The pros and cons of ceramic braces

Many people consider ceramic braces to be a direct improvement of metal braces. However, there are pros and cons to every teeth brace type, and ceramic is no exception. When compared to even the best invisible braces, ceramic braces work faster. But when compared to metal braces, they somewhat lack durability. All in all, there is a lot to consider when choosing the correct brace type for your teeth. In this article, we will be detailing all the pros and cons of ceramic braces to provide you with all the information you may require to make the best decision.

Pros and cons of ceramic braces

person biting a wrench
You always want to choose the best tool for the job!

Before even starting to consider the pros and cons of any brace type, you need to make sure that the braces themselves are suitable for your particular issue. Some malocclusions may require a specific brace type, and that may severely limit your choices. Furthermore, you may want to consider ways in which braces improve your confidence before you make the ultimate choice. For example, if complete brace invisibility is your primary concern, you may be best served with lingual braces. If, after careful consideration, you still believe that ceramic braces are the best ones for you, then you will want to know their pros and cons in full detail.

Pros

Here are the most notable pros of ceramic braces:

  • Less visibility
  • They work faster than clear aligners
  • Variety of colors
  • No interference with imaging tests

Do note that ceramic braces are pretty much the same as traditional metal braces when it comes to how you fit them. The only difference lies in their composition, as they are made out of ceramic rather than metal. Throughout the history of braces, both metal and ceramic braces have come a long way to become what they are now. Long story short, it is safe to say that braces have never been better. Now, let’s take a look at some of the pros of ceramic braces in a bit more detail.

Ceramic braces are less visible

Bracer visibility is a huge thing. Many people scoff at the idea of traditional metal braces due to aesthetic reasons. That is exactly why ceramic braces were invented in the first place. While wearing traditional metal braces might be somewhat unsightly, wearing ceramic braces is a much more visually appealing option. The material used for ceramic braces can be either tooth-colored or clear, both of which are a huge improvement over their metal counterparts. While brace visibility might be a large factor, you still want top-notch treatment, which these braces provide. They offer almost the same level of coverage and durability as their metal counterparts but are less visible and more appealing to the eye.

Ceramic braces produce quick results

However, these braces are not the most “invisible” brace type on the market. Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, offer almost complete invisibility but lack “delivery speed”. Most clear aligners require more than a year to work for the simplest corrections. On the other hand, ceramic braces will move your teeth to their correct positions within 18 to 36 months, which will also allow you to get the most long term health benefits of braces.┬áNow, you may think “Wait, clear aligners require more than a year but ceramic braces may take 3 years, what’s the deal with that?”.

a clock
Ceramic braces work faster than clear aligners.

The answer to that question is that ceramic braces are suitable for extreme cases of teeth misalignment and malocclusion. In situations where it may take 36 months to correct your teeth with ceramic braces, clear aligners simply cannot compete. The bottom line is that these braces work faster than clear aligners, provided that they treat the same issue.

Ceramic braces come in a variety of colors

These days, everything can be a fashion statement and braces are no exception. A large advantage of these braces is that you can get them in any color imaginable. With traditional metal braces, you can only get gray or metallic silver. The color variety is what makes these braces so appealing to the younger audience (who is the most likely candidate for teeth braces). By choosing the color that you really like, you may find it easier to maintain your oral health as you will want to have your braces spotless at all times. While this may not seem like a large advantage at a first glance, being able to choose the exact color that you want can change the way you view your teeth braces.

Ceramic braces do not interfere with imaging tests

Lastly, ceramic braces produce much less signal interference than traditional metal ones. This means that if you need to take an imaging test, the test will be more likely to succeed if you’re wearing them instead of metal ones. Depending on the situation, this might as well be the largest benefit or an insignificant one. Still, with the new dental tech trends that are changing the industry is more and more reliant on imaging tests, this pro is not to be understated. There’s a good chance that you will need to take an imaging test or two throughout the brace-wearing period, after all.

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Cons

person paying for ceramic braces
Expect to pay more for ceramic braces.

Wearing ceramic braces is not all “sunshine and rainbows”, unfortunately. There are quite a few cons to them, such as:

  • Cost
  • Gum sensitivity issues
  • Lower durability
  • Easier staining
  • “Slower” than mental braces

Furthermore, they are not suitable if your adult teeth haven’t come out yet. They might not also be the best choice if you are coping with dental anxiety, either. These braces still require that brackets be attached to your teeth, after all. You can’t remove them at will, and they will need to be frequently adjusted throughout the treatment period. But those are minor concerns, let’s take a look at some of the “major” ones.

Ceramic braces are more expensive than metal braces

It is rather unfortunate that we even need to worry about the cost of teeth braces. But we do, and their price can be the most important factor. Compared to traditional metal braces, ceramic braces cost around $1,500 more on average. This is nothing to scoff at and is the prime reason why many people choose metal over ceramic braces despite all the advantages of the latter. While there may be many different types of braces to take into consideration, most people simply go with the cheapest option. And, unfortunately, ceramic braces aren’t it.

Gum sensitivity issues

teeth brace brackets
Larger brackets may lead to gum sensitivity issues.

The brackets found in ceramic braces are somewhat larger than those in metal brackets. This creates some difficulties when it comes to cleaning around the brackets. And that, in turn, may lead to your gums receding or becoming swollen. What happens is that due to the bracket size, your toothbrush might not be able to reach your gum line or the enamel. That is why one of the questions to ask your orthodontist before braces are always “How do I maintain proper oral hygiene?”. This con can be easily circumvented simply by paying more attention to how you brush your teeth. But it is still a disadvantage.

They stain more easily

Due to some construction differences, they are more prone to staining than their traditional metal counterparts. The most common staining point is the elastic tie that is holding the wire to the brackets. This wire stains rather easily and there is no easy way to remove the stains. You will need to have it replaced by your orthodontist in most cases.

That being said, there are a lot of things that you can do to prevent your braces from staining. You might want to start brushing and flossing after every meal. and avoid any foods that are stain-heavy (tomatoes, coffee, tea, etc.). Also, stop smoking for the duration of the treatment, refrain from using whitening toothpaste, and see your orthodontist regularly.

Lower durability when compared to metal braces

Ceramic braces feature much lower durability than their traditional metal counterparts. In fact, the chance of them breaking off or fracturing is more than double the one on metal braces. This makes ceramic braces not as suitable for anyone that is participating in any contact sports or activities that might produce an impact on your teeth. Furthermore, there is a slight chance of damaging your enamel when debonding (removing the glue).

There is also the fact that you will need to replace the ceramic brackets more often. This may prolong the teeth straightening process and may incur additional expenses. While the damage to the brackets through the natural “wear and tear” process might be covered by your insurance, any breakage due to an error on your part will not be. And this might add to the already high cost of ceramic braces.

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All in all, ceramic braces are an excellent alternative to traditional metal braces and offer a plethora of advantages if you can brunt the additional cost. For more information on all teeth braces, browse the Consumer Opinion Guide. Our articles are there to provide you with any and all information about teeth braces that you might need!

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