Dental Appliances Explained - Drs. Savage, Sabol & Visser
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Dental Appliances Explained

Braces in Virginia Beach, VAWe are fortunate to live in a time where most children are able to receive braces treatment, ensuring their long-term oral health and development. While many patients are familiar with braces, retainers and the treatments involved, there are still some lesser-known dental appliances that raise some confusion. Below, we’ll explain some of the various appliance systems that we use on a regular basis. If you have any further questions about these appliances, we are always happy to provide further information in-person or over the phone!

Orthodontic Brackets and Wires

There are many different types of orthodontic brackets made by many manufactures. Some of the more popular bracket systems are Roth, McLaughlin, Damon, Lingual and Speed to name just a few.  There are pros and cons to each system. But basically the brackets are a handle that is glued to the teeth which allows the teeth to be move.  The end result of any system under the guidance of a trained orthodontist will be a beautiful smile.  Rest assured your orthodontist will advise you on the system that is best for your particular treatment needs.  With traditional braces, the arch wire, which is the piece of wiring that stretches across all the teeth is necessary to move the teeth into proper position.  The wires are usually made of nickel titanium and stainless steel.  The wire and brackets allow for a gentle force to be placed onto the teeth.  These high tech wires allow for more comfortable adjustments and fewer visit to the orthodontist for adjustments!  Less time away from school and work!

Computer Technology

Invisalign, Ulab and SureSmile are 3 examples of software products that use 3D imaging to optimize the treatment process. With standard braces, each bracket is manually measured, fixed and maintained by the orthodontist. This involves a lot of office visits, as the orthodontist has to repeatedly check the progress being made and adjust the appliance as needed. With these software products, the entire treatment plan is calculated and planned out by advanced software, which then produces customized appliances for each patient. This results in a much more accurate and efficient orthodontic treatment – meaning fewer office visits, and a shorter time in treatment.


Headgear is a commonly misunderstood dental appliance, but one that we may recommend to younger patients who need particular assistance with the growth and development of the face and jaw. Headgear is unique in that it is an external appliance, or one not worn inside the mouth. It is attached to the teeth, often by braces. The type of headgear appliance used will vary depending on the patient’s needs. In most cases, headgear provides additional external force to pull the teeth or jaw into proper alignment. Although we try to avoid the use of headgear when possible, it is sometimes essential to prevent the need for jaw surgery later in life.

Which Dental Appliances are Best?

The reasons for using these or other dental appliances can be complex depending on a patient’s jaw development, teeth positioning and other factors. During your visit, we will explore all possible treatment options to ensure that we provide each patient with the optimal dental appliance when it comes to their results and their treatment experience. If you or your family is in need of orthodontic care, contact us today to schedule your visit with Drs. Savage, Sabol and Visser.

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