Ceramic braces are the ideal alternative to metal braces in terms of aesthetics. But are they the best option from a medical standpoint as well? Do they work as well as metal braces? In this article, we will provide you with the most important information about ceramic braces, so that you can decide if they are a good option for you. Read on to see a brief comparison between ceramic and metal braces, pros and cons, as well as the price range for these devices in the US. Find out what are clear ceramic braces, if they take longer to wear, and whether they stain or not.
What Are Ceramic Braces?
Just like metal braces, braces made of ceramic are orthodontic devices that are used to align and straighten teeth. They have the same structure as metallic braces. The main difference is that the wires they include simulate tooth color. The brackets, which are the most noticeable parts of the braces, can be tooth-colored, or even clear. They employ the same system and orthodontic principles as metallic braces, but they are less noticeable.
Ceramic Braces vs Metal Braces
To get a better idea of the improvements brought on by these dental devices, we would like to point out the main differences between these two types of braces.
Types of Ceramic Braces
- Clear ceramic braces. These braces are made from an aluminum compound that is stain-resistant and durable. If you have naturally white teeth, you might want to opt for clear braces. The material will be barely visible on your teeth.
- White ceramic braces. Here, white means tooth-colored, since our teeth are not naturally pure white. If your teeth are a bit darker, these are the braces for you.
- Colored ceramic braces. If you want to jazz up the way your braces look, and you don’t mind drawing attention toward them, you can get colored braces, which come in many color options.
Ceramic Braces Pros and Cons
- Ceramic braces were created as a less noticeable alternative to traditional braces made of metal. As such, the main advantage is that they improve the patient’s appearance and self-image.
- By replacing the materials used for the bracket-and-wiring system, patients can enjoy a more neutral look, because the braces colors do not contrast with the teeth.
- Wearing braces is not a fashion choice, it is a medical necessity. However, by making patients more comfortable with their orthodontic devices, the outcome of the treatment can actually be better.
- The age of the patients influences their reaction to the treatment. Children could be subjected to bullying because of their braces, while adults may fear that braces could make them look childish and less professional. Ceramic braces significantly reduce the social anxiety caused by wearing these dental devices. That’s why they are a very pertinent treatment option.
- Ceramic braces are more durable than you might think. They are resistant to chipping and breaking.
- Unlike metal braces, ceramic braces don’t stain your teeth easily.
- Braces made of ceramic are more comfortable than metal braces, and do not irritate your gums as easily.
- Ceramic braces align your teeth faster than invisible braces like Invisalign braces.
- The orthodontist can easily remove ceramic braces once they’ve aligned your teeth.
Ceramic Braces Cons:
Ceramic and metal braces share the same principles and core structure. However, replacing the metal wiring and brackets with silver wiring and ceramic brackets has some notable consequences on the outcome of the treatment.
- Ceramic braces cost is higher, because of more expensive materials, and more complex maintenance procedures.
- Not suited for complicated cases that require a strong fixation.
- Longer treatment – Because ceramic braces cannot be fixed as tightly as metal braces, patients must wear them for longer to achieve the same goal.
- Bracket failure is another disadvantage of these dental devices. If one of the brackets is broken, replacing it involves additional medical procedures, and maybe even delaying the treatment process.
- Harder to get used to.
- Require more visits to the orthodontist’s office.
- More irritating for the oral soft tissues (the patient’s lips and cheeks). Thus, patients need to be more attentive with the braces.
These are the ceramic braces pros and cons, based on your lifestyle you can decide for yourself if this is a good solution for you or not.
Ceramic Braces Cost
Ceramic braces are more expensive than standard metallic braces. While the braces fees required for metallic braces range between $3,000 and $7,000, the ceramic braces cost ranges from $4,000 to as much as $8,000.
Factors that Increase the Ceramic Braces Price
- The cost of the materials – These dental devices require more expensive materials (silver) for the wiring and brackets.
- The length of the treatment plan – Treating the same medical issue with ceramic braces may take longer than using metallic braces, which also generates a price difference.
- Higher maintenance costs – The general maintenance of these orthodontic devices is more complex, which increases the ceramic braces cost, and the overall price of the treatment. Bracket failure may also lead to additional medical procedures.
In the US, the cost of ceramic braces might be covered by your dental insurance plan. However, this differs from case to case, so you have to check your plan to see how much of the ceramic braces cost will be reimbursed to you, if at all.
Moreover, it is worth mentioning that there is no fixed sum of money everyone will pay for ceramic braces. The cost differs from dentist to dentist, and it fluctuates according to the materials used, the length of the treatment, and so on.
Do Ceramic Braces Stain?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes. The lighter the color of the ceramic brackets, the more exposed it is to unwanted coloring. This occurs when the ceramic brackets get into contact with certain foods and beverages.
The bad news is that there is no actual solution available for this common problem. Patients should reduce the intake of food and beverages that can stain their brackets, such as:
- Red wine
- Fizzy drinks that are dark
- Sweets that are brightly colored
- Soy sauce
You should also know that smoking can accelerate the staining of the brackets.
The good news is that these braces are replaced monthly, which gives patients a fresh start every month. If you want to whiten your teeth, you shouldn’t do that until you remove the braces. That’s because the area where the brackets are bonded is hard to reach with any whitening agent, even if it is just a whitening toothpaste for good oral hygiene. As a result, if you choose to whiten your teeth while still wearing the braces, you will be left with darker marks once you take them off.
Ceramic braces are an extremely attractive alternative to the old-fashioned and considerably more noticeable metal braces. The core benefits they offer are related to appearance. While this may seem like a less important aspect, it is, in fact, extremely pertinent. The vast majority of patients in need of braces ultimately opt for alternative treatment options just to avoid the embarrassment of wearing braces.
We hope this article contains the information you were looking for about ceramic braces, and that you now have a better idea of the advantages they can bring about, as well as their limitations. What was your experience with these devices? Share your thoughts with us!
Recommended Read: How Do Braces Work?