One of the many journals dedicated to the ever expanding world of orhtodntry is the JCO or Journal Of Clinical Orthodontry. I love this journal because it is fairly accessible, while still keeping it technical enough, and of course, it is yearly, so you can have a nice overview of all of the orthodontic innovations presented in the current year.
The other reason I really like this journal is because there is always an editors corner which talks about the developments and rates the use of new technologies. This year, the most popular new developments were straight wire appliances, and I have not even said a word about them yet on this website! So it is time to rectify the wrongs, and talk a little about these wonderful little things.
Called preadjusted appliances by people in the biz, straight wire appliances are basically functional orthodontic appliances that are smaller, cheaper and less invasive, needing no dental bonding and no painful treatments to effectively align your teeth. They are basically a single metal wire shaped in a particular way to make sure that it can do whatever it is that needs to be done to your teeth. They are lightweight and have plenty of bonuses, and many people are interested because they can take care of orthodontic problems but are light enough and are removable. Pretty sweet deal, when you think about it.
But of course, there are limitation to what these appliances can and cannot do. They cannot rotate teeth, and they cannot provide very severe adjustments. They do great in your run of the mill orthodontic situation, however, and if you have a slight tilt or need a slight aligning of your teeth, this may be your best option. However, if you need to fix a crossbite and need a palate expander to do so, you cannot use these appliances, as currently there is no way to connect the wire with a palatal expander other than a regular fixed brace.