Improving your smile is a great way to grow your confidence and enhance your overall appearance. Among the various ways to do this is by undergoing orthodontic treatment using metal braces, which gives you better tooth alignment. The exhaustive treatment pushes your teeth into new positions to achieve re-alignment over time.

Metal braces treatment can include several preparation procedures, including pre-treatment steps to ensure you retain your dental health. Your dentist will also provide aftercare tips to promote lasting results after your teeth fit into the new position. With the help of an experienced dentist, you will undergo smooth treatment coupled with constant guidelines on maintaining your dental alignment until the completion of your treatment.

At Washington Dental, you will work with skilled and highly experienced professionals who understand the importance of providing quality services. Our team has helped patients with various dental alignment conditions in Carson, California, using metal braces. We have also researched how to improve orthodontic treatment using metal braces and specialized treatment to meet your needs. With our help, you can expect an improved smile, giving you the confidence and overall well-being you need.

How Metal Braces Work

Teeth misalignments may arise for various reasons, including genetics and serious injuries affecting your jawline. Due to this, you need gentle force to push the misaligned teeth into the desired position for a  better smile and to prevent the development of complications in the future.

The primary role of metal braces is to provide sufficient pressure to move your teeth into the optimum positions for proper realignment. Your dentist begins treatment by installing braces on your teeth to initiate movement.

While orthodontic treatment using metal braces is effective, your treatment lasts at least one year, as your teeth take time to shift into a new position. Over this duration, your dentist schedules multiple adjustment appointments to gradually increase the pressure applied to your teeth.

The extent to which you benefit from the metal braces treatment depends on your dentist’s experience and expertise. Your team should understand your dental condition and determine the most effective way to push your teeth without creating possible complications.

Overall, metal braces provide a high success rate, making them an excellent choice for orthodontic treatment. Depending on your circumstances, your dentist may vary the steps applied to your case, so you should ask all the necessary questions to improve your knowledge.

What Metal Braces Comprise Of

Since you will have metal braces on your teeth for an extended period, you should learn about the various components of the treatment process. In doing so, you become more knowledgeable about caring for your braces and parts and not tampering with them, even during cleaning. The main components of metal braces are:

The Metal Brackets

Anyone undergoing braces treatment has visible small metal boxes stuck onto their teeth, called brackets. They provide a space to hold the other braces components and overall facilitate treatment. Your dentist attaches the metal brackets to your tooth surface using special glue that should hold for the entire treatment duration. The adhesive should also support the brackets even during brushing and when eating hot or cold foods.

Sometimes, your brackets may detach from the tooth for various reasons, including involvement in an accident. If so, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist to ensure they fix it by gluing the bracket back to your tooth. This way, you avoid mouth injuries from abrasions after the broken bracket exposes your gums to poking wires.

The Archwire

Metal braces rely on an archwire to deliver pressure on different parts of your dental formula throughout treatment to achieve tooth realignment. The wire is made of solid but flexible aluminum metal, allowing easy bending and fitting into the brackets during installation.

Your dentist has a wide range of archwires, each with a different diameter and flexibility. Wires with a broader diameter are ‘stronger,’ meaning they exert higher pressure when placed on the metal brackets to distribute pressure on your teeth. You will likely begin treatment by having these wires fitted, as the dentist intends to make the initial dental realignment before fine-tuning it.

As your teeth continue to align in the expected positions, the archwire may extend beyond the last bracket on your molars because the teeth are moving closer. If so, you may experience poking on your inner cheeks, and you need to inform your dentist about it as soon as possible. They will help trim the wire to prevent further discomfort, especially when chewing or speaking.

The Bracket Ligatures

Once the archwire is in the metal brackets, the dentist must secure it to ensure it does not dislodge, especially when eating or brushing your teeth. Ligatures help prevent wire dislodgement by securing it and allowing the dentist to change them whenever necessary.

Elastics are the more common option for ligature use, as they are flexible and effective in closing the brackets. They also come in various colors, allowing you to enjoy different aesthetics with every adjustment your dentist makes. Elastic ligatures are commonly used in traditional braces, and you will likely notice them among patients who received orthodontic treatment in previous years.

Although elastic ligatures are beneficial, they are prone to snapping and changing color upon exposure to different temperatures. These features are a potential disadvantage for some patients, so recent improvements in developing metal braces have created metal ligatures.

If your braces use metal ligatures to hold the archwire in place, you are likely to receive treatment using self-ligating braces. They adapt traditional braces with ligatures attached to the bracket, allowing your dentist to snap them closed when securing the wire.

Self-ligating braces are often a more effective treatment option because your dentist cannot schedule multiple monthly appointments to change elastics. Since the metal ligatures are more sturdy and durable, you can wait up to a month before your dentist adjusts the archwire to continue the realignment process.

