During the orthodontic treatment, you want to know the time when your orthodontist takes off the braces. If you are wearing power chains on braces, you may ask, Are power chains Actually the last step in braces?
There is no straight answer to the question. The power chain can be used at the last stage of braces treatment. But, you may have to wear it in the early stage during the tooth alignment or bite correction stage.
You may get it at the last phase of treatment when gaps persist between teeth that need to be closed after tooth alignment and bite correction are done.
However, it varies from case to case and depends on the treatment plan and progress.
But, how can you find it out on your own? And, how can you know how long you have to wear the ortho power chain?
If you know when and why the power chain is used and what are the stages of braces treatment that we have discussed here, you can correlate it with your case.
Before we start, we want to let you know that in some cases rubber bands can be used at the last stage of braces.
Now, let’s know about the power chain.
The stage when the power chain is used in braces
Grossly, there are two stages of active braces treatment, one is the active phase and the other is the retentive phase. You get the power chain on the active phase when tooth movement occurs. The retentive phase is the time when you get a retainer after the removal of braces.
Now, the active phase can be divided into different parts. Before going into that, let’s try to know simply when your orthodontist can use the power chain braces in your mouth to understand clearly when it may come off.
Don’t get confused with the ortho power chain, rubber band, and ligatures. The power chains are made of elastic just like a ligature and rubber band. They are of three types based on the loop placed in the brackets. These are – short, long, and closed.
We, orthodontists, use closed power chains in every tooth, short in every other tooth, and long in every third tooth. You may need to wear a power chain only in two teeth. Sometimes, you may have to wear them on almost all your teeth.
It depends upon the type of case. In fact, every patient doesn’t need a power chain.
But, can the power chain be used in the last steps in braces and why are they necessary?
Usually, the orthodontist uses power chains to close the gaps between the teeth or hold the teeth in position to prevent creating a gap. You might be expecting this one, as closing the gap is usually done in the last phase of braces treatment.
But, what about this gap?
You may have these gaps after the end of tooth alignment. Sometimes the gap may persist from the extraction of teeth for orthodontic treatment or from the beginning of the treatment.
After completing the tooth alignment and bite correction, an orthodontic decides to close the gap to give you a beautiful look before removing the braces. So, he or she takes help from the power chain.
But, this doesn’t mean that he or she must remove the braces.
As we mentioned earlier, all cases are different.
Once the treatment with the power chain is done, you may need other attachments for braces.
We’ll discuss what comes after the power chain later in this article.
However, sometimes, an orthodontist may use the power chain during teeth alignment or bite correction stage.
The reason is to create an extra force with braces and archwire so that they can work effectively. This helps correct misalignment, crooked teeth, and malocclusion.
This happens in the early stage of treatment. If you think, you are at this stage, then you have a long way to go. Keep patience. But, using the power chain in the early stages isn’t always necessary.
Power chain and stages of braces treatment
So, let’s take a look at the stages of braces treatment to find out the duration and correlate it with your condition.
We have mentioned that orthodontic treatment has two-phase – the active treatment phase and the retention phase.
The active phase is the time when you have to wear braces. The retention phase starts after the removal of braces. The orthodontist uses power chains during the active phase of treatment.
Now, let’s divide the active stage into the following stages.
After getting braces, we attach archwires with brackets and activate them. We put a force with this process to move the tooth.
In this stage teeth straightening is the goal to achieve. In this stage, we rarely use the power chain.
But, we can use them to put extra pressure with archwire and brackets on the teeth.
In this stage, we take a good look at your dentition and evaluate the width of the upper and lower teeth.
We check the bite if it performing correctly and then take adequate measurements.
The orthodontist may not use the power chain at this stage.
Fixing the overjet and overbite
Increased overbite is the condition when your upper front teeth bite more forwardly than lower front teeth. And, increased overbite, is the situation when you have a deep bite in the front teeth.
We have to achieve normal overjet and overbite in this stage. So, if there is a problem, we’ll correct it.
We can use a rubber band or springs at this stage. The power chain may not be necessary here.
Closing the gaps and bite correction
This is the stage that you were looking for. If you are in this stage, you must be excited to know you are close to the end of braces treatment.
In this stage, we evaluate your teeth and find if there is any space between teeth. If we find space, we’ll try to close them. You’ll also want to fix those gaps created from teeth removal from braces or after the alignment procedure.
As we know the main function of the power chain is to close gaps, this is the stage when your orthodontist suggests the power chain usually.
However, your orthodontic may use springs to close a gap.
With this, we also check the bite again and correct it properly if it’s needed.
This is the last step in active treatment with braces. We’ll do a final evaluation before taking the braces off.
If everything is correct according to our plan, we remove braces. It’s surely one of the happiest days of your life.
Now, ask yourself, “Are Power Chains The Last Step In Braces?” and try to find the answer.
What comes after power chains?
If you get power chains in the last phase of orthodontic treatment to close the remaining gaps between teeth, your braces can be removed soon after the removal of braces, and then you will get a retainer to hold the teeth in the new position. However, if you have power chains in the early stage, you may need other attachments or more braces tightening procedures.
Let’s try to know a little deeper.
If you have to wear power chains to close spaces between your teeth after alignment and correction of teeth, the orthodontist will wait until the gaps are closed.
During this time, he or she’ll change the power chain from time to time and attaches the new one.
You may feel pain for the first few weeks after getting the chains. So, you feel irritated and want to remove that and know what’s next.
Don’t worry. When there is no spacing, you’ll get the power chain removed. After the removal, you may have to wear braces for a few days depending on the progress.
If everything is ok, then your orthodontist will remove the braces.
But, if he or she feels, you need to correct something, you may have to wear those braces for a few more weeks.
However, if you get the power chain in the early stage, what comes next depends on your orthodontist and the type of your case.
You may have to wear rubber bands, springs, or only braces and archwire.
Finally, we know the answer to this question, Are Power Chains The Last Step In Braces?
In short, power chains are used in the second half of the active treatment phase of braces. It’s almost before the removal of braces that’s near the last steps in braces. However, your orthodontist may use them at the early stage of treatment, if it’s necessary.
You get it at the last stage to ensure that you don’t have gaps in teeth after braces.
Keep in mind that, getting braces treatment needs a lot of patience. And, whatever the time of its use or even though the power chain hurts your teeth, you must get a beautiful smile and become happy after the treatment.