Clear braces or metal braces? It’s a decision that is about much more than a color tone, and one you don’t want to flip a coin over.
Clear, or ceramic braces, are a popular alternative to traditional metal braces. But are clear braces better than the tried-and-true metal braces? The answer is not straightforward.
Clear Braces vs. Metal Braces Comparison
Traditional metal braces, while they are definitely proven to be effective, are more visible than ceramic braces. This can be an uncomfortable situation for some people who are a bit more self conscious.
Meanwhile, ceramic braces are stealth teeth straighteners. These clear braces are made of ceramic, porcelain or plastic brackets. The brackets are clear or shaded to be the same color as your teeth. They blend in with teeth much better than metal braces. Even the wires are available in clear colors.
While they aren’t as discreet as clear braces, metal braces boast true grit. They are famous for their durability, don’t chip or crack and can tolerate pressure well.
Ceramic braces tend to be less durable than metal braces. Ceramic is prone to chipping and cracking, which make them less desirable for athletes who compete in contact sports. Ceramic braces also take more time to align teeth and may cause discomfort for people with sensitive mouths, as ceramic material can irritate the inner lip.
The Cost Difference
Cost ranges for braces can vary greatly for each type, but clear braces tend to cost more than metal braces.
Let’s break down some of the key pros and cons of each:
Pros of Clear Ceramic Braces
- Less visible than metal braces
- Teeth move much faster than clear plastic aligners (Invisalign)
- Wide color variety
- Do not interfere with imaging tests
Cons of Clear Ceramic Braces
- More expensive than metal braces
- Less durable
- Brackets can stain if patients don’t care for them well
- Aren’t typically covered by healthcare or dental insurance plans
Pros of Metal Braces
- More economical
- Colored bands give people a chance to express themselves
- More durable
- Less likely to show discolorization
Cons of Metal Braces
- More visible
For people with severe tooth correction issues, traditional metal braces are typically the preferred option. For people looking for a discreet, aesthetically pleasing way to align their teeth, ceramic braces deliver confidence and straight teeth.
To make the best decision for your teeth and smile, consult with the The Family Dental Center, for the answer is different for each patient.