William W. Fay, DDS, is the co-founder of MIBA Medical, Inc., a medical aesthetic company committed to enhancing patients’ natural beauty, and owner and practitioner of his own private practice in San Francisco. Specializing in cosmetic orthodontics, William Fay, DDS, primarily uses Forestadent self-ligating clear ceramic brackets for patients with braces.
Self-ligating braces are a relatively new technological advancement. Unlike standard braces, which require rubber bands to hold the wire onto the brackets, self-ligating braces do not require any sort of tie. Instead, they use a specialized clip or movable door that keeps the wire in place. This clip not only decreases the amount of pressure placed on the tooth, it lessens the number of times patients must see their orthodontists for adjustments and elastic replacements. Self-ligating braces are the same size as traditional braces, but they often offer a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
There are two types of self-ligating brackets: passive and active. Passive brackets, often employed at the beginning of treatment, use a smaller archwire, causing less friction and allowing teeth more freedom of movement. Active brackets, on the other hand, have a thicker archwire that moves teeth into the proper position by applying more pressure.