When it comes to ceramic braces vs. metal, ceramic braces might seem like a clear choice, but metal braces are more popular for a reason. Here at David Wilhite DDS, we can explain the biggest difference, the cost, and how they look! To request an appointment or ask questions, please call us at 972-964-3774 or contact us.
What is the difference between Ceramic and Metal braces?
Both ceramic and metal braces typically use the same archwires and rubber bands. The main difference is in the look and durability of the brackets. Ceramic braces, also known as clear braces, use brackets made from polycrystalline alumina, an expensive and delicate material. This material is transparent or tooth-colored, meaning it blends into the tooth visually. Metal braces utilize medical-grade stainless steel and, therefore, are stronger, more durable, and more visible than ceramic braces.
Ceramic Braces vs Metal Braces Pros and Cons
After weighing the pros and cons of clear braces vs metal braces, metal braces seem to be the better choice overall. Here is why:
Ceramic braces win in the appearance department in terms of subtlety. They are clear and, therefore, draw less attention than metal braces to the mouths of the people wearing them. However, ceramic braces are prone to staining and discoloration. This feature means that wearers must be vigilant about oral hygiene and altogether avoid dark food and beverages.
When deciding between ceramic or metal braces, it is critical to understand that ceramic braces are twice as likely to break or fracture. This fragility means that individuals with ceramic braces can expect to pay more for maintenance. Additionally, individuals with ceramic braces must adhere strictly to braces’ care rules to prevent additional visits to the orthodontist. That means absolutely no gum, hard candies, crunchy foods etc.
Ceramic braces cause less friction than metal braces against the sides of one’s mouth and gums. Consequently, ceramic braces are less painful and do not irritate the mouth as much as metal braces during daily use and adjustment appointments.
Clear braces typically use larger brackets than metal braces. The size difference makes clear braces harder to clean thoroughly. It is essential for wearers to completely clean around the brackets of ceramic braces to prevent gums from swelling or receding.
Ceramic braces cost more than metal braces. Typically, clear braces can range in price between $3,000 and $7,000. On the other hand, metal braces cost between $1,700 and $6,000. The price difference stems from the nature of the materials ceramic braces use.
Ceramic braces can take longer to straighten someone’s teeth because they are more delicate. The fragility of ceramic braces means wearers typically have more visits to the orthodontist for repairs causing delays in completing the treatment. Metal braces move teeth faster because they are stronger, do not break as often, and require less incremental adjustments at appointments.
Ceramic braces are brittle and, consequently, more likely to fracture during the removal or debonding process. This quality increases the possibility of damage to the enamel during the process and makes removal for ceramic braces less gentle.
The Takeaway From Ceramic Braces vs Metal
When choosing between ceramic or metal braces, individuals must decide what is most important to them. Ceramic braces are the most comfortable and aesthetically pleasing choice. However, they come with the sacrifice of cost, time, and convenience. Metal braces are the best option for individuals who don’t mind a little shine while they quickly and affordably straighten their teeth. If you are looking for another option, Invisalign might be a good fit.
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