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INTRODUCTION

Orthodontic braces or simply known as braces are things made of different materials in the orthodontic field to straighten teeth and also improve their position and dental health of a person. Braces are used to correct crooked teeth, overbites, under bites, deep bites, cross bites, malocclusions, open bites and numerous other faults of the teeth. Braces can be either structural or aesthetic. Braces are often used in combination with other orthodontic equipments to help broaden the jaws or palate and to help in straightening the teeth. Braces are normally used on young children and adolescents but now adults are also being implanted with braces.

HISTORY OF BRACES

Many historians believe that braces date back to the ancient times. Aristotle and Hippocrates thought of different ways to fix dental problems. Discoveries have been made by archaeologists of many ancient mummies with the form of metal bands on their teeth. They believe that fibers of animal's intestine did the work at that time which is being done today by a wire which closes the gap between mouth and teeth.

Many believe that in the 18th century dentistry was taken out of the Dark Era by the so called Father of Orthodontics. In the middle of the 18th century Pierre Savagn who was a French dentist used a device called Blandeau (a piece of valuable iron which was shaped like a horse shoe) which was used to increase the curve. A couple of years later Louis Bourdet who was another French dentist mastered the art of using the Blandeau and is believed to be the first dentist who improved the growth of the jaw.

The real science of Orthodontics started in the middle of the 19th century. Many dentists improved braces with particular tools and instruments. Some of the major advancements included the wire crib being introduced by Delabarre which marked the beginning of modern dentistry. For the first time Rubber band were cut from rubber tubing by Tucker. These were nothing compared to the advancement in the 20th century in which Edward H Angle developed an easy categorization for misalignment of the teeth. His system is being used by many dentists today as well. He classified them in different classes which helped dentists to describe the curves in teeth and how do different teeth fit simultaneously. He also simplified the design of many equipment used in dentistry.

HOW BRACES WORK:

The basic function of braces is to move the teeth by applying pressure and force. When wire or metal braces are implanted, the dentist uses O ring which is a form of elastic, wire, brackets and a bonding substance to straighten the teeth. The teeth start to move when the wire applies force on the brackets and teeth. Occasionally bands made of rubber are used in order to put extra pressure to make the teeth move in a particular way. Sometimes patients have to wear headgear to help specific teeth from moving.  When pressure is applied on your teeth a fleshy tissue (periodontal membrane) widens from one side and compacts from the other. This process needs to be completed gradually or else there is an increasing amount of risk for the patient to lose their teeth. Because of this reason normally braces are worn for 2 ½ years and adjusted after every 3-4 weeks. This procedure slackens the teeth and a new bone develops in the new place which in medical terms is known as bone remodeling. This is a biomechanical procedure which makes bones stronger in reaction to the constant pressure being implied and becomes weaker when there is no pressure. Another vital feature connected to the movement of the teeth is bone deposition. This takes place in the diverted periodontal ligament and without it the tooth will undo and empty spaces will transpire distal to the route of the tooth movement. Normally a tooth moves around a millimeter once every month but it varies person to person.  Procedure of Orthodontic can differ in effectiveness which somewhat clarifies the different reactions to treatment.

DIFFERENT BRACES AND THEIR COMPONENTS:

Brackets: The most essential constituent of braces attached to the teeth is the bracket. It is normally made of ceramic or metal. When applying dental braces brackets are attached to every teeth of the patient. Bonding Material: It is glue which is used to fix the brackets to the teeth. Arch Wire: It is a slender wire made of metal which goes from one bracket to another and applies pressure on each and every tooth. Elastic Ligature: Small elastics which holds the brackets with the wires. The ligatures need to be changed from time to time.

Nowadays Dentists have a variety of braces which can be implanted on patients and at times the patient chooses themselves. The most common is the stainless steel braces which at times are blended with titanium. These braces need ties which seizes the wire in its position. Now self ligating brackets are used between the gap of the bracket and the wire and it turns out to be a remedial advantage. Clear braces are a substitute to the common used metal braces. They blend into the natural colors of the teeth. The brackets are made up of plastic or ceramic material and perform the same function as of the common used braces. Patients who are allergic to stainless steel (people are allergic to nickel which is a major constituent) braces used Gold plated stainless steel braces. Incognito Braces are made according to the needs of the patient and are invisible to other people. The bracket is paved on the back side of the teeth. Titanium braces are stronger and lighter than the traditional braces. Patients who are allergic to nickel mostly prefer titanium braces but are more expensive.

The most recent type of braces is Removable aligners which are used to move teeth into their position. These aligners are used in difficult cases when palate development, extraction or surgery of the jaw is required. Many dentists do not prefer these braces because they believe they do not produce the desired results but everyone has different opinions. Some orthodontists use them in minor orthodontic cases but they can be used in difficult cases. These braces are barely visible when applied. They work like common braces by moving teeth in their position but without the help of wires which need constant tightening. These braces need to be clean as when a patient eats they can be remove so one must floss and brush after every meal. Examples of aligners include Originator, Invisalign and Clear correct. The latest concept under study is small brackets. These consist of a micro chip which calculates the forces needed to act on the bracket. The need of these braces is to decrease the period of teeth therapy.

CONCLUSION

Getting braces was a decision that I had to face sooner or later. Some people are lucky because they have straight teeth through luck and genetics but I along with my brother who was in fifth grade when he got braces are stuck with them. I preferred Invisalign over the other braces because I can clean them easily after I eat. I have committed to contemporary orthodontics to get me the smile that I want and I hope it comes back soon.

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