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Metal or clear braces?

Are you trying to choose between metal braces and clear ceramic braces? There are a number of factors that should be considered before deciding which orthodontic treatment is best for you. Our Collingwood dentists explain why these options, along with clear aligners, are so hotly debated.  

How Braces Work

Braces work to straighten your teeth and realign them into their desired positions. Braces are suitable for both simple and complex orthodontic issues, including misalignment, underbite, overbite and crossbite.

Misaligned teeth can lead to other dental and oral health problems, such as tooth decay or gum disease because they are more difficult to clean than straight teeth. Teeth that are misaligned can also become more easily worn down due to an uneven wear pattern. There are even aesthetic concerns to take into consideration. Many people with misaligned teeth or a misaligned bite feel insecure about the appearance of their smiles. Finally, misaligned teeth can sometimes make regular daily activities like eating or talking more difficult.

By undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces you can correct misaligned teeth, thereby addressing the above mentioned issues.

When you get braces a bracket is affixed to each tooth and connected with a wire, which is secured in the back. Brackets on the rear molars have a mechanism attached that allows your orthodontist to tighten the wire.

The wire is held against the bracket with small rubber bands called ligatures. The brackets are attached to your teeth using a special type of cement.

Each time you visit your dentist or orthodontist throughout the duration of your treatment, your braces will be adjusted slightly. While undergoing braces treatment, pressure will be gradually applied to your teeth through the braces in order to bring your smile into alignment. Each time your braces are adjusted you will have the option of choosing different coloured elastics (rubber bands) to express your style.

What are the Differences Between Metal Braces & Clear Braces?

Metal Braces

You are probably familiar with traditional metal braces, as they are the most common type of braces used for orthodontic treatment. As the name implies, these braces are made entirely of metal (though they are supported by elastics). Thanks to advancements in orthodontic technology, metal braces have received multiple upgrades over the years, and the brackets used today are much more streamlined than those used in the past.

Brackets have gotten smaller and more comfortable over the years so that now there’s less risk of a bracket irritating the inside of your lips or cheeks. But, some people are still reluctant to go with metal braces because of their appearance.

If you are concerned about others noticing your braces, you may want to consider a couple of 'clear' alternatives.

Clear Braces

Clear braces are not actually transparent. Instead, the brackets are made of tooth-coloured ceramic, allowing them to blend in with your teeth, giving a lower profile appearance.

One important thing to note about clear braces is that while this orthodontic treatment option is a good compromise between metal braces and clear aligners in terms of appearance, they are actually larger in size, and more brittle than traditional metal braces are. They also tend to be a bit more expensive than metal braces, and are therefore often only used on upper front (most visible) teeth to save on costs.

Option 3: Clear Aligners

Clear aligners such as Invisalign are transparent, removable orthodontic appliances that are custom-made to fit your smile.

Made of clear plastic material, they are lower profile than braces and do not require metal brackets or wires to straighten your teeth. The casual observer will be hard-pressed to see your clear aligners while you are wearing them.

What how much do these different treatments cost?

For people with more complex orthodontic issues, who aren’t candidates for clear aligners, clear ceramic braces may be ideal. Clear braces also typically fall in the middle of the spectrum in terms of cost, depending on your treatment requirements.

Metal braces are usually the most economical option for correcting orthodontic issues, with clear aligners coming in just above the average cost of braces. Of course, how much your orthodontic treatment will cost depends on the nature of your orthodontic problem, the duration of your treatment, and other factors.

Are you wondering which orthodontic treatment option will best suit your budget and lifestyle? Our Collingwood dentists can assess your smile and provide advice about your options, along with a custom treatment plan. Contact us today.

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