Fixed appliances (or "train tracks") are probably the most common type of orthodontic appliances in use today. They consist of small metal brackets that are attached onto the front surface of the teeth with a dental adhesive. The brackets are then connected with a thin wire (called an archwire) which is often held in place with elastic (sometimes coloured) loops or bands. There are various types of fixed appliance systems available ranging from metal brackets to clear (aesthetically pleasing ceramic) brackets. They enable the orthodontist to accurately move the teeth into the desired position. The orthodontist has more control over the position of the teeth with fixed appliances than can be achieved with removable appliances or removable aligners.
Fixed appliance orthodontic treatment typically lasts from 12 to 36 months depending upon the severity of the orthodontic problem and the scope of the proposed orthodontic treatment and can be worn by all age groups.
Patients will need to attend for regular appointments for the appliance to be adjusted. Throughout orthodontic treatment it is essential to maintain an excellent standard of oral hygiene and dental health (through careful dietary control).