Orthodontic Continuing Education: Comparing Common Types of Braces


When it comes to treatments in the field of orthodontics, numerous options are available to choose from, making it difficult for you as a patient to make the final choice. It is always advisable that you consult with your orthodontic specialist who has gone through extensive training in orthodontic continuing education to guide you on how to find the right type of braces that will fit your needs in the best ways and improve oral health.

From all the various types of braces, you can choose from, definitely, there are other appropriate types of orthodontic conditions. There are five most common options in the types of braces, and we will go further to see what situations they are ideal for, but before diving right into their details, let’s look at what dental braces are in the field of orthodontics.

Dental Braces

Dental braces play an important role when it comes to moving the teeth. Typically, metal wires connect them, which help to align the teeth. In addition to working on straightening the teeth, dental braces help to improve alveolar development, occlusion, myofunctional health, and dentofacial balance. On the market, there are some few types of braces with limitations, advantages, and different designs. Typically, new inventions address the desire to have less visible appliances, faster treatments, higher comfort and predictable results.

Traditional Metal Wires

By far, this is one of the most common types people use and typically the fastest and cheapest option for patients. It includes metal brackets (or metal bands) with arch wires. The brackets remain glued to the surface of the teeth and a metal wire fits into the slot brackets to connect them all. The teeth then move to the teeth shape of the arch wire to straighten the roots and teeth.

Numerous bands and types of designs are available. Some popular types of brackets also tend to fall under this category (or clear braces), MBT prescription, and like tip-edge, self-ligating. Although there are some important advances in orthodontics since its inception in the year 1728, most new features and new technologies promise to show actual appliance improvements.


  • They are least costly for patients and doctors
  • Typically, it is the fastest material that comes in use as the materials are based on efficient/optimal tooth movement and not aesthetics
  • There are many brand choices and designs available for clinicians and patients to choose
  • They are commonly used for all types of orthodontic cases


  • The media portrays these braces as the traditional “geeky” ones, although the stereotype is reduced greatly now
  • They are quite visible and may not be what some patients wish to wear
  • The countless designs and brand choices may be quite overwhelming
  • The patients will need to learn new ways to floss and brush the teeth to maintain oral hygiene

Invisalign/Clear Braces

Even though these have a similar design to metal dental braces, clear braces remain cosmetic alternatives for specialists who go through Gerety Orthodontic Seminars, since they are less visible at first glance. Compared to metal brackets, typically, these are made of resin, plastic or ceramic materials. The material tends to make the brackets brittle faster and cause more friction.


  • Compared to metal brackets, they are less visible (but the metal wires are visible)
  • Many adults find this aesthetically favorable. In North American practices, you should note that they are the fastest growing choice. From the year 2012 to 2014, it has increased from 16% in Canada and the U.S.


  • Moderately more costly to patient and doctor
  • More finicky when compared to the traditional braces, so doctors and the staff spend more chair time
  • A slightly longer time of treatment, especially with finishing if the bracket fractures
  • Sometimes, dentists may need to advise the patient to cooperate and not drink other things such as soda or others that could color or dye the appliances or elastics.

Clear Removable Aligners

Although technically not in the category of braces (as they aren’t attached to the teeth), clinicians include clear aligners under the same category. These multiple clear aligners are removable and come with lab designs to have a graduating progression from the shape of the patient’s desired bite to patient’s current bite. Constantly, the patient has to try to wear it day and night for about 22 hours in a day, requiring you to remove them out only when brushing, eating, and flossing. Every two weeks the patient should replace the aligners with another slightly closer to the desired bite. Hence, the patient’s teeth will move gradually to the result.

Orthodontics is a truly remarkable field, and it is advisable that you try to figure out what orthodontics is, and learn about the various appliances.


  • They are invisible
  • Sell easily
  • Oral hygiene habits can remain the same since patients do not need to remove the aligners when flossing or brushing
  • Better for patients with periodontal issues


  • Difficult to achieve major tooth rotations
  • Less appliance control
  • Longer treatment time

For any dentist, it is important to understand the basic differences between all the types of orthodontic appliances. Patients will always ask you for your opinion on how you could help straighten their teeth. Make sure you enroll in continuing education to stand a better chance at providing suitable treatment.


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