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How Are Metal & Ceramic Braces Different?

When comes time to get braces, you have options. Should you get traditional metal braces or should you go with ceramic braces? Let’s take a look…

Although the options for dental alignment abound, traditional braces remain consistently popular. Most prospective patients in the Asheville area have plenty of questions when they come to us for the first time, one of the most common being the difference between metal and ceramic braces. This is just one of the many choices a person will face when deciding how they want to go about getting their perfect smile.

Though these two options are plenty similar, they differ in some ways as well. We’ve decided to compile a list of the key differences between metal and ceramic braces so you can more easily make a decision between the two.

Woman gets ceramic braces from orthodontist in Asheville

Key Differences You Should Note

Metal Braces

Let’s first define what each kind of type of brace is. Metal braces are the more traditional of the two. They straighten your teeth through the use of metal wires that are strung through metal brackets, which are typically made of durable stainless steel. Rubber bands are used to make additional corrections, and may be personalized with color choices. When you think of the way that braces feature in teen movies from the 90s, it’s the metal variety you’re imagining. They are quite visible, and the brackets and rubber bands can be seen from a distance.

Ceramic Braces

Everything about ceramic braces is very reminiscent of traditional metal ones, however the brackets are made of a ceramic material. They are then paired with a white archwire and clear bands, making them virtually invisible. This is done so that the braces are less noticeable than metal ones. From a few feet away, it truly is very difficult for a person to even notice that the braces are there.

Benefits of These Types of Braces

There are a couple of benefits to each style of brace. Metal braces are much more durable and known to last longer than ceramic braces. The porcelain-like material that makes up ceramic braces can chip and crack. For very active people or young children, metal braces are a more sensible and practical choice. Boxers, for instance, would not want to use ceramic braces for their realignment, as replacements and repairs could end up racking up quite the bill.

Ceramic braces, on the other hand, are much less noticeable. This makes them a popular choice among young adults who are in need of corrective treatment. They can either be clear or made to match the color of your teeth. If you are a person who is already in the work force and could feel self conscious about having braces, the ceramic option might be a better fit.

Sign represents decision between Invisalign and other orthodontic treatment

Why Braces Are So Effective

While metal braces are more durable, making them a better fit for cases of severe correction, both metal and ceramic braces are effective at doing what they’re supposed to. Ceramic braces may extend treatment, however, if they cannot take the pressure that you need to expedite correction.

Some people complain of sensitivity to ceramic braces and say they can irritate their lips. This is rare and will not affect everyone, but the ceramic brackets do tend to be larger, which may play a part. Braces generally do irritate people’s mouths and do require some getting used to, regardless of whether they are made with metal or ceramic. Expect to have a period of adjustment no matter what hardware you choose to improve the shape of your teeth.

Can Ceramic Braces Stain?

Early on in the start of ceramic braces, staining did tend to happen, especially when the braces were made of a cheap plastic. Today’s ceramic braces do not have that same problem and will be able to stay the same color throughout your treatment. At Blue Ridge Orthodontics, we only use the best quality material for all of our realignment hardware.

However, ceramic braces do use clear plastic bands called ligatures to hold the wire in place. These ligatures can stain over time, especially if you drink liquids that such as coffee, tea, red wine, or anything else that has a tendency to leave a stain. This isn’t such a problem for some, and ligatures can be replaced easily by your dentist, but may necessitate for more office visits than you initially planned.

Which Type of Braces Is More Expensive?

The cost of each of these types of braces are close, however due to the difference in materials and their varying costs, ceramic braces tend to be more expensive. The deciding factor for each case will be the extent of treatment that will be necessary. Some folks only need six months of treatment, while others require two years or more. Our team will be able to give you more information regarding the cost of your treatment during a consultation.

If you are in the Asheville area and in need of answers, contact our office and set up an appointment. We can discuss individual costs related to your particular case and orthodontic needs. We work with all insurance providers and do offer financing options.

Though braces are a typical type of treatment, there are other options available as well. Invisalign and Impressions are two providers of invisible aligners, a style of orthodontic treatment that offers almost total discretion. For those patients that don’t feel comfortable with brackets that are either metal or ceramic, invisible aligners may be the way to go. While most orthodontic offices charge more for invisible aligners, Blue Ridge Orthodontics always charges the same price for both braces and aligners.

Schedule a complimentary consultation to speak to one of our doctors about treatment. Our treatment coordinator will go over all your options during your new patient exam and answer any questions you might have.

Make an appointment for a free new patient exam today!

We’ll help you take the first step toward a new smile.