Fixed braces

Fixed braces are one of the most popular choices for teeth straightening because of their predictable and reliable results. Most NHS orthodontics use fixed braces, and they can also be fitted privately for patients of any age.

There are different types of fixed braces including traditional metal ones, and more discreet lingual braces and ceramic braces.

Many Bupa Dental Care practices offer orthodontic treatment, including a range of fixed and discreet braces. If you’d like more information, contact your local practice. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

What are fixed braces?

Fixed braces consist of small brackets that are cemented to your teeth and joined together with wire. The wire is usually made of metal, although less visible ceramic versions are also available.

Fixed braces move your teeth in a very precise manner, and are the most common type of brace used to treat children.

What are the benefits of fixed braces?

If you have a clinical reason for needing orthodontic treatment, your dentist will probably recommend fixed braces as they are able to treat more complex problems such as:

  • Severe overcrowding
  • An excessively deep overbite or overjet
  • Abnormal eruption of teeth

Fixed braces offer predictable results, partly because patients cannot interrupt the treatment process by removing them.

Some forms of fixed braces are now extremely discreet - find out more about lingual braces and ceramic braces.

You can enquire about fixed braces and other alternatives at your local Bupa Dental Care practice. Find a practice near you.

What are the alternatives to fixed braces?

If you do not have a clinical need for orthodontic treatment, or if you are looking for alternatives to fixed braces, your dentist may recommend one of the following:

  • Invisalign - Invisalign uses a series of custom-made, transparent aligners to straighten teeth. The aligners look like thin, flexible mouthguards and are removable.
  • Cosmetic teeth straightening - If you only wish to straighten your front teeth, a huge variety of cosmetic treatments are available.
  • Removable braces - These usually consist of an acrylic plate with wires that hold the brace in place and move teeth.

Your orthodontist will talk you through treatment options and advise which type of brace is most suitable for you. Find a Bupa orthodontist near you.

Traditional fixed braces

These consist of brackets that are cemented to the front surface of your teeth and connected by metal wires. Traditional fixed braces are the most common treatment for straightening teeth and are used for most NHS orthodontics.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces also use brackets and metal wires, but these are attached to the inside surface of your teeth rather than to the front. The way they are positioned means they’re not visible.

Learn more about lingual braces.

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces use the same technique as traditional metal braces but are less visible. They use transparent, ceramic brackets and a thin metal wire. White or plastic-coated wires can also be used in some cases, for a discreet option.

Contact your local Bupa Dental Care practice for further information.

How do fixed braces work?

Fixed braces work by slowly moving your teeth to the right position using gentle pressure. Small brackets are bonded to your teeth and joined together with a wire. The wire is used to create tension, which gradually pulls your teeth into alignment.

Every four to ten weeks, your dentist or orthodontist will check your brace and make adjustments, steadily tightening and changing the wires to keep pulling your teeth in the right direction. Your orthodontist might also use springs and elastic bands to help the straightening process.

How long do fixed braces take to work?

The length of time needed for treatment depends on the severity of the misalignment or overcrowding, and on which teeth are being moved. Back teeth take much longer to move than front teeth, as they are denser and have more than one root.

Some simple treatments, involving just the front teeth, may be completed within a few months. However, in some cases, orthodontic treatment can take up to two and a half years.

To find out more, contact your local Bupa dentist.

How much do fixed braces cost?

The cost of orthodontic treatment depends on the complexity of the problems with your teeth, and on the type of treatment chosen. Ceramic and lingual braces cost more than traditional metal fixed braces, but offer a much more discreet option for teeth straightening.

NHS orthodontics is free in the UK for children under 18 with a clinical need for the treatment. Your orthodontist will assess your needs and let you know if you are eligible for NHS treatment. Private orthodontic care is available for adults and for those under 18 who do not qualify for NHS care.

For specific costs and treatment plans, please speak to your dentist. You can find a local Bupa Dental Care practice below.

Find a local Bupa Dental Care practice offering orthodontics

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Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Healthcare Limited. Registered in England and Wales number: 03257078. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.