Persons in Need of Treatment Using Metal Braces

While you may be aware that you have a dental condition, you may be unsure whether metal braces are a suitable treatment option. If so, the most appropriate starting point is to consult your dentist during your appointment. They can form a proper diagnosis thanks to the information they obtain after an examination. You can qualify for treatment using metal braces if you present any of the following symptoms:

You Have a Speech Impediment

Teeth misalignment can cause speech problems if the teeth prevent your tongue from sliding on the mouth palate properly. While some cases involve developing a mild lisp, you may require complete orthodontic treatment to promote realignment and improve your speech abilities.

Your dentist will push your teeth away from the tongue for better pronunciation, especially if you previously struggled with word groups requiring tongue movement. The dentist also estimates the spaces to create in each section for effective treatment.

Overbite and Underbite Conditions

An overbite occurs if your upper jaw teeth extend outward more than the lower jaw. You may experience this if you have a history of thumb sucking, pushing your tongue against the upper front teeth, or sustaining injuries, among other reasons.

Overbites cause various disadvantages for patients, including the inability to close your mouth comfortably. Due to this, you are likely to be more self-conscious about your appearance in public, creating more hardships for you. Further, overbites generally cause you to look older than you are because of how your face adapts.

Since you are prone to stretching your upper lip as you try to close your mouth, you may adopt a different facial structure. Overbites can also expose you to a greater risk of injuries like biting your lower lip because of the extended position of your upper jaw teeth. 

On the other hand, underbites occur when your lower jaw teeth extend outward more than the upper jaw, causing an imbalance in the dental alignment. Based on this, you may face similar risks as patients with overbites, including possible injury.

While underbites do not necessarily give you an older-looking appearance, they may still alter your facial structure because you must extend your lips to cover the lower teeth. As a result, you may lose your original structure, prompting you to seek dental treatment using metal braces.

Crowded Teeth

You may experience tooth crowding after losing your milk teeth and growing back your permanent ones for various reasons. For example, your permanent teeth grow bigger, occupying more space on your jawbone. If you have a small jawbone surface, tooth crowding is inevitable because the increased size of teeth requires additional space.

The condition also depends on genetics, especially if your parents have varying jaw and tooth sizes. If one parent has a small jaw and another has large teeth, you may suffer from the condition based on genetic composition. Metal braces can help you remedy the case through realignment, but your dentist must undertake several pre-treatment procedures.

Spaced Teeth

The opposite of crowded teeth is when your teeth grow spaced out, exposing you to multiple possible dental conditions. The gaps in your teeth can hold food particles and ultimately provide space for bacteria to grow and spread, causing destructive effects on your teeth.

Large tooth spaces may arise for similar reasons to those with crowded teeth, including genetic composition. Other factors include having sustained injuries and suffering from gum disease that caused the loss of teeth. Once your dentist identifies the primary cause of your condition, they can suggest a helpful treatment option to close the gaps using metal braces.

The Preparation Process for Metal Braces Treatment

After your dentist authorizes orthodontic treatment using metal braces for your case, you can undergo some dental procedures in preparation for the installation. You will receive guidelines from your dentist, who should also provide the reasons for the various services.

Pre-treatment procedures are crucial for successful treatment because they lay the foundation for smooth tooth alignment using metal braces. As a result, following the dentist’s directives and attending the scheduled appointments is advisable. Some pre-treatment procedures you may have to undergo include:

A Physical Examination

The first step your dentist should take during an appointment is to perform a physical examination to help diagnose and recommend the most effective treatment process. Based on this, the dentist can perform various activities to fulfill the physical examination requirements.

For example, they may ask you to bite on a rubber device to help them determine whether you have an overbite or underbite condition. They will also assess your dental alignment by asking you to assume the biting position, as you would when smiling. In doing so, they can determine your case's severity, which helps create a precise treatment plan.

Physical examinations also extend to determining whether you have other underlying conditions like cavities and tooth decay that would require medical attention before installing metal braces. Making these checks is crucial because it prevents you from making additional expenditures in the future to treat the escalated condition.

Taking Impressions of Your Dental Structure

After performing the initial physical examination, your dentist also requires a replica of your dental structure as a reference point in treatment preparation, even after you leave their office. Based on this, they will take impressions of your dental arrangement to help them study your current alignment and make proposed changes.

The process is short and painless, as it only requires you to bite into a unique mold for your teeth to imprint on it. Your dentist collects your impressions on the upper and lower jaws to complete the entire structure. Once the mold dries, it forms a rigid replica of your teeth, providing a reference point as your dentist designs your metal braces treatment process.

Taking X-Rays and 3D Images

The preparation for metal brace installation requires your dentist to thoroughly analyze your current tooth position to ensure accurate realignment. X-ray images are, therefore, important because they provide a skeletal analysis of your existing tooth placement. This becomes important because your dentist can determine how your roots align and whether they can move to the required position.

