to your teeth to move them into the desired position over time. This pressure causes your teeth to loosen slightly from their current position, and new bone grows in to support them in their new position. Metal braces are effective for correcting a wide range of dental issues, including overbites, underbites, and overcrowding.

While metal braces are effective, they are also the most noticeable type of braces. Some people choose to embrace their metal braces and even customize them with colorful ligatures to make a fashion statement. Metal braces can also be uncomfortable and make it difficult to eat certain foods, especially in the first few weeks after they are first put on. Additionally, metal braces require more frequent appointments with your orthodontist for adjustments, which can be inconvenient for some patients. Despite these drawbacks, metal braces remain a popular and effective option for many patients who want to achieve a straighter, healthier smile.

Invisalign / Clear Aligners

Woman wearing orthodontic invisible braces aligner - Lansdowne VA dentist
Woman putting aligner in case - Leesburg VA dentist
Woman’s Hand Putting Transparent Aligner In Blue Case

Invisalign has become a popular alternative to traditional braces, especially among adults. This clear aligner system consists of custom-made, removable trays that fit over the teeth and gently shift them into the desired position. Invisalign is an excellent option for patients who want a virtually invisible orthodontic treatment option and have mild to moderate dental issues.

One important thing to note is that while Invisalign is effective for many patients, it may not be suitable for more complex dental issues. Patients with severe malocclusions or jaw alignment issues may require traditional braces or other orthodontic treatments for optimal results. That being said, Invisalign is a highly effective and popular treatment option for patients who want to straighten their teeth discreetly and comfortably.

Ceramic Braces

3d render of teeth with ceramic clear braces - Ashburn VA dentist
Close-up of ceramic braces - Lansdowne VA dentist

Ceramic braces are similar to metal braces in terms of their construction and function, but they are made of clear or tooth-colored materials, making them less noticeable than metal braces. Ceramic braces are a popular option for patients who want effective orthodontic treatment without sacrificing their appearance, especially for adults and self-conscious teenagers. Unlike traditional metal braces, which are highly visible, ceramic braces blend in with the natural color of teeth, making them a discreet option for patients who are hesitant to wear visible braces. This can be especially important for individuals in professional or social situations where appearance matters.

Ceramic braces have drawbacks to consider, including a higher risk of staining compared to metal braces. Patients with ceramic braces should prioritize good oral hygiene habits and avoid foods and drinks that can stain teeth. Although they can be more expensive than metal braces, ceramic braces offer an inconspicuous treatment option that may be worth the added cost for some patients.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces
Close-up of woman having lingual braces check-up by orthodontist during appointment at dental clinic

Lingual braces are a discreet option for orthodontic treatment. Similar to traditional metal braces, lingual braces are highly effective for correcting dental issues, but are attached to the back of the teeth instead of the front, making them invisible from the outside. Lingual braces are a great option for patients who want the effectiveness of traditional braces without the visibility.

However, it’s important to note that lingual braces can be more difficult to clean and adjust compared to traditional braces. Since they are located on the back of the teeth, it can be harder to access them for proper cleaning and maintenance. Adjustments may also take longer and be more uncomfortable due to the placement of the braces. Despite these challenges, lingual braces remain a popular choice for patients who value discretion and want to achieve a straighter, healthier smile.

Self-Ligating Braces

Close-up of self-ligating braces
Close-up of self-ligating braces

Self-ligating braces offer a more comfortable and convenient alternative to traditional metal braces. Similar in design to traditional braces, self-ligating braces use a special clip to hold the wire in place instead of elastic bands. This feature makes them more comfortable and easier to clean than traditional braces, while still providing the same level of effectiveness for correcting dental issues.

Self-ligating braces are a great option for patients who want the benefits of traditional braces with added comfort. They can also reduce the number of appointments needed for adjustments, making them a more convenient option for patients with busy schedules. However, it’s important to note that self-ligating braces can be more expensive than traditional braces.

Choosing the Right Type of Braces

Choosing the right type of braces for your dental needs can be overwhelming with so many options available. At Dental Innovations of Virginia, our experienced team specializes in providing comprehensive orthodontic care to patients of all ages. We provide metal, ceramic, and clear aligners and will create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your concerns and helps you achieve the straight, healthy smile you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards a healthier, more beautiful smile.

About Dental Innovations of Virginia

Dental Innovations of Virginia provides comprehensive dental services, and preventive dentistry for the whole family. In addition to our Lansdowne VA office serving the Leesburg VA, Lansdowne VA, Ashburn VA and nearby areas, we also come to you via our DIVA Mobile Clinic service for patients living in long-term care facilities, and our DIVA Home Visit service for patients who prefer to receive treatments in the comfort of their own home.
Dr. Joon Coe, Dr. Julie Coe, and the rest of the DIVA team look forward to helping you achieve a brighter smile and the highest possible dental health. We’re located at 19490 Sandridge Way, Suite 160, Lansdowne, VA 20176. We’re open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Contact us to schedule an appointment or ask us a question about memory care dentistry or other topics related to dental care.

Dental Innovations office - serving Lansdowne, Leesburg, Ashburn VA