Self-Ligating Braces at Pearl Align: Everything You Should Know About Them

Crooked or misaligned teeth can lead to several oral health and speech issues. Studies have shown that people who are not happy with how their teeth look often refrain from smiling. Crooked teeth can even impact one’s self-esteem. But orthodontic treatment can help realign your teeth and help boost your personality.

Depending upon the condition of your teeth, your orthodontist will advise you on different treatments. Braces are one of the key parts of successful orthodontic treatment. Braces can be of various types, and one of the most popularly used braces is self-ligating braces.

In this article, we would discuss what self-ligating braces are, how they work, and their benefits so that you have a basic idea about them.

What are Self-Ligating Braces?

Before we understand what self-ligating braces are, we need to know what traditional braces are and how they differ from self-ligating braces.

Braces are composed of two primary parts: small fixtures called brackets, which are attached to the tooth surface using special dental cement, and a thin metal wire called archwire that runs through the brackets around your upper or lower teeth.

If you have seen someone undergoing orthodontic treatment using traditional braces, you must have noticed tiny rubber bands or metal ties holding the archwire to the brackets. These elements that secure the archwire to the brackets are called ligatures, and the act of securing is called ligating.

When the archwire is adjusted, it applies pressure to the teeth and facilitates a gradual movement. As a result, the teeth take the desired position. For the braces to show effective results, the archwire needs to be securely ligated to the brackets till the completion of the treatment.

Self-ligating braces have an in-built ligating system that allows the archwire to be clasped to the brackets without any need for elastics or metal ties. They are more convenient to use and produce lesser discomfort. Self-ligating braces help to correct conditions like gaps between teeth, malaligned teeth, overbite, and overjet.

How do Self-Ligating Braces Work?

Though self-ligating braces automatically adjust themselves, they may still require periodic adjustments performed by your orthodontists. These adjustments will modify the force applied to your teeth and promote their gradual movement to shift into a more favorable position. These braces can cause some discomfort and pain. However, the discomfort is much lesser as compared to traditional braces. A survey conducted to compare the effectiveness of traditional braces and self-ligating braces revealed that traditional braces can cause more pain.

What are the Benefits of Self-Ligating Braces?

Self-ligating braces are more comfortable and more convenient to use. Here are a few other advantages of self-ligating braces:

Unlike traditional braces, which need to be adjusted every 4-6 weeks, self-ligating braces are always active and automatically adjust themselves when required. This means you would not need to visit your dentist frequently.

When your dentist adjusts traditional braces, the orthodontist has to adjust the rubber bands, which can be pretty time-consuming. With self-ligating braces, the adjustment process becomes much simpler, and your visits to your orthodontist will be much shorter.

The ligatures used in traditional braces can lodge food particles. This can lead to the formation of plaque and increases the risk of tooth decay. Self-ligating braces lack ligatures, making them easier to clean and thus, reduces the risk of dental caries associated with orthodontic treatment

How Effective are Orthodontic Treatment Using Self-ligating Braces?

There is a misconception that orthodontic treatment using self-ligating braces can produce faster results and is more effective than traditional braces. Recent studies claim that such a fact is not scientifically valid. Your treatment time largely depends on the specific condition of your teeth. However, self-ligating braces are easier to manipulate and thus can speed up some parts of your treatment.

Let's look into some research and studies to learn how the effectiveness of self-ligating braces are.

According to a study conducted in 2014 considering 60 people, compared the retentive ability of the treatment performed using traditional braces and self-ligating braces. The study concluded that there is no significant difference in long-term treatment stability between these two types of braces.

Another 2017 study reviewed 20 previously conducted studies to assess the effectiveness of self-ligating braces. The researchers concluded that they found no significant difference between the effectiveness of traditional and self-ligating braces.

A 2019 study considered 30 people to compare the alignment rate achieved by using traditional traces and self-ligating braces. Researchers found that self-ligating braces produced significantly faster results in the first four months of the treatment when used on the upper jaw. However, no considerable difference was found between traditional and self-ligating braces when the alignment of lower teeth was considered.

Are There Any Disadvantages of Using Self-ligating Braces?

One of the major disadvantages of self-ligating braces is that their ceramic version are not as durable as traditional braces. This means you will have a higher risk of bracket failure.

Food debris can get trapped into the braces and get calcified to form plaque. Harmful bacteria can colonize the plaque and produce acid, which can increase the risk of tooth decay.

Self-ligating braces are very effective in aligning crooked or mal-positioned teeth. However, if you do not wear your retainer for the prescribed time after the completion of the treatment, your teeth can move back to their old position, causing the reversal of the treatment.

What do Self-Ligating Braces Cost?
Self-ligating braces are usually more expensive than traditional braces as they use advanced technology to correct your malpositioned teeth.

However many Orthodontists have observed that many other factors also play a significant role in determining the overall cost of your orthodontic treatment. The dentist’s experience, the clinic you choose, the amount of correction your teeth need, and the time required to perform the treatment- all contribute to the cost of your treatment.

The Bottom Line

We believe our article has helped you to have a basic understanding of self-ligating braces and their benefits.

If you want your teeth alignment and bite corrected, your orthodontist might recommend you self-ligating braces. They are highly efficient, comfortable, and hygienic orthodontic fixtures. You can expect excellent results from treatment involving these braces.

Get in touch with our Orthodontist

PEARL ALIGN™ Orthodontic & Invisalign Clinic Bangalore

Address: #46, Ground Floor, BTM Layout 2nd Stage 1st Main, 7th Cross Rd, opposite BANGALORE BITES, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560076

Phone: 063601 21375

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