Classic braces are made of stainless steel and fitted on the outside of the teeth. They are comprised of tubes that bond onto the back teeth, brackets that are bonded onto the fronts and sides of the other teeth and a main wire, or an arch wire, that connects all of the brackets together. The arch wire is held into the bracket slot by a tiny elastic module. This module can be grey or coloured
There are 14 or 15 different colours to choose from and the colours can be changed at every visit. Your favourite colours, your football or sporting team or Christmas colours can be chosen at each visit, depending on your mood.
Sapphire brackets can be used on the front and some of the side teeth to hide the appearance of the braces. These brackets will produce the same results and take the same amount of time to align the teeth but provide increased aesthetics.
The brackets are constructed from a man made sapphire which is a very hard, glass like substance. Since it has no colour it is suitable for all teeth. Teeth vary in colour and opaque porcelain brackets can stand out on some teeth. Sapphire brackets are barely visible on any tooth because of their transparent nature.
To further enhance aesthetics tooth coloured wires can be used in many instances. These are metal wires covered with a tooth coloured coating. If the teeth are very crowded it may not be possible to use these wires initially and towards the end of treatment full metal wires will be required to complete the alignment of teeth and space closure.
Lingual braces are made of stainless steel but they are completely invisible because they are bonded to the inside of the teeth. They can be used on the upper teeth only with sapphire brackets on the lower teeth or they can be used on the upper and lower teeth.
Lingual braces are fitted differently to labial braces. Impressions are taken of the upper and lower teeth. These are sent to a special orthodontic technician who constructs an ideal set up of the teeth. He then transfers the brackets individually to the set up model using a computer to aid in alignment. Once the brackets are in their correct positions transfer trays are manufactured so that the brackets can be delivered at chair side in the prescribed positions.
Special lingual wires are used which are shaped differently to labial wires. Although the concepts are different the lingual braces will produce exactly the same results as labial braces and treatment time will be the same.