Modern designs for bite correction are represented by ligature and self-ligating braces. To understand the peculiarity of ligature braces and their differences from ligature, you need to know how braces are arranged. The orthodontic system consists of arches and locks that are fixed to the teeth. The locks themselves do not change the position of the teeth, but connect them to the arc. The arch, being fixed on braces, already strives to take its original shape and extends the dentition. The difference between ligature and self-ligating bracket systems, especially the fastening of the arc to the bracket locks. In the ligature braces, the metal rings from the wire or elastic rubber bands – ligatures are held in the bracket groove in the bracket groove. To remove or put on an arc in such braces, you need to remove or fix the ligature on each bracket. In the ligature-free braces for fixing the arc there are built-in covers that can be opened with a special tool.
Features of ligature braces
Ligature braces are considered a less modern design compared to self-ligating braces and are suitable for correcting simple cases like slight crowding.
Why is the use of ligatures less preferable in modern orthodontics?
First of all, ligature braces significantly extend the duration of treatment and make it less predictable, because the ligature, fixing the arc, at the same time creates an additional obstacle and friction for its movement. In a self-ligating system, the arc glides freely, so treatment is faster. There are 2 types of ligatures – elastic and metal. Elastic gum stretches quickly enough, lose their fixing ability, and can also break before a planned visit to the doctor. Because of these features, the frequency of visits to the orthodontist and their duration is significantly increased. Metal ligatures do not tear and do not stretch, but are less comfortable in the mouth.
An additional complication in the treatment of ligature braces is to maintain hygiene. Additional small elements in the mouth are difficult to clean with a familiar brush and cause a buildup of plaque. Wearers of such bracket systems are recommended to undergo professional hygiene at least once every 4 months. The advantages of ligature systems are a lower price than self-ligating systems (if we are talking about classic vestibular systems), as well as the ability to diversify their appearance with multi-colored rubber bands.
Types of ligature braces
- Metal ligature braces are created from hypoallergenic metals: medical titanium, gold, cobalt-chromium alloy. A significant advantage of metal braces is the reliability of the bracket itself (it will not break) and fixation to the tooth (less likely to peel off).
- Inspire Ice sapphire ligature braces are aesthetic clear synthetic sapphire braces. It does not absorb tastes, does not respond to dyes and is completely hypoallergenic.
- To preserve the full aesthetics of the treatment, sapphire locks are combined with white arcs and transparent or white ligatures. Sapphire is a very hard material, so these braces are resistant to chips and damage.
- Ceramic braces are also used for aesthetic treatment, but they are more fragile than sapphire.
The disadvantage of aesthetic ligature systems is that, although the braces themselves do not change color over time, the ligatures darken and respond to dyes. To maintain their transparency, it is recommended to adhere to a special diet without strong dyes (red wine, beets, turmeric).
By location on the teeth
- Vestibular braces are familiar clasps on the outside of the teeth. This is the most common and universal type of braces – they are suitable for the treatment of any malocclusion and patients of any age, starting with adolescence.
- External braces can be metal or aesthetic (sapphire, ceramic).
- Lingual braces are attached to the inside of the teeth. Their locks have a flatter fixation pad to which an arc is attached to the ligatures.
- Confidence Clinic works with Win and incognito lingual braces, which have a similar design, are created individually for the patient and are distinguished by alloys.