Braces are a powerful treatment option for those who struggle with misaligned teeth, crowding, or oral concerns resulting in overbites and crooked smiles. Whether you are using clear aligners or traditional braces, the application of leverage and pressure drives the realignment. Applying these forces correctly requires the use of various anchorage techniques. Numerous anchorage techniques are available, with the first being developed over a century ago by Dr. Henry Albert Baker. The ongoing development of anchorage techniques has made orthodontic care easier, safer, and more effective than ever.
Orthodontic Anchorage And The Role It Plays In Dental Care
Since Dr. Baker first introduced the anchorage technique, still known as Baker’s anchorage, the technology has been advancing. His initial approach involved the use of metal brackets, elastic bands, and wires to direct pressure and leverage throughout the orthodontic treatment to affect the desired change. Since then, there have been numerous changes and advancements made. To understand the importance of these advancements, one must first understand how anchorage techniques impact orthodontic care.
Anchorages refer to those points where the orthodontic appliance is secured to help it appropriately apply leverage. The number of points available used to be sharply limited by the orthodontic appliance’s design and the patient’s oral structures. Modern approaches have found ways of creating anchorage point options where none previously existed. This has allowed a broader range of concerns to be addressed without the need for cumbersome headgear or other complicated approaches to anchorage. Some of the innovations that have contributed to this include:
- Temporary Anchorage Devices – TADs are one of the industry’s most significant innovations. These special titanium screws are mounted into the jawbone in places where an anchorage is required. With a simple operation, anchorage points can be produced where none previously existed. This has increased the orthodontic care options available to dentists and reduced the need for cumbersome headgear.
- Nance Devices – These impressive innovations are primarily used to adjust the inner workings of the patient’s mouth. They are typically applied to the palette and are set deep within the oral cavity. This placement helps reduce the need for external devices.
- Sliding Jigs – One struggle often faced by dentists is the need to regularly adjust the state of the orthodontic appliance, specifically braces, during the treatment process. The need to do so has been reduced by the introduction of sliding jigs. Rather than adjusting the braces themselves, the sliding jig is adjusted to alter the angle at which force is being applied to the target tooth.
- Upright Springs – These springs are used to assist the premolars by retracting them from positions where they should not be. They are often applied in conjunction with other anchorage approaches.
The various orthodontic anchorage options provided above make it possible for dentists to address even the most complex orthodontic problems. Further, they reduce the risk of failure in treating conditions that were previously considered risky or difficult. Overall, this variety of treatment options ensures that dentists can tightly personalize the type of care each patient receives.
Speak To Your Dentist About Your Options
If you’re considering undergoing orthodontic treatment, you should speak to your dentist about orthodontic anchorage techniques. They’ll explain the steps they’re going to take and what approaches they’ve decided will be best for reaching your desired goals.