When it comes to cosmetic dental treatments, there are a whole host of options available that can help you to achieve your brightest, most confident smile. Ceramic braces are an incredibly popular choice, mainly because they are made with clear or tooth-coloured brackets, making them far less visible and imposing in the mouth.
Like any form of orthodontics, however, there are a number of pros and cons that come hand in hand with this treatment…
The Pros of Ceramic Braces
Aesthetics – The main advantage of ceramic braces is that they are visually far more discreet than traditional metal braces and are far less noticeable when being worn. Similar to traditional braces, ceramic braces include a white, tooth-coloured or translucent bracket rather than a metal one.
This is a huge selling point for many patients who don’t want to have to wear bold, attention-grabbing braces on their quest for the perfect smile. In fact, during a study where a model was pictured wearing different types of orthodontic appliances, ceramic braces ranked as the second most attractive, coming just behind clear Invisalign aligners.
The Cons of Ceramic Braces
Treatment Times – Your dental treatment may take longer when using these braces than it would do using traditional metal braces.
Although the treatment works in the same way, ceramic braces tend to be less robust and so treatment modifications may be necessary. So, for example, ceramic brackets are far more susceptible to breakages and repair time should be factored in. As a result, the overall treatment time may be extended.
While they can be a little slower than traditional metal, ceramic braces often work faster than clear aligners like Invisalign.
Bracket Breakages – Despite your dentist’s best efforts, if any of your brackets do break during treatment, they will need to be re-attached or replaced. No only is this incredibly inconvenient, it can also slow down the treatment process.
Costs – As a general rule, ceramic braces tend to be more expensive than traditional metal braces. Firstly, the cost of the brackets themselves can be several times more than they would be for metal braces (although this depends on the brand). Secondly, because using ceramic brackets tends to involve a longer treatment time, this will require more visits to your dentist and longer appointment times.
Bracket Size – Because ceramic brackets are typically weaker than metal brackets, they will often have a larger and more bulky design in order to ensure that they are able to withstand any daily wear and tear and be strong enough to move the teeth in the desired way.
Archwires – Although ceramic brackets are tooth-coloured, your braces will still involve a metal archwire, which will run across the front of your teeth and will be visible. You may be able to opt for frosted arch wires to minimise their appearance, however they are not suitable for everyone.
Elastic Bands – As well as archwires, you will also still need to wear rubber bands to attach the wire to each of your brackets. Although these can be tooth-coloured or clear to blend in as much as possible, they are still generally quite visible in the mouth. If you opt for light coloured elastics, it also presents the problem of staining, especially when exposed to foods and drinks such as tea, coffee, ketchup, and tobacco.