Patients often wonder if ceramic braces or metal braces are better for them. Both have unique benefits that patients should consider before making a decision.
Ceramic braces are made of ceramic materials and are tooth-colored, giving patients a more natural appearance. Metal braces are made of stainless steel and work faster than ceramic braces. Patients should consult with their orthodontist to see which braces are best for them.
When ceramic braces were first introduced, they used a ceramic material that did not have the strength to withstand the amount of time needed to complete a treatment plan. With improved technology, ceramic braces now last just as long as traditional braces and are more accessible for patients to maintain than before.
Ceramic braces use tooth-colored brackets that blend with your teeth, making them less noticeable than metal braces. Some adult patients prefer ceramic brackets because of the more natural look.
Traditional Metal Braces
Metal brackets can be made from stainless steel or nickel-titanium alloy materials depending on what your orthodontist prefers. Metal is more robust than ceramic and holds up better under pressure from heavy bite forces. They are also more durable for aligning significant gaps between teeth during the initial treatment phases (when teeth need lots of movement). Metal braces are also less likely to stain than ceramic braces.
Pros and Cons of Metal and Ceramic Braces
Both ceramic and metal braces have their unique benefits. It is essential to consult with your orthodontist about which type of braces will work best for you, depending on the severity of your malocclusion (bad bite), crowding, budget, and preferences.
Benefits of Ceramic Braces
Ceramic brackets usually cost more than metal braces because of the material they are made of. However, the ceramic material used to create ceramic braces makes them less noticeable, so some patients prefer the ceramic option. With ceramic or clear braces, your orthodontist can match the brackets, wires, and bands to your tooth color for a less noticeable appearance.
Ceramic braces are also very durable. They are difficult to damage and can last the duration of your dental treatment. Patients who have experienced both metal and ceramic braces have stated that ceramic is less painful on your gums and cheeks.
Benefits of Metal Braces
Metal braces have been around for many years. They are still the most popular type of orthodontic treatment today due to their strength and durability in more complicated cases like severe malocclusions or crowding issues.
The bands on metal braces can be changed and customized with the patient’s color choice. This feature is especially appealing for children or teens who want to add some color and personality to their elastic ties.
Cons of Ceramic Braces
Cost: Ceramic braces cost more than traditional braces.
Size: While most dental braces have shrunk in bracket size, ceramic braces can have slightly larger brackets than others. It is important to note that metal and ceramic brackets are very similar in size.
Teeth Stains: Metal or ceramic braces can cause stains over time. Ceramic brackets are attached to the teeth with small rubber bands. The longer the rubber stays on your teeth, the more likely they can stain and cause tooth discoloration. However, you can talk to your orthodontist about removing the stains after completing the treatment.
Pressure and time: Ceramic braces are durable and straighten teeth successfully, but there can be a risk of the brackets breaking with too much pressure over an extended period of time. If your dentist expects extensive treatment, you may be better off wearing metal braces to prevent brackets from breaking.
Cons of Metal Braces
Visibility: The most apparent disadvantage of metal braces is visibly noticing your brackets. Whereas with ceramic, you can get clear or tooth-colored brackets that are less noticeable.
Irritation: Some patients experience more mouth irritation and pain with metal braces because the brackets, wires, and bands are all stainless steel or nickel-titanium alloy. Metal braces are great for straightening crooked teeth, but ceramic braces may be a better option for you if you have metal allergies.
Initially Painful: If you have mouth or gum sensitivity, metal braces can cause some discomfort initially. If you need to wear braces for an extended time, metal brackets may cause more harm than good during your treatment plan. Ceramic braces are less likely to irritate your gums and cheeks initially.
How should I choose which one is right for me?
Both ceramic and metal braces have their unique benefits, so patients should consult with their orthodontist to see which type of braces is best for them. If you are looking for a more natural look, ceramic braces may be the right choice for you. If you need faster treatment or have a strong bite force or a severe malocclusion, metal braces may be better suited for you.
No matter what type of braces you choose, it is essential to remember that regular dental checkups and cleanings are still necessary during orthodontic treatment. For more information on ceramic vs. metal braces, don’t hesitate to contact our office! We would be happy to answer any questions you may have
Who can help me choose the right type of braces?
Patients should consult with their orthodontist to see which type of braces would be better for them. Both ceramic and metal braces have the same treatment outcome, so the choice depends on personal preference and cost.
If you are considering ceramic brackets, your teeth must be in good enough alignment initially to use the ceramic material because ceramic can crack if there is too much pressure applied during initial treatment phases (when there must be more tooth movement). Your orthodontist will examine your current oral health and help determine which is the best option for your needs and budget.
Our dental team at Hello Family Dental can help you make the right choice. Along with general dentistry, we can set up an orthodontic plan to help straighten your misaligned teeth in less time and less pain. Allow us to show you an exceptional dental experience today!