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Ceramic Braces vs Metal Braces Compared

When it comes to straightening your teeth, we believe that understanding all your options is key to helping you make an informed decision. Today, ceramic and metal braces are two of the most common solutions our patients opt for. Many patients also often ask us about the differences between these two types of braces, and which option would suit them best.

Luckily for them, our experienced team knows how to compare and contrast the two. To help you determine which type of braces is right for your needs, we’ve put together this guide that explains the differences between both.

What Are Ceramic Braces?

Ceramic braces are a type of orthodontic device that functions in the same way as traditional metal braces, but with one notable difference… Their appearance. The brackets used to hold the ceramic braces together are made from a unique composite material that can either be transparent or matched to the natural shade of your teeth.

The name “ceramic braces” may suggest they’re just made from ceramic, but this is not the case. They are actually made from polycrystalline alumina, which is a composite material designed specifically for orthodontic purposes. This makes ceramic braces a durable option for those requiring orthodontic care, whilst using far less noticeable materials than the more traditional metal braces do. This therefore provides an aesthetic advantage for those patients who are conscious about how visible their orthodontic treatments are.

The special material used in ceramic braces is durable and designed to withstand the challenges that come with making any orthodontic adjustments. Although the brackets are slightly larger than the metal ones, the overall effectiveness of ceramic braces is comparable to that of traditional braces.

What Are Metal Braces?

Metal braces are the original form of orthodontic treatment and have been used for decades to correct a wide range of dental alignment issues. Metal braces consist of high-grade stainless steel brackets that are attached to each tooth and connected by a thin archwire. This wire is periodically tightened by an orthodontist to guide teeth into their proper position over time.

Metal braces are known for their durability and effectiveness, making them a reliable choice for patients of all ages. They also offer a unique aesthetic option—the ability to customise the look with different coloured bands during adjustment appointments, which is particularly popular among younger patients.

Pros and Cons of Ceramic and Metal Braces

Ceramic Braces Pros:

Subtlety: Ceramic braces blend in with the natural tooth colour, offering a much less noticeable treatment.

Aesthetics: Ceramic braces are often preferred by adults for their more discreet appearance, as mentioned above. While teenagers are often very image-conscious, it is more likely that plenty of their peers will also be undergoing orthodontic treatments. We’ve found teenagers are therefore more likely to accept traditional metal braces – often opting for coloured bands that suit their individual style.

Comfort: Many wearers find that ceramic brackets are less irritating to their gums, as these types of fixtures may have smoother edges. It’s even possible to be allergic to some of the metals used with traditional braces, which can cause irritation. Going for ceramic braces alleviates this problem completely.

Cons:

Cost: Ceramic braces are more expensive than metal braces. This is because of the cost of materials and complexities involved with manufacturing ceramic braces whilst also ensuring the high level of durability that such orthodontic treatments need.

Size: Ceramic brackets are often slightly larger than their metal counterparts. This is because ceramic is naturally more brittle than metal, so size is increased to improve the durability of fixtures.

Staining: Although the ceramic brackets don’t stain your teeth, the clear elastic bands that hold the wire can do. This may require more attention to oral hygiene, as well as adjustments to your diet that involve avoiding staining foods and drinks.

Metal Braces Pros:

Cost: Traditional metal braces are generally more affordable than ceramic braces.

Customisation: Metal braces do offer the option for colourful bands. This can be a major advantage when it comes to teenagers requiring orthodontic treatment, who may want to select a shade that helps them stand out.

Strength: Metal braces are known for their robustness and longevity. There’s a reason they have been so commonly used for so long!

Cons:

Visibility: Metal braces are more noticeable due to their metallic appearance, while ceramic braces can be carefully matched to the specific colour of the teeth.

Aesthetics: Metal braces may not be the preferred choice for adults who desire a less visible option.

Ceramic or Metal: Which Is Right for Me?

Choosing between ceramic and metal braces is a personal decision that will, essentially, depend on your individual priorities. These may include considerations such as your budget, aesthetic preferences, and lifestyle needs. Ceramic braces might be the right choice for those who prioritise a discreet appearance.

If you need any help making your decision, you can always schedule a consultation, online or in-person, and let our friendly dental experts advise you on your best course!

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Ringway Dental

Visit us

  • 187 Finney Lane
  • Heald Green
  • Cheadle
  • Greater
  • Manchester
  • SK8 3PX

Visit us

  • 187 Finney Lane
  • |
  • Heald Green
  • |
  • Cheadle
  • |
  • Greater Manchester
  • |
  • SK8 3PX
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