We have heard all about braces and hated them at some point in our lives but their importance cannot be denied. These little teeth decorators are necessary for repositioning your jaw and teeth to make your smile prettier and giving your teeth the refining, they need. But have you ever wondered what are elastic rubber bands that your dentist uses between these braces to connect them? Well, they are called Power Chains and today we are here to talk about them.
What are Power Chains?
Power Chains are a type of elastic band that looks like interconnected “o” shaped rubber bands giving them the look of a chain but are tiny in size. They are used along with the braces, connected to the brackets already attached to your teeth to tie them with each other. Power Chains are used to help close teeth gaps and treat other orthodontic problems quickly and effectively. They are usually made up of an elastic material but sometimes, your dentist might use a metal twist one based on the specific requirements of your teeth. Power Chains provide a stronger bond between teeth and offer more force and pressure to move the teeth. They can be used on a few of your teeth rather than all, according to the needs and function more quickly than brackets and ligatures.
What Do Power Chains Do?
Power Chains are versatile and can be used to treat numerous orthodontic issues like straightening crooked teeth, closing gaps between teeth, fixing misalignments, rotating teeth, and malocclusions. They can be used to close the gap between teeth that exists naturally or occurred due to tooth extraction. Power Chains connect all your teeth and exert more pressure on them than a regular bracket. They make the process quicker and offer more customization and can be used to address various treatments at the same time.
Power Chains are relatively easy to apply and are simply attached to the already attached braces. Your dentist will remove the individual ligatures first and then replace them with the power chain of your choice. They can also be used on a specific area and on specific teeth that require treatment.
Different Types of Power Chains:
Like braces, power chains are not one size fits all because each patient has different requirements and issues that need to be resolved differently. Which rings of the power chain rings will be attached to which bracket and the spacing between the links on the power chain will depend upon the specific requirements of your teeth. You can decide along with your dentist to opt for the setting which fits best for you. There are several types of power chains available, however, the three general ones are:
- Closed chain: This chain has no space between the rings and each ring is connected and linked directly to the next rings. This type of chain is attached to every bracket on your teeth.
- Short chain: In this chain, the rings have a minor space between them and are not linked directly with each other. This chain is attached to every alternative bracket, leaving one bracket in between.
- Long chain: This chain has even more space between the rings than the short-chain. Due to the long distance between each ring, this chain is connected to every third bracket on your teeth.
Depending upon your needs, you might be required to wear a different type of chain during the entire procedure as you go through progress.
Color Customization of Power Chain:
Power chains come in different colors and you can choose the one you like. From neon colors to silvery ones, power chains have a wide variety for you to choose from. You can choose a color that holds some special meaning for you and you can even get a different color every time your power chain is replaced. The color you choose can also depend upon your needs, such as what color goes best with your complexion or if you are a smoker then you can choose a silvery color and avoid light colors like yellow so that the chain does not get stained visibly.
Do Power Chains Hurt?
You will feel some pain in your jaw due to the pressure that power chains exert however it will wear off in a few days. They do not cause relevant pain, just some discomfort for a few days until you get used to it. You will also be required to eat soft food or consume more liquids after the power chains have been installed. You will also need to avoid hard or sticky food like jellies and food that contains high sugar amounts to prevent the formation of plagues. Your power chains will also require tightening from time to time and you might feel some pain and irritation after each tightening but it will pass off soon and you can take OTC painkillers to treat the pain.
For How Long Will I Need to Wear Power Chains?
You might be required to wear a power chain for 6 months or 3 years, it all depends on the severity of your problems. Although a power chain works faster than normal ligatures, it will require time to fix complex issues and prevent future problems. Sometimes a dentist will recommend you to keep wearing the power chain for some time even after it has accomplished its goal to make sure your teeth do not revert to their previous position.
Associated Risks of Power Chains:
You will need to get your power chains replaced regularly to protect your oral hygiene and ensure the pressure remains constant. Power chains induce risks and side effects just like braces including:
- Power chains may cause tooth decay due to plaque build-up.
- If you do not wear your retainer regularly, power chains may lead to inaccurately aligned teeth and jaw.
- Food may become trapped in your braces and power chain and if it is not cleared, it might lead to plaque formation and cause gum diseases.
All in all, power chains can be a good option for you if you suffer from multiple oral diseases and issues and want a more effective treatment than regular ligatures. Power Chains work quickly and solve all your teeth problems to help you achieve your smile goals.