Orthodontic appliances

Removable appliances

This category consists of appliances that the patient can put and remove from his mouth on his own. Some examples of this category are:

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Invisalign

This technique (www.invisalign.com) was invented in U.S.A in the early 2000s and is now widespread all over the world.

Treatment with this technique is as follows: the patient uses a series of invisible membranes which are made after high precision impressions are taken. These initial impressions (along with the treatment plan) are sent to Invisalign laboratories for scanning. After a few days, the 3D picture –the so called ClinCheck-is sent electronically. In this 3D picture we can see the future movements of the teeth. In this way, the patient knows before the start of the treatment the final position of his/her teeth. After the orthodontist and the patient agree on the treatment plan, the aligners’ construction begins. The customized membranes must be worn 20-22 hours a day and be changed every two weeks until the teeth are moved to their final positions. The number of aligners needed for each patient is different, depending on the complexity of the case, but usually ranges from 9-18 months for easier cases to 18-36 months for more demanding cases.

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Clear Aligners

Alternative to the invisible membranes Invisalign, our practice uses the Clear aligners (www.clear-aligners.eu) according to the clinical indications. These aligners are transparent aligners that look like the Invisalign ones, but differ in their way of construction. In this technique, more than one impression is taken, one each month. The impressions are sent to a specialized orthodontic laboratory in Athens, F.N orthodontics (fnorthodontics.blogspot.com), which is certified for this technique. The company’s software utilizes these impressions to create a set-up, which takes about five days’ time. The set-up consists of three aligners of gradual hardness (soft, medium, hard). The three aligners will treat each of the two arches. The patient uses the aligners 20-22 hours a day for ten days. Most recently, thanks to computerization, the orthodontist can take in the beginning of the treatment only one impression, instead of multiple monthly impressions, from which all the necessary aligners for each specific case can be fabricated.

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Orthocaps

The invisible aligners Orthocaps (www.orthocaps.com) used in our practice belong to the category of transparent aligners. For their construction the orthodontist takes a high precision impression in the first appointment that is sent to Hamm in Germany, along with the patient’s photos, x-rays, and the treatment plan. After two weeks, the orthodontist receives electronically the teeth’s 3-D illustration(i-set-up) in which the future movements of the teeth can be seen. It takes about 10-15 days for the i-setup to arrive from Germany after the orthodontist’s approval. These aligners are known as ‘double aligner,’ because in the orthocaps system the patient in each therapeutic stage receives one pair of aligners (from a different material) for each arch. The patient wears the hard aligners that are completely transparent during the daytime (10-12 hours), while during the rest of the day when one is usually less active the patient uses the soft ones. Each stage lasts three weeks, upon which time the aligners are substituted by other ones. The membranes are worn according to the orthodontist’s instructions, about 20-22 hours a day. The orthocaps system can also be used even by younger patients who are in mixed dentition (that means that they have both primary and permanent teeth in their mouth), but at night only

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Functional appliances/Headgear

These appliances are used for the correction of skeletal problems in young children. They are mostly used at the preteen and teen age when the orthodontist’s goal is the guidance, stimulation or inhibition of the growth of the jaws.

Fixed appliances

These are appliances are cemented on the patient’s teeth during treatment and can only be removed by the orthodontist at the end of treatment.

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Metal braces

Fabricated from stainless steel, they are the most widespread means of orthodontic treatment for children and teenagers. Soldered on the teeth and combined with multiple colorful elastic ties, they provide a cheerful appearance. In conjunction with the wires that connect the braces, they produce precise teeth movement to the desired direction.

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Wild braces

These are metal braces bonded exclusively to the upper front six teeth, which are the most apparent. They are unique because the bracket base is designed like a flower, a star, a heart or Mickey mouse. They were invented by an American orthodontist and their scope is to give to the patients who select them a funnier appearance to their face. In terms of function, they do not differ from the classic metal braces with which they can be used in whichever raw and in whichever shape the patient selects.

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Ceramic braces

The ceramic or white braces were invented to fulfill the aesthetic demands of the continuously growing number of adult patients, but they are widely used in teenagers as well. Fabricated from monocrystalline sapphire, they are distinguished for their high transparency and color stability, making orthodontic treatment aesthetically pleasing and almost invisible. In the past they have been used in combination with classic metal wires, but nowadays they are used with white wires (metal wires with a white cover in the tooth’s color), which makes them less visible.

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Incognito

It has to do with braces that are bonded on the lingual surface of the teeth and are totally invisible as a result. The lingual braces that are used in our practice (www. Incognito.net) are computer made in the 3M laboratory in Germany, after that the orthodontist takes high precision impressions in the first diagnostic session. These braces are made of gold and are totally personalized, meaning that they are made in such a way as to fit the morphology of the lingual surface of only one particular patient. Their only disadvantage is their much higher cost when compared with all the other bracket types that are used in our practice.

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Other types of lingual braces

In cases where the patient does not want a complete orthodontic treatment (mean duration of two years), it is possible to use some other types of lingual braces from other orthodontic companies (for example G.A.C, Omcro, Leone) which are less expensive than those by Incognito. These stainless steel lingual braces are not individualized, and their indications are mainly for short duration treatments and for aesthetic improvement of the patient’s smile. The treatments done with these braces are either light crowding cases or relapses from previous orthodontic treatments in the anterior part of the dental arches (the so called social six treatments), ranging between 4-6 months.  In cases where the patient desires a more complete but less expensive lingual treatment than Incognito, we may use ALIAS 3D self-ligating lingual brackets.

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