Fixed Appliance Braces

Fixed appliances or ‘Train Track’ braces are the most conventional and common type of orthodontic braces.

These traditional braces are composed of small metal or clear ceramic brackets that are placed on the teeth and are connected by metal orthodontic wire. This system allows controlled tension to be applied to the teeth gradually, allowing them to be moved into their optimal position and alignment.

These conventional braces are typically employed when a holistic adjustment of all of a patient’s teeth is called for, and can shift and correct the angle, position, and alignment of a person’s teeth.  Braces can be used in a variety of situations - to straighten crooked, crowded, or overly spaced teeth; fix or improve a poor or uneven bite where the upper and lower teeth do not line up; and to level the overall smile line. These kinds of braces are highly reliable at fine tuning the position of individual teeth to produce the healthiest bite and most pleasing smile. 

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Braces can correct problems with teeth caused by a number of different factors:

  • Inherited or genetic predisposition to jaw issues or misaligned positioning of teeth
  • Crowded teeth or overly spaced out ‘gapped’ teeth  
  • Extra or missing teeth 
  • Thumb sucking 
  • Premature loss of a baby tooth
  • Dental injury or trauma, including that caused by dental disease

When most patients think of 'Train Track' style braces, what they picture is often based on the kinds of technology available years ago. With modern, hi-tech improvements to the design and advancement of fixed appliance braces, it is now possible to reliably achieve the same life-changing results with smaller, more subtle braces with overall reduced treatment times at any age! 

We see ourselves as our patients’ partners in their oral health and wellbeing, and so your dentist will be fully transparent in discussing your treatment goals and hopes in relation to your unique situation. At your initial consultation your dentist will be able to give you an estimated time until completion of your treatment, as the length of time a person needs to wear braces is closely related to the complexity of your individual case and your goals for treatment. 

Your dentist will also be happy to discuss all of the factors impacting your treatment options and will be able to advise you if your case is suitable for other methods of tooth straightening such as Invisalign, which can be employed for patients with fewer complicating factors. 



Benefits of Train Track Braces

'Train track' braces fix a wide range of complex orthodontic problems, including:

  • Overjets – upper teeth protruding over the bottom teeth, which can cause bite problems such as difficulty with chewing or drinking, in addition to affecting the patient’s appearance
  • Diastema - overly spaced out teeth, often referring to a large gap between the two front teeth
  • Crossbites – misalignment of the top and bottom rows of teeth meaning they fail to come together or bite in the correct position
  • Correcting crooked or overlapping teeth decreases pressure on the jaw, and straight, regular teeth are easier to clean, improving the upkeep of thorough oral hygiene habits and reducing the risk of future dental disease
  • Patient choice and customization; choose between the discreet, tooth-coloured brackets or embrace the style of metal finishing and different coloured bands 
  • Enhance your appearance and smile with greater confidence without invasive or additive dental work – braces gently re-position your teeth to unveil your beautiful, natural smile
  • Eliminate the risk of catastrophic dental injury due to protruding teeth
  • Affordable, cost-effective treatment alongside a host of available payment plans make conventional braces treatment accessible on all budgets

What to Expect When Getting Train Track Braces?

Your initial consultation

Your dentist will carry out a full and comprehensive dental examination — this may include some X-rays to assess the current condition of your teeth and jaw and facial bones. Some photos and impressions may also be taken of your teeth at this initial appointment, both for your own record and to allow your dentist to keep track of your treatment as it progresses. This record keeping can also be carried out instead at your next appointment just before your chosen braces are fitted, if that is preferred or more appropriate in your individual case. 

At this evaluation visit your dentist will assess your suitability for conventional Train Track Braces and answer all questions or concerns that you have. They will then be able to provide you with a detailed treatment plan, including the expected duration of the course, what you can expect from your treatment, any risks or complications that you should be aware of, full guidance on the care and maintenance of your preferred braces, and a breakdown of the total cost of your braces treatment and how it functions in detail with our various available payment plans. 

Fitting your braces

Once your dentist has ensured that an initial record of your teeth before any treatment has begun has been preserved in pictures and physical impressions, they will begin to place the braces. 

No injections or drilling are required at any stage during this appointment. Your dentist will simply use air and water to clean and dry your teeth and your chosen ceramic tooth-coloured or metal ‘brackets’ of the braces will be stuck to your teeth with a special dental glue. These brackets are then linked together with a metal orthodontic wire, which is what applies tension to the teeth to encourage them to move into their planned, ideal positions. The entire appointment will only take about 20 to 30 minutes, although if you are having both upper and lower braces fitted, this may be carried out over two appointments depending on your specific case and whether a time delay between the two stages is recommended by your dentist. 

Once your braces are securely in place, your dentist will ensure you are familiar with the specific care and maintenance instructions for your braces, and our front-of-house team will schedule your first check-up monitoring appointment before you leave the clinic.  

