Metal braces are an amazing option for correcting alignment issues and giving people a beautiful smile. Since the 18th century, metal options such as stainless steel and titanium have been the core standards used by orthodontists to fix tooth alignment because of their reliability. But as technology moves forward, so do we! With constant research being put into better metal options for tooth alignment, unusual metals such as copper, cobalt, and nickel have become viable alternatives for patients’ teeth. Today, we’re going to explore some of the fascinating facts about these alternative metals for braces and give you some insight into why having variety is important for correcting teeth.
Bio-Compatibility and Metal Options For Braces
As a standard for orthodontic care, stainless steel and titanium have remained some of the most dependable working metals due to their reproduction value and low economic costs. But as new issues with tooth alignment come into play, newer designs are needed to keep up with the demand and help patients straighten their teeth more effectively. Technologies such as 3D printing and treatment planning software have allowed many practices to utilize these new metals to their maximum capabilities and have given people with fluctuating finances opportunities to care for their dental health.
Dental braces already come with numerous options, including ceramic, porcelain, and even hard plastics like Invisalign, and with the introduction to newer metals, these alloys also offer people different experiences with their costs, benefits, and disadvantages. To see what the hassle is all about, we’re going to introduce these newly adaptive metals and tell you what we know:
• Nickel: Most braces are made with a combination of nickel and titanium, allowing for an easier straightening process without feeling too fragile on the teeth. The combination of nickel and titanium allows for easier spring back and flexibility, creating a constant force that gives orthodontists better control over tooth movement. However, in some areas, some companies have been experimenting with the percentages of nickel combined with other metals, including using nickel for the archwires instead of traditional stainless steel.
• Copper: While less commonly used, copper can also be combined with titanium or a nickel-titanium alloy, acting as an assistant metal that helps apply continuous force to the teeth and help improve the flexibility of the wire for easy manipulation. However, because of how soft the metal is, it’s less commonly used in orthodontic care.
• Cobalt: Cobalt, also known as cobalt-chromium, has similar properties to stainless steel wires and has been considered the latest metal to be used in orthodontic dentistry because of its malleable nature compared to its counterparts. As a major component for orthodontic care, this metal has been able to remove the issue of nickel hypersensitivity in patients.
So, how do all of these metals actually improve people’s experience with braces? Well, according to researchers studying the effects of metal ions, reducing hypersensitivity involves reducing the interaction between salivary electrolytes with the metals found in brackets and wires. Through studying these metal ions, they found that ions including chromium, zinc, and cobalt help reduce sensitivity better than the commonly used titanium metal braces.
Finding The Right Braces For Your Teeth
Because of the variety of metal options out there, it can be hard to decide for yourself which ones would work best for your teeth. The best place to find those answers is through your local orthodontist. Your orthodontists will have numerous options to choose from and will help correct any signs of misalignment throughout your teeth and jawline and give you a better smile in no time.