4 Types of Orthodontic Appliances to Choose From


Braces, crowns, dentures… At some point in our lives—whether growing up with crooked teeth or losing them at 90 years old—almost everyone can expect to use one or more orthodontic appliances.

Yup, dental professionals call all of those devices and many more “appliances.” There are countless varieties, and industry innovators make new options constantly.

Given that, you don’t need to know all of them—few do! Keep reading and explore some of the most common orthodontic appliances.

1. Dental Braces and Other Alignment Appliances

Orthodontic appliances for tooth and jaw alignment serve cosmetic and functional purposes alike. They adjust both upper and lower teeth and reshape jaws without surgical intervention.

Kids were the original candidates because developing mouths adjust well. For decades, parents agreed to braces to fix serious overbites and spacing issues before it was “too late” for realignment.

Dentists informed with the latest science now agree that “too late” hardly exists, presuming healthy teeth and gums. Believe it or not, using aligners starting in middle or old age is far from unheard of!

If you want to try an aligning appliance, your local orthodontist can tell you which type suits you best.

2. Bridges for Tooth Gaps

Few natural tooth gaps cause functional problems but some feel they make smiles less appealing. This sentiment is contagious, so masking gaps is a top cosmetic dental procedure.

Bridges are appliances that resemble several teeth. Dentists cement them over gaps as a permanent fix. Dental bridges, however, can pop off and need re-cementing now and then.

3. Removable Dentures

Removable dentures resembling a partial or full set of teeth and gums are classic dental appliances.

They have a storied history, built over hundreds of years. You can’t miss President George Washington’s infamous dentures if you’ve never heard about them. Rest assured that they’re a far cry from what’s offered today, to say the least!

Modern removable dentures are both cosmetic and functional.

A couple of their chief functions are keeping facial muscles from sagging and making chewing possible. At the same time, they lend wearers new, full smiles after they’ve lost teeth from causes including gum disease, bone loss, or injury.

4. Orthodontic Implants

Removable dentures work well for many folks, but others take the next step and opt for permanent or “fixed” dentures. Some denture-wearers choose the permanent option for convenience. Patients lacking the jaw structure for removable dentures need surgery to wear dentures at all.

Fixed dentures attach to other appliances, screws implanted in one’s jaws, instead of sitting atop the gums. Dental professionals also use the implanted screws to affix individual replacement teeth.

Facts About Orthodontic Appliances and Other Unusual and Interesting Subjects

Now that you know these common orthodontic appliances, you might realize what you need before your dentist appointment. Plus, you can tell folks you know that items like braces, dentures, and veneers are “appliances.” Most laypeople don’t know the term, so it might surprise them to learn!

If you want to discover other unusual and interesting subjects, you’re on the right site. We have a thorough collection of helpful and curious information for you to delve into. Click on another article and discover more subjects you’ve never heard of.