The self-ligating appliance is the most advanced technology for orthodontic treatments with fixed appliances. That’s because it eliminates the need to use “coloured rubbers” (elastic bandages). Instead, orthodontic archwires are attached to modern brackets, with frames that hold the wire in place with a click.
As a result, there is a considerable reduction in friction between the bracket and the appliance wire, allowing the dentist to use lighter forces on the teeth. The wire thus will perform its function more efficiently, allowing faster and more efficient results on each wire used.
Here are the advantages:
1) Greater movement without as much friction
Since the two structures of the appliance (both the orthodontic arch and the bracket cover) are made of metal, there is less friction between them, which allows smooth movement of the teeth with less trauma.
Therefore, this type of system presents better results, especially in treatments that require an expansion of the dental arch or teeth movement. For example, misaligned teeth, crossbite, swallowing difficulty, teeth growing in the wrong places, etc.
2) Less pain
The lower friction between the orthodontic arch and the brackets results in about five times less force on the system to move the teeth. And this is one of the most significant advantages of self-ligating appliances for the patient.
With less tension and a gradual force applied, tissue damage is reduced, and, consequently, the patient’s episodes of pain and sensitivity throughout the treatment are minimal.
3) Shorter treatments
This possibility of more effortless movement also shortens the total treatment time, which is a significant advantage of this system compared to traditional braces as many patients look for the fastest option without losing quality.
Research published in 2014 shows that treatments performed with self-ligating devices were, on average, 24.12% faster than those with the traditional system – which means up to seven months less in total time. This speed is seen especially in the initial phases of alignment and levelling of the teeth, which are the most noticeable results.
4) Fewer visits to the dentist needed
Another advantage of self-ligating appliances is the reduced need for patient visits to the practice. Patients are required to book review appointments every 8 to 12 weeks instead of almost monthly for traditional braces. For patients, this means less time spent on dentist visits, resulting in more commitment.
5) Easy to clean
The lack of elastic bandages makes the self-ligating braces easier to clean than conventional braces. They retain less food which helps prevent bacterial plaque and cavities.
It is common to see patients tearing off elastic bandages to clean traditional braces, losing the orthodontic arches and compromising the effectiveness of the treatment. This is not the case with the self-ligating braces, as they don’t have elastic bandages, and the cleaning process is much easier.
6) It’s more aesthetic
Young patients like the idea of changing the rubber colours every month. However, adult patients prefer having a more discreet appliance, making self-ligating braces a great choice.
The possibility of wearing a more discreet appliance gives self-ligating braces another advantage over traditional ones, as self-ligating braces use transparent and smaller brackets.
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