Braces work by exerting consistent pressure on the teeth and jaws to change their position. Over time, your teeth move into the desired position, and the soft tissues that surround the teeth stretch and compress as the teeth move. However, not all teeth will cooperate, as some may require additional support to provide sufficient tooth movement. According to dentists, the solution to this problem is to use an anchor point to create additional pressure to assist the teeth with movement. It’s referred to as the anchorage technique.
How Does The Anchorage Technique Work?
The idea of anchorages for tooth movement has been around since the early 20th century. The technique was introduced by orthodontist Henry Albert Baker, who developed the technique by introducing elastics as a way to move the teeth over time through adjacent support. Because of this technique, tooth extractions became less necessary, and the technique itself was improved upon. Design features such as bio-friendly materials, safety measures, and different materials for braces and has helped many people fight off cases of misalignments.
Due to the success of this technique, many dentists often work within individualized areas to improve their treatments. Dentists under the ADA work under a classification system for anchorage points, providing a wider approach to orthodontic care. Below is the basic summary of this classification system and how it works:
- Site-Based Classification:
- Intraoral – Mounted within the oral cavity
- Extraoral – These anchorages require external equipment. Headgear and facemasks are the most common extraoral devices used to secure these teeth. These come in both occipital and cervical mounts, using the head and neck, respectively.
- Muscular – These anchorages are secured within muscle tissue.
- Number of Treated Teeth
- Simple/Primary – One tooth
- Compound – Involving multiple teeth
- Reinforced – Secured to multiple points, frequently cervical and occipital mounts
- Reciprocal – Used to draw two teeth together.
- Stationary – Altering the dental angle while securing it in place
- Space-Based Classification
- Group A – Primary adjustment of rear teeth
- Group B – Adjustment of both front and rear teeth
- Group C – Primary adjustment of front teeth
- Absolute Anchorage – Only adjusting teeth towards the rear
Because of this classification system, dentists can provide a more consistent way to treat teeth and identify anchorage points. Doing so protects patients’ teeth by reducing the risk of failure and improving their oral health. Many orthodontists and dentists have to work with various aspects of their patient’s oral health to define the points of anchorage for treatment, with more techniques being revisited as time goes on. However, what’s most important here is that this creates a more individualized approach for patients, especially ones with complex tooth problems.
Where You Should Go To Learn More About Braces
Understanding how these techniques work can be a useful way to guide you on the type of procedures your dentist recommends. It can also help you make good dental health choices and better decisions for you and your family. If you have any concerns about orthodontic treatments, anchorage, and misalignments, your primary dentist is the best place to go for more information.