Home » Braces » Metal » Metal Braces Orthodontic Treatment in London

Overview | Teeth alignment | Cost in UK | Do braces hurt? | Treatment Time | Pros and cons | Life with braces | Alternatives

Misaligned teeth affecting your confidence to smile freely? Thankfully, you can make your smile more appealing by straightening your misaligned teeth using suitable orthodontic braces. There are several advanced orthodontic braces treatments to bring crooked or crowded teeth in alignment so that you could get a normal bite. Your orthodontist will examine your dental structure and suggest suitable braces to help you correct structural anomalies and transform your smile. Among all possible braces options, metal braces are most widely used as they are highly effective both in terms of result and cost. Metal braces are still a popular treatment at our clinic in Queen Anne St, London.

What are metal braces?

Fixed metal braces treatment in London: Braces are orthodontic appliances used for creating a subtle force to move teeth bio-mechanically in the desired direction. Metal braces, also called fixed braces, consist of brackets and archwires. However, these are more technically advanced to move teeth with subtle force, less friction more comfortably.

Once you start wearing metal braces, it starts applying force using dental symmetry to push teeth in the desired direction. By the time treatment ends, you will have straight teeth to smile with confidence. All you need to do is wear retainers, as prescribed, to keep teeth in the right position forever.

Brackets of metal braces are bonded onto your teeth and then wires are then placed into the brackets using elastics. You can choose the color of your elastic band to make your orthodontic treatment colorful. At Invis London dental clinic, an expert orthodontists will share all possible information related to metal braces to help you decide better. The procedure takes around 40 minutes, which includes preparing teeth and then bonding brackets on each tooth. In the next step, the dental professional will place wires and elastics to generate subtle force.

The force braces generate could cause some discomfort for a few days. The pain subsides in a few days, but it persists, you should consult your dentist.

How Do Fixed Metal Braces Work?

Just like traditional metal braces, fixed or metal braces also use the same biomechanical principle to move teeth in a specific direction using subtle force. Sustained force over a period of time brings teeth in alignment and changes the shape of bone under the teeth, too.

Brackets: Small squares, made of metal, plastic, or tooth-colored ceramic, are bonded on the teeth surface using adhesive. It holds the arch-wires that move your teeth.

Elastic bands: These are cemented around each tooth to provide an anchor for brackets so that they could work better. Metal braces offer you the option to choose the color, however, clear or tooth-colored elastic bands are more popular. Bands might not be required for all types of cases.

Spacers: In some cases, the orthodontist might use spacers to create a small space between teeth for elastic bands.

Archwires: Made of high-quality steel, these are attached to the brackets to move teeth as per the treatment plan. It acts as a force multiplier to move teeth using dental biomechanics. Nowadays, you have the option of clear or tooth-colored archwires.

Ties: These small rings are used by orthodontists to fasten the archwires to the bracket. It could be colored, clear, or metal.

In some cases, the orthodontist might place springs between brackets to change spaces between teeth effectively. If required, headgear might be required to move upper molars farther back to make room for crowded teeth.

How Much Do Metal braces Cost in the UK?

Moving teeth using braces requires a thorough understanding of the dental structure and special training to place orthodontic tools precisely. The expert handling makes teeth straightening treatments using braces are expensive. However, the cost of metal braces treatment varies, depending on the reputation of the dental clinic, the experience of an orthodontist, and of course the location.

Metal braces prices in the UK could vary between £2000 and £5000, depending on the level of complexity, duration of the treatment, and the location. If you are opting for external funding, it costs a little more. However, several orthodontic clinics, including Invis London, offer attractive financing solutions to make it easier for you to have a straight smile.

If you have health insurance with orthodontic coverage, your insurer will pay for your braces treatment, but partially. You should better cross-check the coverage with your insurer. Just let your clinic know about your insurance plan, they will do the rest to help you get the best possible treatment at minimum possible cost.

Traditional metal braces and metal braces are the cheapest possible teeth-straightening solution in the U.K. You can get traditional braces under the NHS, but you have to show eligibility, which should be health reasons, not cosmetic improvisation.

