Types of Braces
Thanks to today’s technology, patients now have more option when it comes to wearing braces. While regular metal braces are still widely used, clear braces are becoming increasingly popular along with removable appliances that can be used for mild cases of misaligned teeth.
In the “old days,” metal braces were not just brackets, but bands that wrapped around the entire tooth. Nowadays, people wear small metal brackets that are glued to the front of each tooth (a big improvement!) Those old-fashioned bands are usually reserved for molars or teeth with fillings that spill to the outside surface of a tooth. Metal brackets tend to be less expensive than other types of brackets. In addition, you can make them colorful with ligatures that come on a rainbow of colors.
Advantages of Metal Braces
- Metal brackets tend to be the least expensive of all the types of braces.
- They take the least amount of time among all the types of braces.
Ceramic brackets are made of composite materials. They are very strong and generally do not stain. Adults like to choose ceramic because they “blend in” with the teeth and are less noticeable than metal.
Advantages of Ceramic Braces
- They blend in with most teeth, particularly if they are not perfectly white. They are not very noticeable at a distance or in photos.
- Contrary to what you may have heard, ceramic brackets do not usually break or come off your teeth. They are very strong, and if bound with a plasma light, stay on as well as metal brackets.
Disadvantages of Ceramic Braces
- The clear or white ligatures (little elastics that hold the arch wire to the brackets) can stain, which defeats aesthetics of the ceramic braces. But those are changed at your monthly adjustment.
- Treatment can take a few months longer in ceramic braces.
- From a purely aesthetic point of view, they are a bit larger than metal brackets.
- If you have severe problems, your orthodontist will not use ceramic brackets in many cases, because they may not be strong enough to withstand the forces of some types of treatment.