The majority of people go through teeth straightening in some point in their life. Getting a healthy and beautiful smile became easier with the development of new orthodontic technologies. Ceramic braces are one of the popular teeth straightening options presented by modern orthodontics.
Are ceramic braces better than the metal ones? What is so special about them? Who needs ceramic braces? How much do ceramic braces cost? Keep reading and you will find the answers to all those questions and more.
Why Wear Braces?
Braces are used to correct and enhance the appearance of person’s teeth. The main purpose of wearing braces is to align the jaw and straighten the teeth. Since braces improve the orofacial appearance of a person, one might consider braces to be a cosmetic procedure. Braces, however, serve a much bigger purpose.
Crooked teeth and misaligned jaw could make it difficult for the person to have proper oral hygiene. It can be harder to chew food and great strain can be caused
Researchers have established a connection between gum problems, which may occur as a result of bad oral hygiene and heart diseases. Wearing braces not only enhances your dental health but also has an impact on how you feel overall.
What are Ceramic Braces?
Ceramic braces work similar to traditional metal braces. Just like in metal braces brackets are connected with archwires and bonded to the front of the teeth. Ceramic braces expertly blend in with the teeth as they are made of off-tooth colored ceramic material instead of traditional metal.
The brackets on ceramic braces can be made out of monocrystalline, polycrystalline, zirconium and more. With ceramic braces, you can choose to wear clear transparent brackets or brackets with a color that matches the color of your teeth. Transparent brackets usually work best for people with very light teeth. Rubber bands that surround the brackets are made in the same off white color.
The extremely thin metal archwire is generally not noticeable.
Types of Brackets
Ceramic brackets are developed by different competing companies. Constant technological progress in the orthodontic field allows more advanced brackets to become available all the time.
The materials the brackets are made of become stronger and their size becomes smaller. Many of the newly designed brackets, now have a smoother surface and more rounded corners. Those minimize the initial pain which comes along with wearing braces.
Here are some of the available ceramic brackets:
Translucent brackets developed by 3M Unitek.
Transparent brackets developed by ORMCO.
Highly translucent brackets developed by Gac Internetional
Transparent brackets developed by Ortho-Byte. The brackets are made of pure alumina oxide.
Developed by American Orthodontics
Metal lined ceramic bracket system developed by ortho technology.
Keeping Ceramic Braces Clean
Ceramic braces must be cared for at home just as you care for traditional orthodontic braces. After every meal, ceramic braces have to be cleaned well. To prevent cavities and tartar buildup, you must brush and floss on a regular basis. It is recommended to avoid foods such as hard vegetables, hard candies, nuts, bubble gum and pizza crust that can loosen or break the ceramic braces.
Ceramic Braces vs. Metal Braces
One of the major advantages of using ceramic braces is its aesthetic value. These braces work as effectively as the traditional metal braces in aligning the teeth and jaw and are more subtle in appearance.
Ceramic braces are very strong and durable and offer great results as far as teeth straightening is concerned. Some believe that ceramic braces are more comfortable to wear as compared to metal braces.
One of the disadvantages of ceramic braces is that those can be easily stained. The part that stains relatively easy is the rubber bands that are transparent or have a white color. Those rubber bands are changed on every appointment you have during the orthodontic treatment. Avoiding certain foods together with thorough oral hygiene help keep the aesthetic look of ceramic braces.
List of foods that stain ceramic braces:
- Tomato paste
- Soy Sauce
- Dark colored sodas
- Black Tea
- Red Wine
Ceramic braces are more expensive than traditional metal braces. Those braces cost more, at least by a thousand dollars. This is because dentists have to do more work on your teeth as they fix the ceramic braces. These braces as compared to traditional metallic ones also require more follow-up care.
You are lucky if you need braces only for a few teeth and not for all of them. This way, your orthodontist will attach ceramic braces only to teeth that require them and this in turn greatly cuts down on the cost.
The benefits of Ceramic braces compared to metal braces
- Less visible - blend with the teeth
The downsides of Ceramic braces compared to metal braces
- Cost more
- Easily stained
- Can damage tooth enamel if come in contact with other teeth
Are Clear Braces the Same as Invisalign?
Since ceramic braces are also called clear braces some people tend to confuse them with Invisalign braces system. Although both braces tend to make teeth straightening experience less noticeable, those are very different types of braces. Invisalign braces are completely transparent, do not include wires and are removable.
Invisalign vs. Ceramic Braces
The benefits of Invisalign braces compared to ceramic braces are:
- Easier cleaning, since the braces come off for eating and teeth brushing.
- More convenient for athletic activities.
- Less noticeable than ceramic braces since those are transparent and come without any wires or brackets.
- Less adjustment appointments.
- Less painful than ceramic braces.
The downsides of Invisalign braces compared to ceramic braces are:
- The removable retainers can get lost.
- Not for kids.
- Not suitable for severe cases.
- Should be worn for 22 hours each day to be effective. Since the braces are removable many people not wear them enough to get the expected results in time.
Lingual Braces vs. Ceramic Braces
Just like ceramic braces, Lingual braces also offer an aesthetic advantage to people who chose to get them instead of traditional metal ones. Those braces are almost unnoticeable since they are placed on the backside of the teeth.
The major drawback of lingual braces is their price. Those tend to be much more expensive than ceramic braces. Other drawbacks of lingual braces include: not being offered by all orthodontists, being harder to clean and causing tongue irritation.
The benefits of Lingual braces compared to ceramic braces are:
- Hard to spot - placed on backside of teeth.
The downsides of Lingual braces compared to ceramic braces are:
- Not suitable for severe cases.
- Cause tongue irritation.
- Take longer to adjust.
How Much Do Ceramic Braces Cost?
The cost of ceramic braces can vary based on the specific dental case, the location of your dental clinic, the expertise your orthodontist has and some other factors. The price can end up to be anywhere between 2,000 $ and 8500$.
Getting Ceramic Braces Off
In the past, the difficulty of getting ceramic braces removed without damaging the teeth enamel was a major disadvantage of ceramic braces. However, as technology developed this is no longer an issue.
Ceramic braces have their advantages and disadvantages. In most cases, they will produce the same results as the traditional metal braces. We would recommend them to anyone looking for a reasonably priced and aesthetically pleasing orthodontic solution.
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