If you are concerned about the visibility of braces, you can opt for clear braces, which could cost you £3500 to £4500. Lingual braces are another discreet option, but these are one of the most expensive orthodontic treatments in the range of £4000 to £8000. In the lower end, you can opt for ceramic braces to straighten your smile.

How long do metal braces take?

The human dental structure is highly complex and moving teeth involves meticulous planning execution. Since braces treatment is all about creating a subtle force to move teeth in the desired direction, the duration of treatment could vary from person to person depending on:

  • The severity of the dental structure
  • Space between your teeth and inside your mouth
  • Movement goal, i.e. repositioning distance
  • Status of gums, jaws, and teeth
  • Your commitment and discipline

If all goes well and you practice a standard oral care regimen, you can bring your misaligned teeth in perfect alignment in just 1 to 3 years. In most cases, orthodontists achieve the desired teeth straightening goal in one year. Repositioned teeth take time to settle in the new position, so your dentist might recommend wearing retainers for 6 months to prevent relapse. Metal braces can give you a straight smile, but be realistic in your expectations as smile improvisation is done according to facial symmetry.

Pros & Cons of Metal Braces

You can get a perfectly symmetrical smile with braces, but before you choose fixed metal braces, you should know about the pros and cons. This becomes more important, when you have several alternative aesthetically better treatment options, like ceramic braces and Invisalign aligners. If the visibility of wires and brackets of metal braces makes you self-conscious, then you can opt for clear braces, but the best man to judge the suitability is your orthodontist who will recommend braces as per your dental complexity. Your goal is to make your teeth straight, so choose smartly.

Pros of Braces

  • Metal braces or traditional metal braces are one of the most trusted orthodontic treatments to correct even the most complex dental structures.
  • It is highly effective, meaning the success rate is exceptionally high.
  • Clear aligners like Invisalign are good but only for correcting mild to moderately complex issues.
  • Unlike Invisalign, almost all orthodontists offer metal braces treatment.
  • It takes just around 40 minutes to fix braces.
  • It remains fixed, so there is no fear of relapse or loss.
  • You won’t be able to remove it, so you can expect a better result in less time.
  • Metal braces cost far less than clear aligners.
  • Visiting frequency is lower compared to other braces treatment.
  • Subtle force and less friction make this treatment more comfortable.
  • It is equally great for all age groups, but more suitable for children.

Cons of Braces

  • Wires and brackets make braces highly visible.
  • You have clear or color options, but it remains a matter of concern for those looking for invisible options.
  • You have to avoid certain food to avoid damage to braces.
  • There is no flexibility in removing it, so maintaining oral hygiene could be challenging.
  • Only your orthodontist could remove braces.
  • You have to remain in touch with your dentist so that he can examine the progress of treatment.
  •  In complicated cases, cleaning and monitoring could be very challenging.
  •  Treatment duration could be longer, however, it depends on complexity and expectation.

How do you take care of your teeth with braces on?

Foreign objects, like braces, wires, springs, bands, etc with a job to straighten teeth, are bound to create some discomfort, at least until one doesn’t get accustomed. If not looked after properly, these tools can catch food items, resulting in staining. Your orthodontists will recommend some oral care tips to keep braces clean so that desired results could be achieved with comfort. While wearing braces, you should brush with fluoride toothpaste every time after the meal. The idea is to remove any debris stuck in your braces. If you find it difficult to remove some debris, you should ask your dentist to recommend fluoride mouthwash. If needed, you can use an air floss tool to remove debris to avoid staining. Braces are going to be with you for at least a year, so it is better to build healthy oral care habits as early as you could. Infection in any form will delay your treatment, so why take the risk when you can keep doing so by following these simple braces care tips:

How to Floss and Brush With Braces

Frankly, it is a bit challenging to floss teeth with braces. To make it easy, just feed one end of the floss through the space between the upper portion of teeth closer to the gum and main archwire and move gently in sawing motion. But don’t apply too much force around the archwire. In just a few days, you will get trained to floss teeth with braces.

Brushing teeth with braces isn’t that challenging. Just use a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste to brush down up to the archwire and then from the bottom up to the archwire. Your dentist might recommend a specially designed “Christmas tree” or proxabrush to clean braces.

What foods should not be eaten with braces?

