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Fixed and Removable Orthodontic Appliances

May 28, 2016

Braces treatment is not simply limited to having a mouth full of uncomfortable metal. Removable appliances have continued to grow and evolve over the past few decades, offering patients more discreet and non-invasive treatments than traditional braces and fixed appliances.


In some cases, fixed appliances yield more effective results than removable appliances, though this is not to say that removable appliances cannot offer a high quality of treatment. Both types of treatment have their advantages and one type suits certain people better than another . Here is a bit more info on both…


Fixed orthodontics   

In a nutshell, fixed braces are fitted in the following way:

  • Your dentist will fix brackets to each of your teeth.
  • An archwire will be threaded in-between each bracket and then secured using bands.
  • Your teeth are pulled into place by the tension created.


The great thing about fixed orthodontics is that there’s no need to take them out at certain times of the day (as with removable braces). However, it is more difficult to clean them as you have to meticulous to reach the bits of food and bacteria that can get stuck in between your braces.

Fixed appliances do not rely on a patient’s compliance in the same way that removable braces do. This means the treatment is less likely to be stalled by the patient forgetting to put their alingers back in. Being forgetful or disorganised makes it difficult for a patient to get the best out of removable braces, which is why for many, fixed braces are the better choice.


Removable orthodontics


Unlike fixed braces, removable braces have to be taken out to be cleaned and treatments such as Invisalign are worn 20-22 hours a day. The patient is required to be strict with these timings, as if they are surpassed, the treatment can be jeopardised.


Removable appliances are easier to clean as it can be taken out in order to clean between the nooks and crannies where bacteria and food is likely to build up. You can also still enjoy the foods that you like, so long as you remove your brace.


Other advantages of Invisalign removable treatment include:

  • They’re translucent and therefore more discreet than other types of orthodontic appliance.
  • Invisalign aligners do not have brackets or sharp edges, rendering them a lot more comfortable and less invasive than metal/fixed appliances.
  • Versatile – they can fit around your lifestyle – it’s up to the patient which hours of the day they choose to remove the braces for the 2 hour window.
  • Treatment time – Invisalign offers a shorter treatment period than some of it’s counterparts, standing at 12-24 months vs traditional braces which is an average of an additional 6 months.


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