A no extra cost option in my practice
Most people are familiar with conventional metal braces, at least in terms of what they look like. There are alternatives which perform – broadly – the same function but are less visible. These are a system known as Invisalign, and cosmetic clear braces.
The similarity between Invisalign and cosmetic clear braces is that they are both much less visible than metal braces, but the similarity largely ends there.
Invisalign uses see-through aligners which are removable, whereas cosmetic clear braces are true braces which are attached directly to the teeth. Braces - clear and metal - are more effective in rectifying more complex tooth alignment issues, while Invisalign is ideal for correcting more straightforward cases of misaligned teeth.
Cosmetic clear braces are also sometimes referred to as 'ceramic braces' as they are made out of a porcelain type material with a very similar appearance and colour as normal teeth, which makes them blend in better with your teeth than metal braces. They are also fitted with clear brackets and a white archwire.
In almost all other respects they are the same as metal braces and require the same regular adjustments, and people with cosmetic clear braces need to follow the same guidelines regarding oral hygiene and foods to avoid as apply to metal braces.
Some of the benefits of cosmetic clear braces, apart from appearance are…
- A better option for people with any type of metal allergy.
- As strong as metal braces.
- More comfortable than metal braces.
- Less tooth staining.
Since they are less visible, people with ceramic braces are often much less self-conscious than people with metal braces and as a result are much more likely to 'stay the course' for the entire recommended treatment period.
There is no significant difference in the overall length of treatment (i.e. how long you have to wear the braces for) between metal and clear cosmetic braces, however appointments for adjustments may be a little longer as the ceramic material they are made from is a little 'stiffer' and harder to adjust than normal metal braces.