What are Ceramic Braces?
The first ceramic braces appeared in 1987. These are made from aluminum oxide, also known as corundum in its most common form. This metal has a hardness ranking of 9/10 on the Mohs scale.
A clear bracket is a thin piece of ceramic mounted on your teeth that is attached to rubber bands and wires, much like the ones in conventional orthodontic treatment. It is used to correct bite problems.
Steel, ceramic, or another metal may be used for brackets, while glass is commonly used for bands. An archwire controls the movement of the teeth and connects the brackets and bands.
Some people may opt to wear a combination ceramic and steel brace since ceramic braces are more discreet than metal braces. Metal braces have some drawbacks.
Pros and cons
- Less painful:
Some people who have worn metal braces and ceramic braces have reported that ceramic braces are far more gentle on the gums and cheeks than metal braces.
- More esthetic:
Even if braces are necessary, some people are reluctant to have them because they are visible and embarrassing. Ceramic braces may be colored to match your natural teeth, which makes them difficult to see at a distance.
Clear aligners (Invisalign) take around a year to straighten your teeth whereas ceramic braces can move teeth faster. Ceramic braces can straighten your teeth in 18 to 36 months while Invisalign can take up to a year.
Oftentimes, patients do not believe ceramic braces are durable or that they will not need to be replaced every couple of years. Those braces are very fragile and can be easily damaged.
Braces made of metal are available only in gray (or shiny metallic, if possible), but ceramic braces are available in virtually every shade and design.
- Signals disturbance:
Ceramic braces do not interfere with imaging tests. The signals from metal braces are disrupted during imaging tests. Metal braces can cause more interference.
- Less allergenic:
Nickel, which is commonly used in dental appliances and braces, is less likely to cause allergic reactions in dental practices. Nickel-related contact dermatitis is less common than generally expected.
Stainless steel alloys, for example, can contain up to 8% nickel. Many metallic alloys are used for orthodontics, but most contain nickel.
- Less plaque accumulation:
The study discovered that teens with ceramic braces were less likely to accumulate plaque on their teeth and braces over the long term compared with those with metal braces. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film on your teeth that can collect bacteria.
The size of ceramic braces is larger, as they come with larger brackets. For some people, this could be a concern. But not to worry, since the brackets can be matched to the color of your teeth.
Metal braces work the same way, in that they are attached to your teeth by rubber bands. However, rubber bands do not fade as quickly as metal braces because they are porous. As a result, the longer they remain inside the mouth, the more they stain.
- Gum sensitivity:
Ceramic brackets tend to be more substantial than metal brackets. This can make it more difficult to clean around your brackets.
- More durable:
The chances of a ceramic brace breaking are twice as high as those of a metal one.
- Enamel damage:
You can also damage your tooth (enamel) by removing the glue (debonding).
- Less effectiveness:
In addition to moving teeth slower, they’re less durable and since they get broken, you’ll have to fix them or adjust them incrementally at every visit, which can delay the treatment.
Ceramic Braces vs Traditional Metal Braces:
The metal brackets of metal braces are made of stainless steel and the ceramic brackets are made of polycrystalline alumina. Alumina can be either clear or the same color as the teeth.
Unlike metallic brackets, ceramic brackets blend in with the color of your teeth and are also known as “clear braces.” They are made out of transparent ceramic material that doesn’t show when you have white teeth.
When combined with tooth-colored brackets, flexible metal archwire makes braces almost invisible. Other colors of the metal archwire are also available, such as white, silver, and frosted. Students or adults with working schedules who want straight teeth but don’t want the “metal” look often choose dental fusion.
In addition to offering some cosmetic benefits, ceramic-made braces can also have some disadvantages. They are not as durable as metal braces due to the material used for the brackets.
Study after study shows that clear/ceramic brackets are twice as likely to crack or break as metal brackets. For that reason, ceramic braces have to be maintained well. Crispy or hard candy cannot be eaten with them.
How Effective Are They?
In terms of effectiveness, it depends on your dental condition and what is recommended by the orthodontist. Ceramic braces can address many of the same problems as the traditional type. However, ceramic is not as strong as metal and may not be suitable for everyone.
Those with extreme misalignments, overcrowding, and severe misalignments might require traditional braces. Only a professional dentist or orthodontist can give you an accurate assessment of the best solution for your case.
Are you a Good Candidate?
The ideal candidate for braces is someone who has all their adult teeth and has stopped growing. This will ensure that the teeth align more quickly and that the brackets do not move around due to the shifting of the teeth.
When you desire the simplicity and speed of metal braces yet want the subtlety of Invisalign, ceramic braces can be the best choice.
Ceramic braces cost:
As of this writing, ceramic braces normally cost between $4,000 and $8,000. Metal braces typically cost between $3,000 and $6,000. Many clear aligners like Invisalign are available for as little as $3,000 to $8,000.
Braces and alignments of any type are typically not covered by most insurance plans. Your orthodontist will have to draw up an orthodontic plan on your behalf.
LENGTH DURING TREATMENT:
Braces made of ceramic are fragile, which means that they need more maintenance and replacement over time. Metal braces are more effective and last longer, so metal braces are better choices when correcting your teeth.
It will need to be adjusted more frequently over a longer period since ceramic brackets break more easily than metal ones; therefore, the straightening process may take longer, as it takes more time to straighten between visits with the orthodontist to repair broken brackets.
What colors are available?
- Archwire: A wire that encircles your teeth is called an archwire. It connects all the brackets and applies pressure to the teeth, straightening them. They’re often available in silver, white, or frosted to blend in with your brackets.
- Brackets: Usually available in white, brackets stick to the teeth.
- Elastic bands: They attach to the brackets, and they hold the archwire in place. The elastic bands can be colored any way you like. These bands hold the archwire in place and aid in adjusting the position of teeth and jaw. Your smile can be customized by choosing colors that complement your skin tone or by selecting a rainbow pattern across it.
What are the Conditions that it Can Treat?
A flexible wire is attached to the teeth by a bracket attached to either a clear or tooth-colored bracket. The wire is adjusted by your orthodontist to match the correct position of your teeth.
There are many types of orthodontic problems that can be treated using ceramic braces, also called malocclusion. Each condition requires careful planning and expert treatment. Be sure that you find an expert orthodontist with experience in creating healthy smiles.
Overjet, the gap between teeth, crossbite, and gaps between teeth are some of the common malocclusions which can be corrected by ceramic braces.
Ceramic or clear braces require more time to be treated due to the delicate materials used in the brackets. But a skilled orthodontist can make ceramic braces work reliably for you.
If you are looking for a low-key option, ceramic braces can be a great option. However, they can be less durable and they may take longer for your bite to heal. They can also be more expensive and stain more easily.
If you’re having trouble deciding between ceramic braces and metal braces, talk to your dentist and orthodontist. One may be more effective for you than the other.