Ceramic braces have become quite popular because they achieve the same results as conventional braces but are far less noticeable.
If you would like to straighten your teeth without the obvious look of traditional metal braces, ceramic braces may be right for you. At Busciglio Smiles, we have extensive experience providing high quality ceramic braces for the residents of Brandon, Florida.
Orthodontics is the dental specialty that deals with malocclusions, which are variations in how the teeth and jaw align, in other words, crooked teeth, gaps in teeth, or a misaligned bite. Braces are a type of orthodontic appliance that helps to correct malocclusions.
Braces work by using tension to gently move the teeth into the correct position. The key to this system is the use of a special bracket, which is adhered to the front surface of each tooth. Individual tooth brackets are connected to each other with wires, which serve to slowly pull teeth together or apart as necessary.
Ceramic Braces vs. Traditional Metal Braces
Traditionally, brackets and wires for braces were made of metal and this metal gave braces a very obvious appearance. Since many people did not like the look of traditional metal braces, orthodontists came up with a great alternative – ceramic braces.
Ceramic braces work just like conventional braces made entirely of metal. The difference is that ceramic braces use ceramic material for their brackets, which can be either clear or tooth-colored. Wires used for ceramic braces can also be frosted or white instead of a metal color. This means that ceramic braces are virtually invisible from a distance.
Self-Ligating Ceramic Braces
Self-ligating ceramic braces are a special type of ceramic brace appliance that uses a spring-loaded clip to hold the right amount of tension in the wires. With self-ligating braces, elastic rubber bands are not needed to secure the wires, which makes these types of braces the most unobtrusive in appearance.
Ceramic is a general term that refers to a substance that becomes glasslike yet strong and somewhat translucent or opaque after being shaped, molded, and fired. In traditional ceramics, such as pottery, ceramic material was made from clay. In orthodontics, ceramics are typically made from alumina (or aluminum oxide), which is a material that is also found in gemstones like sapphire or ruby. Orthodontic ceramics can be translucent or more of a white color.
Ceramic is safe, non-toxic, and, for the most part, durable. Ceramic does have more of a tendency to break than metal, but with the right treatment and care, ceramic braces work just as well as traditional metal braces.
The main benefit of ceramic braces is how virtually invisible they can be. If you want to get the least noticeable braces, self-ligating cosmetic braces are often a great option. (As always, our orthodontist will recommend the right type of braces for you or your child’s specific circumstances.)
In fact, even though we highly recommend the Invisalign clear aligner system due to its ease of use and transparent look – assuming it’s a good option for a patient, of course – many people feel that self-ligating ceramic braces are just as, if not more, “virtually invisible.”
For patients who are not candidates for Invisalign clear aligners, due to their orthodontic needs, ceramic braces are a great alternative. They can be an especially good compromise for teenagers who want a more invisible look but perhaps would not be compliant with Invisalign clear aligners, which can be easily removed and lost.
One final benefit to note for ceramic braces: while you can get an MRI done with traditional metal braces, the metal can leave “noisy artifacts” on the imaging reading. Ceramic reduces this possibility.
While each case is individual, ceramic braces treatments in general do take a little longer than traditional metal braces. This is because the ceramic material is more brittle than metal, so less force can be applied to ceramic brackets. Thus, treatments with ceramic braces generally run from one to three years.
The material used in ceramic braces comes in two main color options: one is transparent or translucent, which is an excellent option for people with really white teeth. The other option is to utilize tooth-colored ceramic, which can be further adjusted to match the color of your teeth. This second option is best for people with darker or stained teeth. The wires that are used with ceramic braces can be frosted or come in white, which makes them blend in with the mouth more.
Many kids who wear braces enjoy customizing their look with the use of colored elastic rubber bands. Ceramic braces that are not self-ligating use rubber bands, and as such, a kid could easily choose from a rainbow of colors for their ceramic braces.
It may seem possibly a waste to get tooth-colored braces for a kid who might still want colored rubber bands, but consider that if the child is nearing their teen years, they may become more self-conscious as they grow older and would prefer a more transparent look in the future. Thus, they can switch to clear or white elastic bands during the course of a few years of treatment.