The Different Types of Braces

When asked what your favorite food is, you might have some qualifying questions before coming up with an answer. Favorite sweet food? Favorite savory snack? Favorite meal, dessert, type of food? You can probably choose a preferred option for every category. It’s only normal to have your favorite coffee, body wash, clothing brand, and so on. 

Luckily, we live in a time when you can have your preferred cake and eat it, too. This idea is even carried over in your orthodontic treatment options. While Dr. Silas “Si” Dudley and our skilled team may not be able to help you narrow down which tasty treat or indulgent meal best suits your palate, when it comes to the different types of braces, we have the experience and knowledge to guide you to the choice that best fits your smile needs. Don’t get yourself all worked up in an online search to compare the different types of braces. Our Dudley Smiles team has broken down each orthodontic treatment option so you can quickly determine the differences. 

The Different Types of Braces

We understand that getting your teeth straightened with orthodontics is a big decision. After all, your smile is your first impression in life. Here at Dudley Smiles, we respect your reasons for wanting to improve your smile. We’ll work with you to ensure your orthodontic care with us is among the best experiences you’ve had. With ever-improving dental technology, we assure you get the latest orthodontic treatments. Let us help you make the best investment in your smile!

Traditional Metal Braces

Metal or traditional braces have been around for many decades and are the original powerhouses of orthodontic treatment. Thanks to technological advancements in orthodontics, today’s metal braces are smaller, lighter, and much more effective at significant adjustment needs than their bulky predecessors. 

Traditional metal braces work by attaching a metal bracket to the front sides of your teeth and securing those brackets together with an archwire. This archwire is held on by elastic ties that come in various colors for ultimate personalization. Every 4-8 weeks, Dr. Dudley and our orthodontic team adjust the archwire to create slight but precise tooth movement for the desired outcome.

LightForce 3D-Printed Clear Braces

The clear braces we utilize at Dudley Smiles are the world’s only full custom, 3D-printed ceramic braces – called LightForce braces. This ingenious, high-tech option works similar to metal braces, except this method swaps the metal brackets for clear or tooth-colored polycrystalline ceramic brackets, making them much more esthetic. But going even further, because the braces are 3D-printed, they are completely individualized to each patient, which at times can speed up treatment time. Many teen patients have even found that bright-colored elastic ties can create a color contrast effect that really pops!

Metal braces are known for their durability and strength. Ceramic braces are also tough, but they are made from a different, more fragile material that can be more likely to chip or crack.

Self-Ligating Braces

Another option for braces offered at Dudley Smiles is self-ligating braces. This technique uses metal brackets and wire similar to traditional metal braces, but instead of elastic bands, it uses brackets with unique doors and clips that secure the wire. This design allows the brackets to move along the wire a bit more freely and can cause less irritation and discomfort that is commonly associated with elastic adjustments. We can generally see you less often than traditional braces because we do not need to change the elastic bands as frequently.

The Different Types of Braces

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners, like Invisalign, have gained popularity in the last decade as technology has made them more inconspicuous, efficient, and budget-friendly. Our office offers both Invisalign and Spark clear aligners. Similar to the post-braces retainer trays they evolved from, clear aligners fit comfortably over your teeth and make minor adjustments over time for patients needing simple corrections as well as for patients who have mild to moderate dental problems like misaligned teeth, large overbite, no jaw alignment problems, or those who have gaps in their front teeth – an open bite. With Dr. Dudley’s extensive experience with Invisalign and Spark clear aligners, we can do most of the same things with aligners as we can with braces, including wearing elastics to correct bite issues. With this anonymous treatment option, your smile is the only thing they’ll see!

Clear Aligners for Teens

Here at Dudley Smiles, we also offer Invisalign and Spark clear aligners for Teens. These adolescent clear aligner options allow us to track compliance and wear patterns better. It also provides extra space for molars that have yet to erupt. 

How Do I Know Which is Best for Me?

We know it can be a tough decision, especially when there is no way for you to know what your tooth and jaw structure look like just from looking in the mirror. We will walk you through a complete oral examination when you come in for your initial consultation. During this tour through your teeth, we will take x-rays and photos to analyze your tooth shape, smile display, and all aesthetic aspects of your lips and mouth. This is done to show you how your smile would benefit from orthodontic treatment and to help us see the functional elements and needs of your teeth and jaws. We want you to know exactly how your face, jaws, and smile would improve from orthodontic treatment and the best way to achieve that goal.

The Different Types of Braces

Discover the Smile of your dreams with braces from Dudley Smiles!

If you live in the Issaquah, Sammamish, Bellevue, or surrounding areas, our compassionate team at Dudley Smiles in Issaquah is here to walk you through the plethora of orthodontic options available to get you the smile that matches your personality. Step by step, we will work alongside you and your family through the treatment and logistics options until we reach a perfect result for you or your child.

Whether conventional metal braces, self-ligating braces, 3D printed clear braces, or clear aligners like Invisalign, we are dedicated to giving you the most-personalized care using the latest orthodontic technologies and treatments. We’ll treat you and your family like you’re our own! Schedule your FREE consultation to let us help make you smile!

You May Also Be Interested In

Back to Blog