Orthodontists use power chain braces to close spaces between teeth during orthodontic treatment. They prefer to use them as a solution for moving teeth quickly, and for larger gaps where a tooth might be missing, perhaps due to extraction. Note that power chain braces are typically used toward the end of treatment. In essence, they're not technically braces but rather connected ligatures used in place of single elastics.
Traditional braces are still the most common way to straighten teeth. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) notes how orthodontic treatment is growing in popularity. With 3.9 million US children getting orthodontic treatment and one out of every three orthodontic patients being an adult, there's an apparent demand for straight teeth and a confident smile!
Braces are a simple way to get a perfect smile. Your orthodontist will put brackets on the fronts of your teeth, and an archwire will run through the brackets. They will place single elastics or ligatures around the perimeter of the bracket to secure the archwire. You'll have to see your orthodontist monthly because they will change or adjust the bands as your teeth continue to move. For spaces that aren't closed with single elastic ligatures, power chain braces are a standard end-of-treatment solution.
Your orthodontist knows that biomechanics is essential to achieving the goal of a healthy mouth and satisfying smile. But did you know that closing space between teeth is one of the most challenging procedures that an orthodontist faces? Standard braces use continuous light force to straighten teeth over time, but sometimes that force isn't enough.
Power chain braces provide sliding friction mechanics between the bracket and wire running through each bracket. This method exerts significantly more force than traditional braces without putting intense pressure on your teeth, thereby keeping discomfort to a minimum. Your orthodontist may leave power braces on for a few weeks after they've moved your teeth. This is to ensure the space is securely closed.
This method typically uses a row of connected elastic O-rings attached to the bracket, causing uniform tension over several teeth. O-rings are O-shaped rubber bands that hold braces' archwire to their bracket slots. The tension between these O-rings is what facilitates the closing of the space between your teeth.