It is quite normal to experience some slight tenderness after having your braces fitted. This is a good sign that your teeth are beginning to move and is nothing to be concerned about. The majority of any discomfort experienced takes place immediately following your braces between fitted or adjusted, and any tenderness or sensitivity should ease after 24 hours and can be effectively managed at home with over-the-counter pain relief medication. 

Regular check-ups

It is essential to attend regular check-ups during your orthodontic treatment. This allows your dental team to monitor your progress (including regular documenting of your alignment progress in a picture record) and to make adjustments to your braces. This will periodically involve tightening or even changing your wires, or re-positioning a bracket. Routine check-ups typically last between 10 to 20 minutes and are scheduled every 4 to 6 weeks depending on each patient’s case. Our dentists and front of house team will always advise of when you should return for your next check-up before you leave the clinic.  

Aftercare and Getting the Most from Your Braces

On the successful completion of your orthodontic treatment plan with Train Track braces, your dentist will discuss your options for long term maintenance of your new smile. Without the consistent use of either a removable or fixed retainer your teeth will revert back to their original position, and so to prevent this once your braces have been removed you will either need to wear a removable orthodontic retainer every night (included in this final review). We also offer a fixed retainer that is permanently bonded to your teeth, if preferred, and your dentist can advise on this option and on the importance of maintaining correct retention over your lifetime, to reliably stabilise and maintain your newly straightened smile. 

Once you have undertaken intensive orthodontic work like Train Track braces, it is vital to keep to a regular 6-monthly appointment schedule with your dentist to ensure there is no loss of progress and to offset any potential issues or risks and maintain everything as it should be. These regular check-up and cleaning visits will maximise the lifespan and aesthetics of your freshly straightened teeth as well as your overall oral health and smile.

Questions? Answers.

Is it worth getting braces as an adult?

It is never too late to improve the health and appearance of your teeth with corrective straightening, and you can successfully and safely get braces at any age. While some people associate Train Track braces with pre-teens and teenagers, this is largely a result of the fact that traditional orthodontic techniques and technology took advantage of the relative ease of applying directive pressure to the bones of the jaw and face while the patient is still developing to correct positioning and alignment issues feasibly and efficiently when it was most easily done, as children.  

Happily, adult orthodontics has come on in leaps and bounds and today is an extremely common practice, clearing the path for almost every patient to have the straight teeth they have always wanted. Indeed, we frequently carry out orthodontic treatment on adult patients - including those who never had the chance to avail of braces previously - as these advances in modern dentistry have resulted in equally effective and successful straightening using braces regardless of a patient’s age. 

Why do I have to have X-rays taken before getting braces?

Your dentist will need to take a dental X-ray at your initial consultation to ensure that a full picture of your exact teeth positioning, alignment, and angling in relation to your jaw is available for evaluation. This complete view is essential for your dentist to assess the necessary stages and process of your treatment plan, and give you an accurate estimate of the total length of your braces treatment. The cost of this X-ray is included in the overall cost of your chosen treatment and payment method. 

What are the pros and cons of metal braces?

The advantages of metal, fitted, or ‘train track’ style braces include: 

  • More durable and sturdy than ceramic braces, which typically results in far fewer uncomfortable breakages
  • Ease of keeping them clean; due to the material and robustness of metal braces it is often easier for patients to maintain sufficient, vigorous cleaning habits
  • Stain resistant; for those patients who are fans of more staining foods and drinks (such as tea and coffee, or spicy food) the greater resistance of metal braces to staining and discolouration is a big plus

The major drawback of metal braces is their visibility – in comparison to ‘train tracks’ with ceramic finishing or other forms of orthodontics, which can be ceramic tooth-coloured or clear braces, metal Train Track braces are relatively noticeable to others. 

Due in part to the increasing rate and popularity of making investments in our oral health and appearance well in adulthood, it has become far more commonplace and widespread to see people of all ages embracing ‘train track’ braces as the effective solution to problems caused by crooked, misaligned, or gapped teeth that they are. 

Are train track braces better than Invisalign?

We understand that our smiles are one of the first things others notice about us, and the actions we need to care for and protect our teeth need to fit consistently and reliably into our day to day lives. Similarly, no two patient cases are ever exactly the same. Therefore there is no one size suits all approach to braces, and no good dentist will give you a blanket recommendation for one technique or approach to correcting and aligning teeth over another. 

The end result of your treatment will be the same whether you use Train Track braces or Invisalign – that is straighter, healthier teeth that you can be confident in. You can find more information about our Invisalign treatment system here. Wwhen you’re ready to book your first consultation with one of our specially qualified dentists they will be delighted to discuss all of the factors of your specific situation including your smile goals, dental needs and issues, your lifestyle and time commitments, even your budget, to help you choose which option is best for you. 

What should I do if my brace breaks?

While certain breaks of any of the components of your braces can be somewhat uncomfortable or painful, there is no need to panic if your braces do break between any of your routine check-ups. 

If a bracket or any part of your brace breaks you should contact the clinic and we will arrange an appointment for you to get it repaired as soon as possible.

