For patients who want or need the strength and reliability of traditional metal braces, but with a more subtle appearance, ceramic braces can be an excellent option.
What are ceramic braces?
Ceramic braces are also referred to as clear braces, tooth-colored braces, or esthetic braces. These function the same way metal braces do. Brackets are attached to the teeth, a wire is inserted, and bends in this wire will be used to provide different types of pressure on different teeth, encouraging them to move into more desirable positions. The difference between metal braces and ceramic braces lies in the components.
As the names imply, metal braces are composed of a sequence of metal brackets, while ceramic braces are made of either translucent (monocrystalline alumina) or tooth-colored (polycrystalline) ceramic brackets. Both of these ceramic options will blend in well with your natural smile. Though not completely invisible, they’re much less noticeable than metal braces, even though the brackets are about the same size and shape.
When ceramic brackets are paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties, they are an incredibly inconspicuous way to straighten your smile. As you might expect, these are an especially attractive orthodontic option for our adult patients! Ceramic braces are perfect for patients who don’t want their braces to stand out, but aren’t suitable candidates for a clear aligner system like Invisalign. Even though most patients in ceramic braces love how discrete they are, we do have some teens and adults who like to use colored ligature ties. These give braces an almost “neon” look, where the colors pop off the clear brackets, creating a really unique look most people haven’t seen before.
What are some other differences between ceramic and metal braces?
Metal braces are known for their durability and strength. Although ceramic braces are also tough, they are made from a different, more fragile material that is easier to chip or crack. Traditional braces are also able to tolerate more pressure than newer ceramic ones. If you require more severe corrections, metal braces could be the better option. Adjustments have to be slightly smaller with ceramic braces, so it can take a little more time to align your teeth successfully. Having said that, both types of braces work on the same principles and tend to be equally as effective for most cases.
Some people worry about ceramic braces staining, but that hasn’t been a problem for several years. Ceramic brackets won’t stain. However, the adhesive used to attach the brackets to the teeth can stain, and so can the clear elastic ties used to hold the wires in. This can give an overall impression of discoloration or staining over time. Some ceramic braces patients will avoid things like coffee and tea, red wine, tomatoes, mustard, etc. to cut back on the chance of any staining, but this is likely unnecessary, since we place new elastics at every adjustment appointment. As long as you maintain a good oral hygiene routine, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about giving up your morning cup of coffee or evening glass of wine!
Are ceramic braces affordable?
When looking at the cost of treatment, one of the biggest factors will be the materials used to craft your braces. Currently, ceramic brackets tend to be more costly than metal brackets. The work involved in putting braces on, adjusting them, and taking them off must also be factored into the total cost of treatment. The placement and removal of ceramic braces is more sensitive to technique and requires more time. Adjustments can also be more involved. On the whole, ceramic braces will generally cost more over the course of treatment than metal braces.
The good news is, Saddle Creek Orthodontics offer flexible payment plans, automatic bank drafts, and we will also check with your insurance company for orthodontic benefits. Our goal is to provide outstanding value for reasonable fees! While those treatment fees will vary depending on the complexity of your orthodontic treatment, Dr. Kyle will determine a treatment fee that fits your specific orthodontic needs, and our office will do everything we can to accommodate you and your budget.
Are ceramic braces right for me?
Only a thorough orthodontic evaluation with Dr. Fagala can determine what treatment you need, and which treatment option is likely to be best for you and your smile. Because ceramic brackets are often more costly than metal brackets, and due to them being more vulnerable to breakage, we feel that ceramic braces are generally better suited to adults and older teens. Schedule a free consultation with us to learn more about the suitability of ceramic braces for your particular case.