Brackets are placed on the tooth using a bonding agent, so one should avoid eating hard food. Too much pressure on teeth could trigger pain, so you should cut your favorite food items into small pieces and chew them slowly.  Ideally, one should avoid certain food items that could affect braces and archwires to get straight teeth without discomfort.

Besides, hard food one should avoid eating too hot or too cold items and food and drinks with added colors to avoid staining. Smoking is completely prohibited with braces, but if you cannot quit then at least reduce it to a minimum. Smile is precious, so check your carvings in check to get a perfect smile in the quickest possible time.

How to Look After Retainers

Retainers are recommended to keep your repositioned teeth in the right place. You should wear it as per instructions and keep it clean to avoid staining. Whatever type of retainer you choose, you have to keep it clean using a regular brush. Avoid using your regular toothpaste as it might contain a coloring agent. Dentists recommend disinfecting retainers using a denture cleanser, at least once a week. Never use hot water for a cleansing retainer as this could distort the shape of the retainer, thus making it useless.

How to protect your braces in sports?

Braces are there in your mouth to make your smile better, not to disturb your regular sports. You can play your regular sports, but you have to be a little cautious if there is a possibility of an external impact on braces. Orthodontists recommend wearing a custom-designed mouth-guard, made of high-quality plastic material, to protect soft tissues.

What does the orthodontist do after taking off braces?

Months with braces in the mouth will change the shape, size, and position of your teeth, bite, and speech, so your orthodontist at Invis London will guide you to start living with a new dental structure. Since it is all about making you look better, your orthodontist will clean your teeth thoroughly. You can continue with your regular oral care regimen, but avoid eating some hard food so that newly shifted teeth could remain in a new position. Your orthodontist might take X-rays to check positioning and the possibility of wisdom teeth. If a wisdom tooth finds space to erupt, you might be advised to remove it to avoid any movement of straightened teeth.

Once done with the removal procedure, you have to wear retainers for a few months to keep repositioned teeth in the right position. So, after braces, all you need to do is keep your teeth and retainers clean to let your straight smile start doing the magic.

What to Do If a Wire or Bracket Breaks?

It is pretty natural for orthodontic tools to break during the treatment. Broken brackets, wires, or loose bands might cause discomfort, but it is not an emergency situation. You should call your orthodontist to book an appointment and fix the issue at the earliest. Here are some tips to handle the situation if bracket or wire breaks:

Loose brackets: In severe cases of misalignment it is common for brackets to loosen. Your orthodontist might provide you orthodontic wax to reattach temporarily or to keep your gums safe from injury.

Loose bands: If elastic bands loosen, you have to get them replaced with a new band. It is possible, your orthodontist will re-cement the same band into place, so keep it safe.

Broken wire: Archwires are tightened at regular intervals to apply desired pressure on teeth. If the wire breaks or protrudes, you can move it to a safe position by using an eraser end of a pencil. You can apply orthodontic wax over the protruding end to keep your gums and other soft tissues safe. You should not attempt cutting wire as it could be dangerous. If sores develop due to protruding wire, you should rinse your mouth with an antiseptic solution.

Metal braces are highly effective and comfortable. However, it all depends on how efficiently it has been placed. So, you should choose your dental clinic smartly to get the best treatment with comfort.

Alternatives to metal braces

Traditional metal braces and metal braces are highly effective in bringing even the most complex dental structure in alignment. It generates more pressure using natural biomechanics to straighten teeth in less time, but people, particularly youngsters and adults, find visible brackets and wires a bit awkward, especially when in public. Thanks to advancements made in orthodontic technology, now you have several alternative braces treatment options to make your smile perfect invisibly. Here are some of the popular alternatives to traditional braces treatment:

Invisibility makes modern clear braces an attractive option, but these are designed to correct a moderate level of misalignment. Metal braces might give you the “metal mouth” look, but it is known for its quality result. Anyway, if you are among hyper self-conscious people, you can opt for invisible braces, but that will come at an additional cost, which could be double the traditional braces. Most metal braces wearers get used to them and some even make them a fashion statement by making the teeth straightening journey colorful.

