There are certain questions we all think about when we are told we need to wear orthodontic braces…..Will it hurt?….How will I be able to brush and floss?….Can I still eat my favorite foods?….How long will I have to wear them?
For millions of adults and children they might have a far different reaction……I have allergies to metals….Will I be able to have the orthodontic treatment without an allergic reaction?
Types Of Metal Used In Orthodontics
As many of us know, orthodontic braces are made up of brackets, wires, and bands. These orthodontic components are composed of various types of metal. This gives the orthodontic braces its inherent strength to do the job of moving your teeth into proper positioning over time. There are generally a few types of metal used in orthodontics and these can include:
–Gold Plated Stainless Steel
What If I am allergic to certain metals? What choices will I have?
-Ceramic Braces – These are an excellent choice, not only for people with a nickel or metal allergy, but for people who are looking for a more esthetic orthodontic option. Ceramic braces are clear and are able to blend in with the teeth much more easily than traditional metal orthodontic braces. Ceramic braces allow for tooth movement without causing a reaction. Ceramic braces are not quite as strong as the traditional metal orthodontic braces so additional care is required as well as additional trips to the orthodontist for broken parts.
–Gold Plated Braces – These are especially comforting to many with a nickel allergy as they add extra security against an allergic reaction. The gold is able to form a stable bond between the teeth and the brackets and will also blend very nicely against ones teeth to soften the esthetics. These have become more popular for many simply becuase they feel they look better than traditional options but they do come with added cost.
–Titanium Braces – These appear very similar to the traditional stainless steel orthodontic braces. Titanium has an added advantage (besides being nickel free) that they are often considered to be more flexible than traditional stainless steel braces. This will allow them to be more flexible upon chewing and placing forces on them. This makes them a more durable option for many.
–Plastic (Polycarbonate) Braces – The main advantages to these are that they are completely metal free and can be made to be practically invisible on the teeth. This is a great option for allergy sufferers but also for many adults who do not want a mouth full of metal. The main disadvantage of these is they tend to not be as strong as traditional braces so added care is needed as well as allowance for extra visits when things break.
–Invisalign- This is a clear plastic removable appliance. It is changed periodically to slowly move teeth into position. It is nice because it is very cosmetic, and can be removed for photos. The main negatives are, they are easy to lose, and movement is limited. Therefore, it takes more time to receive less results overall.
Other Potential Orthodontic Allergies
Other potential risks for allergies exist in the use of elastic ligatures (also called rubber bands) during orthodontic treatment. These rubber bands contain latex which might pose an issue for those with latex allergies. Luckily, in modern dentistry companies have developed latex free rubber bands using the same colors as the traditional ones.
Also, the metal used for a particular patient should be the same metal used throughout orthodontic treatment with no deviation. This ensures that there is no cross contamination as it would become quite difficult to pinpoint the exact issue when and if it arises further into treatment.
Orthodontic Allergies Conclusion
Communication is the key in dealing with any dental issue but especially for those with a history of allergies. If you suspect you have any type of allergy let the dentist know. It might be a good idea to get allergy tested prior to beginning orthodontic treatment if there is any doubt. Any allergy should not be taken lightly if there is any chance it could impact treatment. This will ensure a smooth transition and trouble free orthodontic treatment.