Part I: DIRECT CEMENTING
If you have chosen to have orthodontic treatment with braces, whether they are aesthetic, metal brackets or lingual brackets (cemented behind the teeth), you are probably wondering how brackets are attached to the teeth.
Brackets are like “handles” that attach to your teeth and hold them in place so we can move them. Once your orthodontic treatment is finished, they have to be removed, so to bond them we need a material that is strong enough to last as long as the treatment, but which allows us to remove them at the end of the treatment.
First of all, if your teeth have tartar, you will need to make a cleaning appointment with your dentist a few days before the brackets are fitted, because cleaning the tartar close to the gum can dampen the surface of your teeth, making cementing them in very difficult.
Assuming there is no tartar, we start by cleaning the surface of your teeth where the brackets are to be cemented with prophylaxis paste or pumice powder. Next, we place some lip separators to isolate the surface of your teeth so that they don’t get wet with saliva.
Then we apply a gel that favours mechanical retention on the surface of the tooth enamel and leave it on for 30 seconds. If you have a porcelain, zirconium or metal crown we would use a different gel to prepare the surface and leave it longer.
We wash and dry the gel, depending on the type of adhesive we use, sometimes we will brush a primer (like a varnish) on the surface of your teeth and brackets and sometimes we just use the composite directly.
The surface of the brackets comes with a mesh or sandblasted surface that serves to facilitate the mechanical bonding as well as the chemical bonding that will occur between the composite, bracket and enamel.
Once the brackets are prepared with the composite, they are taken into your mouth with a pair of tweezers that have very thin ends, cementing them one at a time in the centre of the crown of the tooth or all at once when using transfer trays, depending on the type of brackets we are using.
The cements harden when activated with light, the process is called light-curing. Maybe you are already familiar with this process, because it is also used to make fillings and has a bluish light. This lamp works in 5 seconds, so we do a sweep one by one for each bracket to make sure they are all well bonded.
Once we have finished cementing the brackets we put the archwire in the slot and your treatment begins!
Is it annoying to put the brackets in? Apart from the fact that you are going to spend some time with your mouth open and your lips stretched so that there is no moisture and the adhesion is strong. No, the act of attaching the brackets to the teeth and the light that is given to harden the composite are not bothersome at all.
If you would like to see your teeth well aligned and would like to know what type of treatment is best suited to you, the approximate duration and the budget, you can make a free appointment with our doctors on 952 77 77 47. It’s time to be proud of your smile!