Thermal braces: what are the benefits?

October 03, 2014

The vast majority of braces systems are made from two components: brackets and wires. The brackets are the pieces that are bonded to each tooth, and hold the wire in place. The wire is what really does the hard work during your treatment. When your orthodontist chooses the best material for you to get your desired results, there are two options.

Nickel Titanium Thermal Braces


One of the most innovative types of wires is a nickel titanium or NiTi wire and it’s also one of the most efficient options there is. At room temperature, they are limp and pliable. Once they are heated to near-body temperature, or around 35°C, they want to return to their original state: straight. This is called superelasticity, and it’s what helps you achieve your desired results. As they attempt to move back to their natural, straight position, they exert a subtle, constant pressure on your teeth. This continuous pressure is the probably the most important differentiating factor when comparing thermal wires to traditional wires, and what makes them such an appealing choice.

Stainless Steel

Originally, archwires were made of stainless steel. Stainless steel is pliable and sturdy. Once it is moved into the shape by your orthodontist it will remain in the same position, necessitating the frequent changing of wires. This would result in more pressure on your teeth beginning right after a new wire, and, as your teeth moved, it would taper off slightly.

Varying strength for improved control

Besides their pressure levels, thermal braces also offer orthodontists the ability to control pressure. It’s much easier to move your smaller front teeth than your bicuspids and molars. Your larger back teeth have deeper roots, requiring a stronger force to move them to their desired locations. With a NiTi wire, it’s possible to use force matched to the strength of the tooth. The wires are carefully designed to offer a gentle pressure at the front, moderate pressure for bicuspids, and heavier force at the back.

When your orthodontist can easily control the force used depending on the size and placement of your teeth, you’ll have a much more comfortable experience. You might even find that because manipulating your teeth is much less complicated, that you’ll see results quicker. Varying the pressure also allows for greater control over rotations of specific teeth during the finishing stages of treatment.

Consistent but gentle pressure

As we mentioned above, the pressure you will feel during your treatment is continuous, with no big peaks or troughs throughout your treatment. Not only does this make it more enjoyable for you, but it can also make your treatment more effective. As the teeth are always moving, even though it’s just very slowly, they can transition to their new positions in a steadier, more natural way.

Ease of insertion

We know that, while our patients love our friendly Smile Team, not everyone wants to visit the orthodontist regularly! Thanks to the flexibility of NiTi wires, they’re a breeze to install making your appointment much more pleasant.

When you visit your nearest Docbraces, be sure to ask about how NiTi wires can help you! Schedule your FREE consultation now!

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