What do hardware and dental care have in common? While you don’t go to the dentist to buy nails and screws, there are several dental procedures and appliances that bear interesting resemblances to items found at a hardware store.

There are obvious metal-based similarities like braces, bridges, headgear, dental implants, retainers and expanders, however, dental “hardware” also includes devices not made of metal such as crowns, dentures, inlays, onlays, occlusal guards, and flippers.

Evolution of Orthodontics

Traditional metal braces have transformed erstwhile crooked smiles into beauties since their advent. Despite their indisputable results, some people are reluctant to commit to bonded brackets and wires, due to their appearance. Headgear, often the cause of many a teenage tantrum, can be very beneficial guiding the face and jaw, and mimic archery with a facebow or arch wire.

Sometimes in orthodontics jaws are widened with upper and lower jaw expanders, devices which resemble winches or hardware expanders, as both use cranks to open up a space or allow things to fit together better.

The desire to eliminate “metal mouth” led to the development of ceramic and clear braces. Should you be a candidate, at New Look Dental our favorite method for teeth straightening are Invisalign braces as you can remove your aligners to eat what you like and still look great in photos while transforming your smile.

To maintain your newly refined smile, dental retainers are a must to help maintain your straight teeth, yes, one more piece of “hardware”.

Bridging the Gaps

Bridges typically connote architectural marvels like the Golden Gate or Brooklyn bridges that revolutionized transportation, allowing us to connect islands or landlocked areas. Similarly, dental bridges close the distance between two disconnected teeth. Where there is tooth loss, the adjacent or abutment teeth are ground down, fitted with crowns and then the false tooth is attached, allowing the recipient to eat what they like and smile with abandon. New Look Dental offers multiple types of dental bridges to meet our patients’ needs.

Space maintainers work much like a shim placed between two pieces of wood, and are used when children’s permanent teeth are slow to appear or they lose their baby teeth prematurely. Space maintainers are recommended as a means to provide support while waiting for permanent teeth to erupt.

Advancement of Dentures

Dental dentures have evolved dramatically from the “days of yore” when made from animal or human teeth, and ivory. This was followed by porcelain mounted on 18k gold plates accompanied by springs and swivels, very much like hardware! What came next for false teeth dentures included vulcanite, a hardened rubber, then resins and plastics. In addition to full or partial removable dentures sitting on the gums, partial dentures may also be screwed on to dental implants or attached with snap-on posts. Should you have tooth loss, Dr. Kirakosian will present the different options available, including the types of dentures that would benefit you.

It doesn’t take much imagination to draw the analogies between dental crowns, inlays, onlays, occlusal guards, flippers and other hardware devices.