Self-Ligating Braces: All You Need to Know

When it comes to getting your bite right and your teeth straightened with braces, all of the options can leave you a bit confused. There are several possibilities like having conventional (traditional) metal braces, clear aligners, ceramic, or lingual braces

A great choice for orthodontics in Ottawa is self-ligating braces, which have been around for a while but are becoming more popular every day.

What Are Self-Ligating Braces?

Self-ligating braces look like conventional braces and are placed relatively the same way. The exception is that self-ligating braces don’t use elastics (rubber bands), or metal ties. Instead this system uses special clips or brackets with a spring-loaded door. The brackets maintain pressure on the archwire, helping move your teeth along at a steady pace.

Self-ligating braces are capable of correcting certain complex malocclusion (misaligned bite) issues and may be a viable option for patients with unique circumstances.

How Long Do Self-Ligating Braces Take?

Generally, self-ligating braces takes about the same amount of time to achieve the same results that you would get from the conventional treatment. On average, you’re looking at being in braces between 12 to 30 months.

The appointments themselves for self-ligating braces are roughly the same length as with traditional braces. The same is true of the intervals between appointments. 

When you come in for an initial consultation and our orthodontist evaluates your condition, we will have a good idea of how long your treatment will take.

Do Self-Ligating Braces Need Tightening?

While self-ligating braces do require adjustments, they do not get “tightened” the same way as traditional systems. The spring-loaded doors “tighten” the wires in place instead of an elastic tie.

What Do Self-Ligating Braces Cost (Are They More Expensive)?

When it comes to the functionality and look of your smile, the results you get from orthodontics is priceless. When you choose to make an investment in yourself that will last a lifetime, you’ll want to ensure that you’re receiving the best treatment possible.

That being said, the cost of self-ligating braces is very comparable to that of conventional braces, and even clear aligner therapies like Invisalign. Self-ligating braces typically cost between $3,500 and $8,500. 

Many dental insurance policies will help cover at least a portion of the cost of your orthodontic treatment.

For the remaining balance, we offer affordable payment options for every budget. 

All of your treatment costs and financing options will be discussed with you ahead of time. Following your free initial consultation, we won’t move forward until you’re comfortable with the arrangements that have been made.

Self-Ligating Braces vs. Traditional Braces

Both systems look relatively the same. The brackets are about the same size and made of the same materials.

Self-Ligating Braces Colours

Since self-ligating braces don’t use elastic bands like conventional braces do, there are no colour choices where this part is concerned. However, you do have an option when it comes to the brackets themselves. Typically, self-ligating brackets are metal or silver in colour. For those that want a more discreet look, self-ligating braces also have the option to choose clear brackets.

Self-Ligating Braces Pros and Cons

With its many benefits, self-ligating braces may be the solution some patients are searching for. However, as with most good things, this system does come with its disadvantages.

Advantages of Self-Ligating Braces

Elastics are notorious for collecting plaque and buildup. Eliminating this makes self-ligating braces somewhat easier to clean. 

Disadvantages of Self-Ligating Braces

Occasionally the hinges on the brackets of self-ligating braces will give out and the doors won’t stay shut.  If this happens, we may need to replace the bracket or tie it down.

While self-ligating braces are slightly easier to clean than the traditional option, they will still require special attention and tools during your daily oral hygiene routine. Developing cavities and gum issues are a serious side effect of not properly cleaning your teeth while you have braces of any type.

Another disadvantage to self-ligating braces is that while you can get clear brackets, there’s no way to do away with metal altogether since the wires are metal. This can be very bothersome to those patients that are extremely conscious about the appearance of having braces.

If you or your child don’t have the best habits when it comes to taking care of your teeth, or would feel embarrassed by wearing metal braces, then you may want to consider another orthodontic option. In this case, Invisalign clear aligner therapy may be the solution for you!

Your Next Step

To determine which orthodontic treatment option is right for you, call Braces Haven in Ottawa.  Our Orthodontist, Dr. Charles Cohen, will listen to your concerns and expectations in order to find the best treatment option and type of braces for you. 

Working together, we can get you on your way to having a more attractive, properly aligned, healthier smile. Don’t wait any longer.  We look forward to meeting you!