Manufacturers of Orthodontic Appliances — Who Makes Braces?
Braces are not a new idea. Far from it, really. The term orthodontics was first coined in 1728 by the French dentist Pierre Fauchard in his book “The Surgeon Dentist.” But the idea of achieving a straighter smile had by this time already been a widely discussed topic for at least two millennia. Indeed, ancient Greek scholars as far back as Hippocrates and Aristotle had given the idea of braces a lot of thought.
Fortunately, you live at a time in history where we know more about orthodontics than we ever have before. Indeed, braces are now more effective, durable, and affordable than someone like Fauchard could have imagined.
The earliest examples of modern orthodontic braces used a horseshoe-shaped iron device called a Bandeau to help expand the palette. Rather crude compared to today’s devices (see below), it fell out of favor shortly after Delabarre introduced the wire crib in 1843. With its innovative use of elastics, this is considered to be the birth of contemporary orthodontics, with the basic design principles of the wire crib still in use in today’s metal braces.
But we have made some considerable technological advances since the 19th century. And this has had a profound impact on the field of orthodontics as well. So let’s look at how braces are made today, taking a close look at who makes them and the differences between the most common types of braces, including metal braces, ceramic braces, and Invisalign braces.
Manufacturers of braces
Like any other global market, orthodontic equipment manufacturers focus on the development of innovative and user-friendly products. It is a very competitive field with several regional companies taking on big international brands to help create consistent competition in low-end markets, offering their products for less, compared to global companies.
Orthodontic manufacturing companies dedicated to making and delivering innovative products are constantly investing in research and development to grow their product portfolio and help keep consumer pricing as low as possible.
At Georgian Dental®, some of our preferred companies to work with include:
Established in 1968 by Dan Merkel in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, American Orthodontics is dedicated to giving great products, dependable delivery, and personalized service to orthodontists everywhere. They have over 700 employees and their products are available in over 100 countries. This makes American one of the largest manufacturers of braces and other orthodontic treatment supplies in the world. Boasting a 280,000 square foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, they go above and beyond to help orthodontists give patients the smiles they deserve.
Founded in 1990, Brazilian company Aditek is a worldwide innovator of high-tech orthodontics. The company is a leading manufacturer of global orthodontic products, exporting the majority of its production to international markets from their 5,000 square meter facility in Cravinhos, São Paulo. Aditek manufactures a complete line of orthodontic products — including brackets, tubes, bows, wires, and bands — in line with the strictest international quality standards.
In 1989, John and Nancy Ianieri formed Auradonics to make ceramic aesthetic brackets. After the business’s initial success, they soon went on to expand into Elast-o-Ties, stainless steel and plastic brackets, elastics, and elastomeric ligatures. Since purchasing their present manufacturing facility in 2000, they now do everything in-house from extruding ribbon and thread to making molds, dies, and automation improvements. Auradonics is dedicated to helping clinicians treat patients with a variety of orthodontic problems, including malocclusions and congenital, traumatic, or cosmetic dental conditions.
Your options when it comes to braces & how they are made
There are three common options when it comes to getting braces; traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, and Invisalign. All three do a great job straitening your teeth, but they are all made differently and have a unique approach to improving your smile.
Traditional metal braces are typically made of either titanium or high-quality, medical grade stainless steel. These braces rely on up to three separate components operating in harmony to realign your teeth. These components are:
Traditional or passive self-ligation brackets are made of metal and held in place directly on your teeth with the help of special glue. The major difference between the two is the method by which they are connected to the archwire (see below). With traditional braces, there are posts to wrap elastic bands around to hold the wire down. In passive self-ligation, however, special “sliding door” technology allows the wire to move more freely as needed.
The archwire is the thin metal dental band that connects the individual brackets to each other. Using pressure, the wire gently guides the teeth into their desired position over time.
As mentioned above, rubber bands are used in traditional bracket systems to hold the archwire firmly in place. These bands come in a variety of colors, allowing you to get a new color every time you visit the orthodontist. Or shake things up a bit by asking for a mix of colors, like an alternating pattern of red and green at Christmastime or red and white for Canada Day.
Ceramic and Clear Braces
These braces are less conspicuous than their traditional metal counterparts. This is due to being made from non-porous alumina compounds that allow them to be either clear or a color that closely matches the natural color of your teeth. Like metal braces, ceramic braces are still bonded directly to your teeth. They also use an archwire held in place by elastics. But the wire is often frosted to better blend in with your teeth and the elastics are usually clear.
You should keep in mind that ceramic braces are a little fussier than metal braces. They can take a little longer to get the job done as they are more fragile. Ceramic braces also tend to stain more easily and are more difficult to keep clean as a result.
Unlike metal and ceramic braces, Invisalign braces are an entirely different kettle of fish. These clear, plastic aligner trays are made to measure for each individual patient based on 3-D models created using photographs and digital scans. Keep in mind that the aligning trays wear out quickly and you will need to change them about once a week.
So, What Type of Braces will You Choose?
Getting braces might be a new concept for you, but not to worry —great minds have been working on this problem for thousands of years now. Thanks to their remarkable efforts, today we can offer you three powerful methods to choose from when it comes to realigning your smile. At Georgian Dental®, we work with a variety of orthodontic product manufacturers to make sure you get the most effective and durable products available on the market for a reasonable price.
Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of what options are available these days when it comes to straightening your teeth. But before deciding which braces treatment you want to go with, it is vital that you take the time to consult with an experienced orthodontist who has a proven track record and access to the latest and best orthodontic supplies on the market today. Take the time to make sure you are getting the right treatment for you and that your putting your smile in the most capable hands possible.
Turn the World On with Your Smile!
Make the most of your smile. To learn more about the different types and styles of braces available for orthodontic patients, contact Georgian Dental® today to arrange your free, no obligation consultation.