Are you stuck trying to decide between metal and ceramic (clear) braces? Your best options may depend on a number of factors. Dr. Cheba is here to explain why these options, and their clear aligner alternative, are all so hotly debated.
How do Braces Help?
Braces straighten and move your misaligned teeth into their proper and healthy positions. They are effective in both simple and complex orthodontic health situations, ranging from crossbite, overbite, and underbite to misalignment.
Misaligned teeth, since they are more difficult to clean than straight teeth, can cause all sorts of oral health problems like gum disease and tooth decay. Misaligned teeth are also more easily worn down because of their uneven wear pattern with the surrounding teeth. Misaligned teeth may also make their owners feel self-conscious about how they look or insecure about their smile. Lastly, misaligned teeth can even make tasks like biting into things or eating more difficult!
Braces can address the above issues by fixing misaligned teeth.
A bracket is fixed to each tooth and then connected with a wire, which is secured in the back. Brackets on the rear molar have a mechanism that your orthodontist can use to tighten the wire.
The wire is held against the bracket by a special type of rubber band, referred to as a ligature. And the brackets are held against your teeth by a special kind of dental cement.
Throughout the duration of your treatment, Dr. Cheba will adjust your braces slightly at regular appointments. Pressure is gradually and strategically applied to bring your smile into alignment. You can express your style by choosing the colour of the ligatures on your braces too.
The Difference Between Metal Braces & Clear Braces
You are likely familiar with metal braces, since they are the most common type. As their name implies, metal braces are made entirely of metal, Compared to the metal braces of the past, however, the braces that Dr. Cheba will fit you with are far more advanced and streamlined.
You will find there is way less of a risk of brackets irritating the sides of your lips or cheeks since they have become smaller and more comfortable. Some people are reluctant to use metal braces for their treatment, however, because of their appearance. If you are concerned about how noticeable metal braces are, there is a "clear" alternative.
Clear braces aren't actually transparent. The brackets are, in fact, made from a tooth-coloured ceramic so that they blend in with your smile.
Take note: Even though clear braces are a compromise in visibility between metal braces and clear aligners, they are actually larger than metal braces. They are also a bit more brittle and tend to be slightly more expensive than metal braces are. Because of this, they are most often only used on the upper front teeth, which are the most visible.
Option 3: Clear Aligners
Clear aligners, like Invisalign, are transparent, removable orthodontic appliances that are custom-made to fit your smile.
Composed on clear plastic, clear aligners are low profile and have no wires or brackets to speak of! To the casual observer, you won't have any orthodontic appliance in your mouth at all.
What about cost?
For patients who may not be candidates for clear aligners, clear braces exist as a compromise. Clear braces also usually fall in between the other two options in terms of cost.
Metal braces are most often the most economical option, while clear aligners usually come in just above the average price of braces. Cost, however, will always depend on the orthodontic issues being treated, the duration of said treatment, and a host of other factors.