Did you know that, at any given point, over 4 million people in the US are wearing braces? You might not notice that many people with braces in their mouths because ceramic braces are clear and therefore less noticeable.
Before you go out and ask your local orthodontist for ceramic braces, though, there are a few things you’ll want to know. For example, do you know about the upkeep required to ensure ceramic braces stay transparent? What about the cost-effectiveness of metal braces?
In this mini guide, we’ll dive deep into comparing ceramic vs. metal braces, giving you all the facts and information necessary so that you can make an informed decision about which one will give you the best results as quickly as possible.
What Are Metal Braces?
Metal braces are an orthodontic treatment option designed to correct misalignment issues in a person’s teeth or bite. Metal braces consist of metal brackets and wires that an orthodontist attaches to the front surfaces of your teeth. They’re held together by metal ties.
How do they work? Over time, the metal braces gradually move the teeth into their desired positions. Metal braces can provide quick and efficient results, although they do require ongoing adjustments by an orthodontist along the way. It’s also important that you maintain your metal braces properly with regular visits to your orthodontist to ensure long-lasting success.
What Are Ceramic Braces?
Ceramic braces are an alternative to traditional metal braces. They are made of ceramic material instead of metal. The process is pretty similar, though. Instead of your orthodontist placing metal brackets and wires in your mouth, they’ll use ceramic archwires.
The best part? These ceramic pieces match the color of your teeth. This means they blend into your smile more discreetly than metal braces do. This makes them a particularly popular option for adult braces.
Just like metal braces, however, ceramic braces can provide excellent results in realigning teeth for a beautiful and healthy smile. The mechanisms through which they work are the same as metal braces. The biggest difference is in their appearance.
Ceramic vs. Metal Braces: What’s the Difference?
As mentioned, when it comes to ceramic vs. metal braces, the biggest difference is how they look. Metal braces are made of metal brackets and wires, while ceramic braces have the same structure but with ceramic brackets instead. Generally speaking, ceramic braces are far less visible on the teeth than their metal counterparts.
At the same time, ceramic braces can sometimes be difficult to keep clean due to their porcelain appearance. Their transparent nature means they’re more likely to get stained by things like coffee and pigment-heavy foods like curry. Depending on your orthodontic needs, ceramic or metal braces may be suitable for you, as both types of braces can move teeth effectively.
Ultimately, it’s best to meet with a dentist or orthodontist to determine which type is most appropriate for your treatment plan. In the meantime, let’s quickly explore the pros and cons of each option.
Benefits of Ceramic Braces
Ceramic braces can be great for people looking for an orthodontic solution as they offer a variety of benefits. The most obvious is that they are barely visible, blending in with your natural teeth color and being less noticeable than metal braces.
These modern-looking brackets also come with a smoother feeling on the mouth since they are made of smoother materials than metal braces. Additionally, ceramic braces lack nickel content, meaning they are non-irritable even to people with nickel allergies.
Disadvantages of Ceramic Braces
Because the ceramic material is more likely to stain over time, you may have to wear them for a longer period which can lead to increased discomfort. Additionally, since they are made of ceramic, they typically cost more than metal braces. All in all, this makes them a more expensive dental solution.
Benefits of Metal Braces
Metal braces provide a durable and effective way to correct dental issues and are the go-to option whenever braces are necessary. Metal braces allow for a controlled level of force throughout the treatment time, helping to ensure an ideal outcome with minimal irritation to gums and lips due to their low-profile design.
Additionally, metal braces can be made more discreet by adding colored bands or elastics that act as “accessory” options to enhance aesthetics while still being effective in correcting alignment problems. Often, this is what makes them appealing for children’s braces (along with the fact that they’re slightly more cost-effective).
Disadvantages of Metal Braces
Metal braces can be a great way to straighten teeth and improve one’s smile. However, there are a few disadvantages associated with them. One of the main disadvantages is their appearance. Metal braces are very visible, making them difficult to hide.
Additionally, they can cause discomfort when eating since the brackets and wires can rub against the inside of the mouth. This is the same with ceramic braces, just so you know. But it’s not an issue you’d encounter if you opt for another type of treatment, such as Invisalign.
Ceramic Braces vs. Metal Braces: What’s the Cost Difference?
Regardless of whether you’re looking for adult braces or are getting price quotes for your child’s braces, the average cost of this dental treatment is about $5,000 to $6,000. However, some people pay as low as $3,000 for their full treatment. The overall price depends on the type of braces you get, how misaligned your teeth are, and any other additional services you might need.
While metal braces can come with a higher upfront cost, ceramic braces may be more expensive in the long run. All in all, metal braces are usually the more affordable option. They’re available for as low as $3,000, whereas ceramic braces have a wide range of costs. You’ll find them from about $4,500 to well over $10,000, depending on how extensive the treatment is.
Additionally, there are certain costs associated with either type of braces that will vary depending on where you live and which orthodontist you work with. No matter which option you choose, it’s important to understand the different costs so you can decide what would work best for your budget.