How do I clean my braces?

It is vital to maintain excellent oral hygiene while wearing your Train Track braces to safeguard your general oral hygiene and health, as braces can block food from naturally escaping your teeth after eating, meaning small bits of food can easily get caught. 

Brushing your teeth after every meal will prevent this collection of any food particles between your braces and teeth and so prevent the build-up of plaque and decay which can result. It is also important to use interdental brushes for this reason, as you won’t be able to reach and clean properly between your teeth using regular floss. Our dentists also recommend the daily use of a fluoridated mouthwash while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment with Train Track braces. 

Do I need to avoid certain foods?

Yes, to minimise breakage of your braces you will have to avoid certain foods. Specifically sticky and hard food such as crunchy bread, apples, chewing gum, toffee, and nuts should be avoided altogether, and of course if there are any specific foods you are unsure about you can check with your dentist at any of your regular check-ups. To maintain the general health of your teeth you should also avoid or limit your consumption of sugary foods while you are wearing braces. 

One of the major benefits of metal Train Track braces over those with ceramic, tooth-coloured brackets is the reduced risk of staining – metal braces are far more stain-resistant than clear ceramic-finished braces. However if you have chosen ceramic braces it is advised to reduce your consumption of highly pigmented spiced foods, tea and coffee, and red wine. Fixed ceramic braces are also not suitable for people who smoke, as smoking will very rapidly cause severe staining and discolouration of your brace.  

Are there any risks to getting Train Track braces?

As with all intensive and complex long-term dental treatments, there can be risks to taking corrective action to straighten your teeth using braces if you do so improperly or without following exactly your responsible dentist’s care instructions and advice:

  • It is vitally important to avoid or limit your consumption of sugary foods and drinks and to maintain excellent brushing habits while you are wearing braces, as a failure to do so can lead to the build-up of plaque and tooth decay that can easily spread all around the braces. This can appear at the beginning as decalcification (a permanent white mark or discolouration on the affected tooth) but that can quickly begin to turn yellowish and then brown, with cavities appearing in the affected spots in as little as 8 weeks. Even when caught in time, your dentist will likely need to remove your braces before your desired alignment has been reached, for treatment of any decay to be carried out, and there will likely be permanent staining of your teeth. 
  • During all orthodontic treatment with any kind of braces, an effect known as resorption, or root shortening, takes place. This is where a small change in the length of a tooth’s root is noted, and is in the vast majority of cases so small a change as to have no effect on the health of the tooth. However in rare cases, somewhat more common if there has been significant trauma to your teeth or if this is your second course of orthodontic treatment in your life, the root shortening can be more pronounced and your braces treatment course may need to be altered or stopped prematurely to protect the long-term health of your teeth. This rare and unfortunately unpredictable complication will be monitored for closely by your dentist for the duration of your treatment. 
Will my teeth stay straight after I stop wearing braces?

Once you have fully completed your orthodontic treatment and your Train Track braces have been removed, your dentist will fit you with a suitable retainer – both fixed and removable options are available. 

Following straightening and correcting of a patient’s teeth with braces, wearing your retainer correctly is the best protection your newly straightened smile has to stay just as it is. Your dentist will advise you during your final appointment to remove your braces and have your retainer fitted, how long exactly you should continue to wear it full time (although a typical duration is approximately 3 months) after which most patients are generally safe to switch to wearing their retainer only overnight for a further identified period of time, or for life. 

It is important to maintain regular, 6-monthly dental appointments following your treatment with braces, to ensure that you are staying on top of your overall oral health and meeting any potential issues before they can get out of hand. There is nevertheless a natural tendency in all of us for our teeth to become crooked as we age, particularly affecting the lower six front teeth due to the typical shrinkage of the lower jaw gradually over time. However, wearing your retainer indefinitely and correctly will do a lot to help minimise this natural process.

How much do braces cost?

The cost, fitting and monitoring of braces starts from €3000. Prices can range up to €5000 for more severe cases, particularly those where a removable appliance or retainer may be needed to start with. 

Orthodontic treatment with braces is a non-routine dental treatment, and so in Ireland is tax deductable, meaning you will receive 20% of the cost of your treatment back from the government once you submit a claim through Revenue. You will also need to keep a Form Med 2 receipt of your dental care available for Revenue’s records should they request to see it, which your dental team will provide you after any non-routine dental treatment.

We don’t believe that anyone should find high-quality, modern dental treatment out of their reach, and we understand that every patient’s situation is different. So, we offer a range of payment plans which our dedicated and experienced dental and front of house teams will be happy to discuss with you, to help you choose the payment plans that best supports your treatment goals and needs. 

For anyone hoping to pay in monthly installments, we provide one plan that allows you to pay in this manner for your braces and regular monitoring check-ups, with absolutely no down payment or deposit required and at 0% interest. 

Ready to take the first step to straighter teeth?

Call (01) 5252670 today or click here to book your consultation today with our experienced orthodontics team