Dental brackets are the building blocks of different types of braces. They are normally fixed to the outside or inside of teeth, depending on the braces, with a bonding cement. Wires and other pieces of framework are then attached to the brackets to form braces.
Traditional braces use metal brackets and wires to straighten or correct teeth. They are the least expensive type of braces and in recent years, the brackets have become smaller and less noticeable so they look more aesthetically appealing.
Ceramic braces use the same framework as metal braces, except the brackets are clear or tooth-coloured, and therefore are almost completely unnoticeable. Ceramic braces are said to work faster than clear aligners. However, this option is more expensive than traditional braces and without the upkeep of daily health care, the tooth-colored brackets may become tarnished.
Lingual braces are made from metal and wire, the same as traditional braces, but they are placed on the inside or backs of the teeth. Although they can not be seen by anyone when you smile, they are very difficult to clean and adjustments take longer as they are more difficult to make due to their positioning.
Attaching brackets and braces to one’s teeth is a painless process. The teeth are normally polished and left to air dry. A cheek retractor is placed in the patient’s mouth to expose the teeth. A conditioner is placed on the teeth and allowed to dry and then the teeth are coated with a primer. The bonding cement is first placed onto the backs of the brackets and then placed onto the teeth. Excess cement is removed and if the cement is light sensitive, it will be cured with a bright blue light. The process can take anything from 10 to 20 minutes. Once the bonding is complete, the cheek retractor is removed and the wires are placed.