Trying to decide between metal braces and clear (ceramic) braces? The best option for you will depend on a number of factors. Our orthodontists at Village Orthodontics - Guelph explain why these options, along with clear aligners, are so hotly debated.
How do Braces Help?
Braces will straighten your teeth and realign them into their corrected positions. They are suitable for both simple and complex orthodontic issues, including misalignment, underbite, overbite and crossbite.
Misaligned teeth can cause additional dental and oral health issues like tooth decay or gum disease because they are harder to keep clean than straight teeth. Due to an uneven wear pattern, misaligned teeth may also be more easily worn down. Aesthetics are another thing to think about. Many people who have crooked teeth or an improper bite are self-conscious about the way their smiles look. Finally, having crooked teeth can occasionally make simple daily tasks like eating and speaking more challenging.
Braces can help fix misaligned teeth, thereby addressing the above-mentioned issues.
For braces treatment, a bracket is affixed to each tooth and connected with a wire, which is secured in the back. Brackets on the rear molars have a mechanism attached that allows your orthodontist to tighten the wire.
The wire is held against the bracket with rubber bands called ligatures. The brackets are held to your teeth using a special type of cement.
When you visit your orthodontist throughout the duration of your treatment, your braces are adjusted slightly. Pressure is gradually applied to your teeth through the braces to bring your smile into alignment. You have the option of choosing coloured elastics (rubber bands) to express your style.
The Difference Between Metal Braces & Clear Braces
Due to their prevalence, traditional metal braces are probably something you are already familiar with. These braces are made entirely of metal, as suggested by their name (though they are supported by elastics). Metal braces have undergone numerous improvements as a result of advancements in orthodontic technology, and the brackets used today are significantly more streamlined than those used in the past.
Now, there’s less risk of a bracket irritating the inside of your lips or cheeks, as brackets have gotten smaller and more comfortable. But, some people are still reluctant to go with metal braces because of their appearance. If you are concerned about others noticing your braces, you could consider 'clear' alternatives.
Clear braces are not actually transparent. Instead, the brackets are made of tooth-coloured ceramic, allowing them to blend in better with your smile.
Beware: Despite looking like a cross between clear aligners and metal braces, clear braces are actually bigger and more brittle than conventional metal braces. In order to reduce costs, they are frequently only used on the upper front (most visible) teeth, where they are also a little more expensive than metal braces.
Option 3: Clear Aligners
Clear aligners such as SureCure are transparent, removable orthodontic appliances that are custom-made to fit your smile.
Made of clear plastic material, they are lower profile than braces and do not come with metal brackets or wires. The casual observer will be hard-pressed to see them on your teeth.
What about cost?
For people who aren’t candidates for clear aligners, clear braces may be a good compromise. Clear braces also typically fall in the middle of the spectrum in terms of cost, depending on your treatment requirements.
The least expensive option for braces is typically metal, with clear aligners costing slightly more. Of course, the cost will vary depending on the type of orthodontic issue you have, how long your treatment will last, and other factors.