The images are also beneficial as they may reveal the irregular positioning of molars that are yet to erupt on the jawbone. Thanks to this, your dentist can make adjustments to remove the molar or realign your teeth away from it to give it enough space when it grows.

3D images also serve a similar purpose, as they help with the proper dental structure analysis necessary to provide an effective plan. After carefully studying your dental structure with the help of 3D images, your dentist can predict the treatment duration and the expected tooth position.

Pre-Treatment for Cavities and Tooth Decay

If the physical examination establishes that you have severe cavities or decay on your teeth, your dentist will advise you to have fillings or a root canal as a remedy. This is to ensure you begin your treatment with metal braces without the risk of future complications.

You can choose to undergo the procedures during the initial consultation or wait until you are ready to undergo the complete orthodontic treatment. Many patients require time to organize their finances before committing to having metal braces fitted, so experiencing the pre-treatment processes during the waiting period is a smart approach.

Teeth Removal

Many patients need tooth removal as a pre-treatment procedure because the dentist needs to create space for proper alignment. Since the process is not mandatory, your dentist may recommend it based on your circumstances and the possibility of promoting lasting results. For example, you are more likely to have some teeth removed if you have crowded teeth than if you have spaced teeth.

During the removal process, you will receive a dose of anesthesia to prevent pain, as the dentist must pull the tooth from its root. You will, therefore, not experience pain, despite the potential bleeding you may experience. Once the dentist completes the extraction, they will give helpful details on keeping the fresh wound clean until you are ready for your next dental appointment.

Thorough Teeth Cleaning

Before sticking metal brackets on your teeth, your dentist must ensure the surfaces are clean to prevent bacteria growth and infection. A thorough cleaning procedure is critical to treatment because it helps remove stubborn plaque and other particles that would otherwise remain hidden.

Without treatment, you remain at a higher risk of developing tooth decay, as your brackets and ligatures can prevent you from identifying stuck particles. The cleaning process often happens immediately before the dentist fits the metal braces on your teeth, so you can schedule both procedures on the same day.

You must inform your dentist if you suffer from tooth sensitivity, as the cleaning process may trigger a reaction in the sensitive teeth. By relaying this information, you also ensure you receive the care necessary to protect you from severe pain. In return, you can expect the procedure to conclude smoothly.

Provide Your Medical History

Your medical history is a significant part of your current treatment details, guiding your dentist's decisions. For example, if you are allergic to the rubber used to manufacture elastic ligatures, your dentist will determine whether to use metal ligatures instead.

Further, your medical history can help inform your condition, including whether metal braces offer a lasting solution. Your dentist can then decide whether to proceed with treatment based on the details or to recommend alternative treatment altogether.

Your medical records inform your dentist even after you remove your metal braces, especially if other conditions arise. Therefore, you must provide accurate details that help justify your symptoms, if any, and any allergen information ahead of treatment. Thanks to the elements, you can expect quality services from your dental team.

Aftercare Tips to Observe for Metal Braces Treatment

You must observe several aftercare treatment directives to maintain your progress after starting treatment with metal braces. The tips also help you avoid infections from poor oral hygiene, especially during the first few weeks of treatment. Some guidelines your dentist may provide include the following:

  • Avoid hard and sugary foods.
  • Brush and floss every day.
  • Attend all check-up appointments.
  • Avoid colored foods and drinks.
  • Schedule an appointment in case of any broken wires or brackets.
  • Take pain medication for discomfort.

The Price of Metal Braces

While price points vary depending on your dentist’s location, skill, and experience, you can work with a general budget range of $3000 to $10,000. Despite this, you must schedule an appointment with a trusted dental team to receive the actual price quotation.

After learning about the budget, you can negotiate a payment plan to help you receive quality treatment with attainable financial obligations. Once you and your service provider agree on the terms, you can schedule the fitting appointment to begin your journey toward a brighter smile.

Contact an Orthodontist Near Me

Teeth misalignment can interfere with your ability to speak, chew, and complete other day-to-day activities, making it challenging to navigate life. You can seek treatment to readjust your teeth into the correct position by seeking realignment treatment using metal braces. Using force from the archwires to push your teeth into new positions is an intricate exercise. You must undergo various preparation procedures to ensure you are ready for treatment.

Further, your dentist must ensure they prepare treatment suitable for your dental alignment, making it necessary for them to undertake extensive research. Additionally, since metal braces require continuous readjustment, you must also receive guidelines on maintaining them throughout the treatment. Working with an experienced dentist is advisable to help you attain the required outcome.

At Washington Dental, we dedicate ourselves to providing high-quality services to help you remedy your dental misalignment. We aim to provide treatment geared towards meeting your specific needs by running the necessary tests, taking images, and planning your metal braces treatment ahead of time. Our team can also answer any questions regarding the treatment duration and the expected outcomes. If you or a loved one requires treatment for metal braces in Carson, California, call us today at 310-217-1507.