Removable braces are made from a combination of acrylic and metal work and, as the name suggests, can be removed. A removable brace is most commonly used for the upper teeth is sometimes called an upper removable appliance, or URA. A URA is commonly used in orthodontic treatment as a temporary solution before or after treatment with fixed braces, or as a standalone treatment for minor orthodontic problems such as an underbite.
URAs consist of a plastic or acrylic plate that fits over the palate and clips onto the upper teeth. The plate contains wires and springs that are adjusted by your orthodontist to move the teeth into their desired positions. URAs are designed to be removable, which means that you can take them out for cleaning, eating, and other activities.
The primary advantage of a URA is their ability to correct minor orthodontic problems without the need for fixed appliances. This can be particularly beneficial for patients who are not yet ready for fixed appliances or who require minor tooth movements.
Depending on the design, a URA can serve many functions including correction of an anterior crossbite (underbite) or as an expander to correct a posterior crossbite or to correct deep bites, facilitate alignment of impacted teeth, or to correct minor crookedness of the teeth.
Once a decision has been made to use a URA, the teeth will be scanned with our iTero 3D scanner, and the scan will be sent to the lab. They will then 3D print a model of the teeth and construct the appliance. This typically takes about 4 weeks depending on the lab. You will then return to have the removable brace fit.
Like any orthodontic appliance, URAs require proper care and maintenance to ensure optimal results. You must wear the appliance for the recommended amount of time each day and keep it clean by brushing and soaking it in a special cleaning solution.
Removable appliances are a versatile and effective type of orthodontic appliance that can correct a range of dental malocclusions and provide additional support during orthodontic treatment. They are a valuable option for patients who are not yet ready for fixed appliances or who require minor tooth movements. If you are considering orthodontic treatment, be sure to discuss the benefits of upper removable appliances with your orthodontist to determine if they are the right choice for you.