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Find out about the different types of orthodontic treatment Plates

Plates (removable appliances) can be a good treatment choice in children. They are commonly used to correct crossbites or for teeth that are erupting incorrectly. Plates can be removed from the mouth for cleaning and are activated by your orthodontist every 4 to 6 weeks. Plates are usually cheaper than full braces, and in the right cases can simplify (or even prevent the need for) orthodontic treatment in the future. If you think a plate may benefit your child, make sure you seek an opinion from a specialist orthodontist as soon as possible so that they can advise you on your options and can appropriately time the treatment.

Metal Braces

Metal braces are still one of the most common and effective orthodontic treatments. They straighten teeth and correct bad bites using a series of stainless steel brackets, thin metal wires and subtle or brightly coloured bands. Metal braces have been around for about 100 years, but have evolved in that time to be smaller and more effective. The sturdy nature of this fixed orthodontic treatment means that they can perform more complex tooth movements, making them the popular choice in many cases.

Ceramic Braces

As the name suggests, ceramic braces are the same as metal braces except that they’re made out of a tooth-coloured porcelain material instead of stainless steel. They are often called clear braces, and when paired with a white wire and clear bands, they are virtually invisible. Ceramic braces are a popular choice among appearance-conscious adults and teens.

Do metal braces cost the same as ceramic braces

Due to the varying cost of materials, there may be slight differences in the cost of metal vs. ceramic braces. This difference is often not significant as treatment costs usually depend more on factors like complexity and estimated treatment time. Be sure to ask your specialist orthodontist about all the available options at your initial consultation. They will also be able to provide a quote to give you an idea of costs going forwards.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are braces that are glued on the inside of your teeth. They are usually custom made to fit your tooth shape and are the most invisible tooth straightening option available. Lingual braces are not suitable for all bites. To find out if they are right for you, visit your specialist orthodontist to seek some more information.

Aligners

Aligners such as Invisalign (TM) are clear aligners that are used to move your teeth in stages to achieve the desired result. 3D Scans or impressions are usually taken at the start of treatment and then aligner trays are custom made to fit your teeth using the latest technology. Aligners are more discrete than braces and are a very popular choice for people looking for a subtle and more aesthetic option. See your specialist orthodontist to find out if aligner trays are right to fix your bite.

Short-term or 'fast' orthodontic products

The speed of tooth movement depends on bone biology not on the type of braces used. To move teeth safely, tooth movement must be a gradual process. Placing too much pressure on teeth can weaken their placement and cause damage to the roots and gums. Most “quick treatments” are, in fact, identical to the first stage of regular orthodontic treatments. This means that while the front teeth will appear straight, any underlying bite issues will often be left uncorrected.

Only a specialist orthodontist has the training, knowledge and clinical expertise to distinguish which types of patients can be safely finished in a faster than average timeframe. Remember, if something is worth doing, it is definitely worth doing properly! So see a specialist orthodontist to find out what options are safest for you and your smile.

Corrective Jaw Surgery (Orthognathic Surgery)

Orthodontists can only move teeth. When a person has a significant mismatch in the size of their jaws due to over or under growth of one or both jaws, their bite cannot be corrected with orthodontics alone. In these situations, an orthodontist will work with an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. These surgeons have both dental and medical degrees in addition to their surgical training. 

The orthodontist lines up the teeth in preparation for the corrective jaw surgery. The surgeon operates to reposition the jaw, or jaws, with the braces still on. After healing, the orthodontist continues treatment and moves the teeth into their final positions. 

In most situations, surgery is carried out after completion of growth (late teens or early adulthood), so patients don’t outgrow their treatment.

  • Plates
  • Metal Braces
  • Ceramic Braces
  • Do metal braces cost the same as ceramic braces
  • Lingual Braces
  • Aligners
  • Short-term or 'fast' orthodontic products
  • Corrective Jaw Surgery (Orthognathic Surgery)

Plates

Plates (removable appliances) can be a good treatment choice in children. They are commonly used to correct crossbites or for teeth that are erupting incorrectly. Plates can be removed from the mouth for cleaning and are activated by your orthodontist every 4 to 6 weeks. Plates are usually cheaper than full braces, and in the right cases can simplify (or even prevent the need for) orthodontic treatment in the future. If you think a plate may benefit your child, make sure you seek an opinion from a specialist orthodontist as soon as possible so that they can advise you on your options and can appropriately time the treatment.


Metal Braces

Metal braces are still one of the most common and effective orthodontic treatments. They straighten teeth and correct bad bites using a series of stainless steel brackets, thin metal wires and subtle or brightly coloured bands. Metal braces have been around for about 100 years, but have evolved in that time to be smaller and more effective. The sturdy nature of this fixed orthodontic treatment means that they can perform more complex tooth movements, making them the popular choice in many cases.


Ceramic Braces

As the name suggests, ceramic braces are the same as metal braces except that they’re made out of a tooth-coloured porcelain material instead of stainless steel. They are often called clear braces, and when paired with a white wire and clear bands, they are virtually invisible. Ceramic braces are a popular choice among appearance-conscious adults and teens.


Do metal braces cost the same as ceramic braces

Due to the varying cost of materials, there may be slight differences in the cost of metal vs. ceramic braces. This difference is often not significant as treatment costs usually depend more on factors like complexity and estimated treatment time. Be sure to ask your specialist orthodontist about all the available options at your initial consultation. They will also be able to provide a quote to give you an idea of costs going forwards.


Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are braces that are glued on the inside of your teeth. They are usually custom made to fit your tooth shape and are the most invisible tooth straightening option available. Lingual braces are not suitable for all bites. To find out if they are right for you, visit your specialist orthodontist to seek some more information.


Aligners

Aligners such as Invisalign (TM) are clear aligners that are used to move your teeth in stages to achieve the desired result. 3D Scans or impressions are usually taken at the start of treatment and then aligner trays are custom made to fit your teeth using the latest technology. Aligners are more discrete than braces and are a very popular choice for people looking for a subtle and more aesthetic option. See your specialist orthodontist to find out if aligner trays are right to fix your bite.


Short-term or 'fast' orthodontic products

The speed of tooth movement depends on bone biology not on the type of braces used. To move teeth safely, tooth movement must be a gradual process. Placing too much pressure on teeth can weaken their placement and cause damage to the roots and gums. Most “quick treatments” are, in fact, identical to the first stage of regular orthodontic treatments. This means that while the front teeth will appear straight, any underlying bite issues will often be left uncorrected.



Only a specialist orthodontist has the training, knowledge and clinical expertise to distinguish which types of patients can be safely finished in a faster than average timeframe. Remember, if something is worth doing, it is definitely worth doing properly! So see a specialist orthodontist to find out what options are safest for you and your smile.


Corrective Jaw Surgery (Orthognathic Surgery)

Orthodontists can only move teeth. When a person has a significant mismatch in the size of their jaws due to over or under growth of one or both jaws, their bite cannot be corrected with orthodontics alone. In these situations, an orthodontist will work with an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. These surgeons have both dental and medical degrees in addition to their surgical training. 



The orthodontist lines up the teeth in preparation for the corrective jaw surgery. The surgeon operates to reposition the jaw, or jaws, with the braces still on. After healing, the orthodontist continues treatment and moves the teeth into their final positions. 



In most situations, surgery is carried out after completion of growth (late teens or early adulthood), so patients don’t outgrow their treatment.