Self Ligating Braces vs regular braces pros and cons.

Self Ligating Braces vs regular braces pros and cons

What are self ligating braces?
Self-ligating ( non-ligature) braces are systems in which the orthodontic archwire is fixed using special locks in brackets. This is the main difference between self-ligating braces and regular braces, in which the archwire is attached with rubber ligatures.

Key points of the article.

How do self ligating braces work?

Self-ligating braces work without ligatures. Consists of a groove and a closing cover (clamp). The orthodontic archwire slides in the groove and is held by the lock (clamp) system of the brackets.

Structural elements:
The brackets themselves are plates that are installed on the teeth.
Metal archwire.
Locks - they are located on the brackets and hold the arch.

Such an attachment allows the arch to move independently in the grooves, depending on the degree of displacement of individual teeth. The forces created in this case are much weaker than in ligature braces, with the same effectiveness of treatment.

Self ligating braces pros and cons

Pros of self-ligating braces
Due to the lack of ligatures cleaning the teeth is greatly simplified.

The increase in the time between preventive dental checks. If you need to see the doctor every 4 weeks with conventional systems, samoligiruschie braces allow you to do it in 2-3 months.

Reduced adjustment time and removal of the arch, so that the residence time in the patient's orthodontist chair will be significantly reduced.

Self-ligating braces are less likely to cause pain because the system works with less effort. Teeth move smoothly and naturally.

Due to smooth edges self ligating braces show less painful sensations, irritation of the gingival mucosa.

There is a high probability of dispensing with tooth extraction. Self-ligating systems expand the dentition so effectively that in some cases this allows space for all the teeth without previous extractions. However studies and trials have not supported the claim.

Self-ligating braces are a little easier to care for due to the lack of ligatures.

Cons of self ligating braces
Self ligating braces can not be used in all cases. Due to loose attachment of archwire and bracket, force control is weaker, especially where fine movements of tooth is required or where greater force is needed to move a tooth.

Locks-fasteners reduce aesthetics, creating an impression of massiveness.

One of disadvantage of self-ligating braces is their price. However, with faster treatment times and fewer doctor visits, they receive good reviews from patients and dentists.

Like all other occlusal devices to correct, self-ligating brackets require its owner to remember oral hygiene, which is not to spend brushing only. It is necessary to include a cone-shaped brush and dental floss. Solid foods like apples, crackers, nuts, and carrots can damage the entire system, so eliminating them from your diet is desirable.

Self ligating braces brands

Self-ligating systems differ in:
location (located on the outside or on the inside of the teeth);
type (active or passive);
by material (ceramics, sapphires, metal, plastic).

They are made of dental metal and have a gray tint. They are popular among patients due to their low cost in comparison with other types of braces. These are sturdy structures that can withstand heavy loads. Effective against even the most difficult defects. The main drawback is the low level of aesthetics. Wearing period - 1-1.5 years.

Unlike metal, they are practically invisible on the teeth. Due to the matte structure, it is possible to match the color with the patient's teeth.

The degree of visual definition of the structure on the teeth during a smile or a conversation is reduced to zero, especially in combination with a white arch.

But high aesthetic characteristics persist for a short time, since the material attracts plaque, as a result, the shade of the braces darkens. In addition, the structures are quite fragile, chips are possible.

Faux sapphire braces are durable, aesthetic and functional. The most expensive, but the most aesthetic. The plates are transparent, so they are hardly noticeable on the teeth. When exposed to rays of sunlight, they shimmer.

Free pairing of the arch and fixing locks gives minimal stress on the teeth, the corrective structure is comfortable to wear. The smooth surface of the device does not irritate or injure the oral mucosa. The healing effect occurs earlier than when using ceramic systems.

Devices in which the brace clasps are made of plastic, and the rest of the elements are made of metal. These are relatively inexpensive designs with increased aesthetics against the backdrop of metal ones.

When manufacturing, there is the possibility of selecting a shade close to the color of the teeth. Among the disadvantages: the rapid loss of the original appearance due to instability to food dyes, fragility and an increase in the duration of treatment up to 2.5-3 years.

Sapphire braces are installed in the smile zone, and less aesthetic metal or ceramic braces on the chewing ones. This reduces the cost while maintaining the aesthetics.

Self ligating braces vs regular braces

The difference between self-ligating and ligature systems
At the beginning of the last century, ligature braces, consisting of:
orthodontic archwire;
Brackets that attach the arch to the teeth. Elastic bands (ligatures) that perform a fixing function;

This design is still effective now, but it has disadvantages:
the need for visits to the dentist once every 7-10 days (to replace the ligatures);

hygiene of the oral cavity is difficult (provokes the formation of plaque, the development of caries).

This model was replaced by a self-ligating system that does not have fastening elements. The archwire is attached to the lock directly by the latch (door).

Thus, the quality of daily oral care is significantly increased, the number of visits to the orthodontist is reduced to 1 visit every 2-3 months. The self-ligating feature of the design is due to the absence of immovable fixation of the arch to the teeth, which guarantees a more accurate, unhindered and accurate movement of the jaw elements without any disruption to the functionality of the orthopedic apparatus.

Traditional vs self ligating braces cost

The cost of self ligating braces is higher than traditional ligature braces due to:
the complexity of the fastening design;
More demand;

Pronounced efficiency;
shortening the treatment period;

Is self ligating braces really better than traditional braces?

The main feature of ligature-free braces is that for fixing the orthodontic arch on them there are special sliding clamps in the form of a latch, latch or spring clip, with the help of which changing the arch and correcting the apparatus is much more convenient and faster.

In the process of treatment , the orthodontist uses ultra-low physiological forces, which is much more comfortable for the patient. It is painless, the intervals between visits to the dental clinic are approximately doubled (up to 8-10 weeks), and the time spent at the orthodontist's appointment is also reduced, due to quick change of archwires.

Do self-ligating braces work faster?

Self ligating braces use light archwire and less force for tooth movement. It is claimed that this weak force is responsible for quicker tooth movement and faster treatment completion. However this claim is not supported by enough documented case reports. Research done in laboratory and clinical settings show no significant difference in tooth movement and treatment completion for self ligating and regular braces.

Do self ligating braces need rubber bands?

Self ligating braces do not need rubber bands for ligation. Th archwire is held in bracket by special metallic lock or clamp system unlike regular braces, where rubber bands are used for ligation of archwire inside brackets.


Therapeutic efficacy of self-ligating brackets: A systematic review
Self-ligating brackets in orthodontics: Do they deliver what they claim?
Torque expression in self-ligating orthodontic brackets and conventionally ligated brackets: A systematic review
Self-ligating brackets: an update
Systematic review on self-ligating vs. conventional brackets: initial pain, number of visits, treatment time

Den Tim

Practicing Dentistry for 20 years