Clear Braces

You have one great alternative of clear fixed braces, which work exactly like metal braces, albeit more discreetly as they are either clear or tooth-colored. You have all the benefits of traditional braces with the added advantage of lesser visibility. It is a popular orthodontic treatment to straighten crooked or crowded teeth of moderate to severe complexity. But be realistic, as these are less visible than metal braces, but still, be visible to closer onlookers.

Lingual Braces

Another advanced alternative orthodontic tool to correct teeth misalignments with much-needed inability is the lingual braces. Since these are placed on the back of your teeth, it remains invisible to onlookers. You are free of the mental stress of self-consciousness, but brackets and wires will be visible to your near and dear ones when you will smile freely.

It is as good as regular metal braces in-terms of outcomes, but it might cause a little discomfort as it interferes with your tongue. Patients with lingual braces report excessive saliva secretion, sensitivity, and speech impairment, at least in the early days of treatment.

Clear Aligners

Want to straighten teeth without wires and brackets, then you can opt for iconic Invisalign aligners—designed specifically to make teeth straightening journeys more comfortable and joyful. These are custom-designed according to your dental structure and treatment plan using high-quality plastic material to move teeth in the desired direction discreetly. Besides aesthetics, it offers you the flexibility to remove as per your oral care and eating needs. You can eat and drink whatever you wish, and have a perfectly clean smile during the treatment. However, orthodontists recommend Invisalign aligners only if your case is of moderate complexity. If your dental complexity is of a mild type, you can opt for cheaper Inman Aligners, starting at just £995, suitable to bring front teeth in alignment in just 6 to 18 weeks.

Metal Braces vs. Invisalign

Your journey to get straight teeth begins with the selection of braces, which could best be recommended by an expert orthodontist. Going by the popularity of the treatments available, it can be said that metal braces and Invisalign clear aligners are the most recommended treatments to move teeth to straighten the smile. In terms of treatment effectiveness, both are equally great but the outcome mostly depends on the suitability of the specific braces and of course your oral care discipline during the treatment. Your orthodontist will explain in detail how braces work and what you can expect from the treatment, along with precautions and preventions to help you get the perfect smile in the minimum possible time. Between metal braces and Invisalign aligner you can opt for either, however, you should keep these points in mind while making your decision:

Visible Metal or Clear Plastic

No doubt, braces treatment is all about making a smile great so that you could look better. So, you can opt for either metal braces comprising metallic brackets and wires or invisible Invisalign aligners made of clear plastic material, depending on your aesthetic priority. Invisibility is contextual as Invisalign aligners are less visible as compared to metal braces, not totally invisible. Metal braces give you the option to make braces journey colorful by choosing the color of your elastic bands. Choose the color that matches your fashion quotient and make your braces a fashion statement, at least during the treatment period.

Fixed Metal or Removable Aligners

The goal of wearing braces is to move teeth by subtle pressure created by the biomechanics of dental symmetry. The outcome of the result depends on how holistically you wear braces for maximum hours daily. You can get accurate and quicker results with metal braces that remain fixed on your teeth during the treatment, with no flexibility of removing them. Since it cannot be removed, it might affect your oral care practices and food habits.

If you want to maintain your oral hygiene and eat food of choice during the treatment, you can opt for Invisalign aligners. These are designed to make the teeth-straightening journey comfortable and enjoyable, so you have the flexibility to remove while brushing and flossing or before eating your favorite food and drink. With Invisalign, you are free of the worries of gum inflammation, staining, but it will come at the cost of sacrificing straightening accuracy.  You can get quality results with Invisalign, but you have to wear them for 22+ hours daily with the additional stress of losing them.

Treatment Duration

Dental system is highly complex and moving teeth requires meticulous planning to shift teeth using subtle force over a period of time. No matter which braces treatment you opt for, it will take time. However, duration of the braces treatment will vary depending on your dental complexity and alignment expectation. The duration of the treatment could be anywhere between 6 months to 2 years. In some severe cases involving stage-wise course correction it could be a little longer. With Invisalign, you can get the desired result in stipulated time only if you wear aligners for minimum 22+ hours as per treatment plan. For complex cases, orthodontists recommend metal braces to get desired results in minimum possible time.

