Modern technology has allowed orthodontic treatments options to evolve far beyond the braces of yesteryear. There are now a variety of different types of braces from which patients can choose. From plastic aligners to clear braces that are very similar to traditional braces, each of the different types of braces provides distinct benefits. Let’s take a look at the differences between these various kinds of braces.
Metal braces are the most common type of braces. They’ve been one of the primary tools of orthodontics for decades and are likely what you picture when you think of braces. Made from stainless steel, metal braces use a combination of brackets and wires to gently force misaligned teeth into a desired position. Although these kinds of braces are silver in appearance, you may choose from a variety of colors for the small bands on the braces’ brackets.
Metal braces are typically more affordable than the other types of braces. However, the cost of treatment varies from patient to patient depending on their specific needs.
In recent years, clear braces have become a popular option thanks to their discrete appearance. These types of braces are actually made of a ceramic material as opposed to the stainless steel of metal braces. This ceramic is what gives them their clear, subtle appearance on your teeth.
However, the benefits of less visually prominent ceramic braces don’t come without some drawbacks. Ceramic braces are larger and more delicate than traditional braces. As a result, you’ll need to be more careful about oral hygiene if you select ceramics over other types of braces. That’s why, for the most part, only adults and older teenagers will generally be fitted with ceramic braces.
Thanks to a special metal clip that helps the archwire move your teeth into the proper position, self-ligating braces do not require rubber bands. Without the bands, which must be replaced regularly on traditional metal braces, patients require fewer office visits. However, even without the bands, self-ligating braces are roughly the same size as both metal and ceramic braces.
These kinds of braces provide wearer’s with better access to their teeth during treatment, making it easier to brush, floss, eat and drink. They also provide faster results than traditional braces. And as an added bonus, they’re more comfortable than options with bands.
These braces are specially designed so that they will match the exact shape and alignment of your teeth. Because of the need for customization, these braces are generally more expensive than traditional or ceramic braces. However, because these types of braces are placed on the back of your teeth, the braces are completely hidden from view.
This feature makes lingual braces a great option for professionals who rely on their appearance or the use of their mouth. For example, wind instrument players, actors, and models can all benefit from the “invisibility” of lingual braces.
Unlike braces, clear aligners are a completely transparent and removable tray made of acrylic, much like a mouth guard. These acrylic trays apply force on your teeth just like braces to bring them into alignment. And because they’re removable, even during treatment, you can drink and eat whatever you like.
Although they are removable, clear aligners should be worn for 22 hours a day or more. You should only remove them when necessary to stay on track with your treatment schedule. As your teeth begin to move, you’ll need to swap your aligners for a new set that will continue to ease your teeth toward their final positions. Typically, patients receive three sets of aligners during office visits and begin to use new sets every two weeks.
Deciding Between the Different Types of Braces
Each of these different types of braces provide patients with solutions to their dental problems. Deciding which style is right for you will be a personal choice. As one of the leading Orthodontists from Elmhurst to Westmont and throughout the Chicago area, we’ve seen incredible results from all of the different types of braces. If you have any questions or would like to discuss treatment options, give us a call today to schedule an appointment.