Self-Ligation Facts and Fiction

What is a Self-Ligating Brace?

Orthodontists move teeth through the use of specialized orthodontic hardware, which permits the application of steady pressure over time to move teeth into their ideal positions. With traditional braces, there are three main components that are used to make this possible. The brace itself, which is placed on the tooth, the archwire, which runs through each brace and applies corrective pressure to the teeth, and a “tie” (typically made from elastic material) which connects the archwire to the brace. Self-Ligating braces eliminate the need for elastic or metal ties, and instead use a permanently installed moveable component to entrap the wire. Self-Ligating braces offer a number of benefits compared to traditional braces.

Are Self-Ligating Braces "New Technology"?

The earliest Self-Ligating braces can be traced back to the 1930’s. SPEED Braces, introduced in 1980, were the first commercially successful and widely used Self-Ligating braces. In the past 30 years SPEED has been responsible for the successful treatment of millions of patients worldwide.

Are SPEED Braces the only kind of Self-Ligating Braces?

No. Today there are several brands of Self-Ligating braces that are available for Orthodontists to choose from. Some of the other brands that are available include Damon Braces, In-Ovation Braces, and Smartclip Braces. SPEED Braces have been on the market the longest, and have the most successful record of all the Self-Ligating braces.

What are the benefits of Self-Ligating Braces?

The “ties” used with traditional braces do an effective job of holding the wire in place, but impart significant disadvantages including frictional binding and food trapping. Through elimination of these “ties” Self-Ligating braces reduce frictional resistance. This may permit the teeth to move more freely, and with less applied force. As a result, treatment may be more comfortable, and tooth movement more efficient. Additionally, food trapping is also reduced due to the elimination of “ties”.

What are the benefits of SPEED compared to other Self-Ligating Braces?

SPEED Braces have revolutionized orthodontics by eliminating the need for the elastics that traditional braces require to straighten teeth. Instead, SPEED Braces use an energy-storing component called a ‘Spring Clip’ to straighten teeth. The SPEED Spring Clip works like a computer chip inside your braces. The Spring Clip is ‘programmed’ by your orthodontist when SPEED Braces are placed on your teeth. The Spring Clip, made of a ‘Super-Elastic’ space age material, then follows the programmed instructions by applying a light continuous force to gently move teeth to their correct position. Only SPEED Braces contain a ‘Super-Elastic’ Spring Clip. The result is greater comfort, and potentially fewer appointments and faster more ‘SPEEDy’ treatment. SPEED Braces are small; typically 1/3 smaller than traditional braces, and they look great! SPEED’s small footprint results in less food trapping, so good oral hygiene is easier to maintain throughout your treatment.