Hygienic Preference

No one wants ugly looking stained teeth with bad breath. Oral hygiene matters, but during the braces treatment you have to be a little more proactive about cleaning, especially with metal braces. The presence of foreign objects in the mouth is bound to trigger excessive saliva secretion, resulting in some discomfort. Most importantly, brackets with wire will catch food in between, and it will be difficult to remove then using brush and floss. All you have to do is brush every time after each meal to let braces do the teeth straightening job.

Removable Invisalign aligners makes it possible for you to eat whatever you want and maintain oral hygiene. Just remove them before eating and brush thoroughly before putting them on back. Well, to keep your clear aligners clean, you have to clean them using a special cleaning solution and avoid eating and drinking some items, with added colors.

Effectiveness

Aesthetics apart, the core goal is to move teeth so treatment effectiveness should be your top priority. Dental professionals rate metal braces better in-terms effectiveness as even severe cases could be corrected. You can get equally great results with Invisalign, but people normally avoid wearing it for 24 hours, thus making the treatment less effective. Orthodontists recommend metal braces to reposition misaligned teeth as it gives them some room for course correction if required.

Invisalign aligners, undoubtedly, is one of the most popular orthodontic treatments as it offers the benefits of invisibility, flexibility, comfort, hygiene, and short duration. You can get quality results if your case is of moderate nature. Well, for that you have to wear them for almost 24 hours. If you are not one of those hyper self-conscious types, you can opt for metal braces to straighten your teeth and smile with confidence. And yes, you can let the world know that you are putting effort into making your smile better.

Cost Matters

Smile is invaluable, but not all are fortunate enough to invest thousands of pounds extra just for discreteness. As compared to Invisalign, metal braces treatment costs far less with guarantee of better teeth repositioning accuracy. Don’t forget to explore financing options as dental clinics are offering attractive zero-interest financing with a monthly payment option. So, choose wisely to get a better smile solution at less cost.

Knowing about braces is fine as it helps in making the decision, but ultimately it is your orthodontist who could tell which braces are going to suit you better. If you want to know more, you can get in touch with Invis London, Dr. Daniel Bronsky will answer all your queries to begin the teeth straightening journey with confidence.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) About Metal Braces

Is there an age limit to get braces?

Metal braces are equally good for all age groups of people. The biomechanical process involved in moving teeth is the same at any age, however, in growing age when jaws and teeth and developing one can expect quick results. It is highly effective for children and adults. It remains fixed on teeth, so kids are free of the worries of losing them.

What is the minimum time for braces?

To correct dental complexity of moderate level it takes around 12 months to reposition teeth. For minor corrections, if there is enough space between teeth, it takes less than 12 months. However, severe cases might take more than 24 months as they may require several course corrections. Your orthodontist can give you the exact treatment duration following a detailed examination of the dental system.

How long does it take for teeth to move with braces?

Wires and brackets of metal braces start working the moment it is placed in your mouth. You can feel the transformation happening in just a few days as you will feel some stress in your teeth. But, you will see minor shifting from the 4th week onward. In just 3 months, you will see your smile transforming as teeth will start repositioning by that time. Your orthodontist will monitor progress and make adjustments meanwhile to achieve the desired result.

Does having braces make your teeth weaker?

Brackets are fixed on each tooth using a bonding agent, so it might damage your natural enamel if not removed with care. The friction caused by wires could also erode some enamel, but these are very minor erosion. It all depends on the expertise of your orthodontist and how effectively you maintain your oral hygiene. Any carelessness could cause infection, this making your gums and soft tissues weak, discolor teeth.

Are metal braces painful?

Teeth movement is bound to create some discomfort. An experienced orthodontist will ensure minimum discomfort by focusing on fitting accuracy. Most patients get used to mild discomfort in a few days, but if pain or swelling persists you can take a pain reliever recommended by your dentist.

How often should you go to the dentist with braces?

Treatment accuracy, duration, and comfort depend on oral health. So, you should visit your dentist regularly to keep your teeth healthy during the braces treatment. Regular check-ups and cleaning keep you away from gum diseases, tooth decay, cavities. Your dentist will keep on updating you about the progress.

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Published by Dr. Daniel Bronsky

Dr. Daniel is an orthodontist at Invis London.

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