Did you know that orthodontic braces may have been invented by the ancient Greeks? Braces have come a long way since then, and you have more options than ever.
If you don’t love the idea of a mouth full of metal, you can choose a more subtle form of orthodontic work, like Invisalign or ceramic braces. But when it comes to ceramic braces vs Invisalign, how can you decide which is right for you?
Let’s talk about it. Read on to learn all about these two types of braces.
What Are Ceramic Braces?
When most people think of braces, their minds automatically conjure up images of metal braces with wires and metal brackets. Ceramic braces are almost exactly like this, except instead of obvious metal brackets, they have tooth-colored ceramic ones.
Keep in mind that the metal wire will still be silver-colored (though in some cases orthodontists will offer a tooth-colored coating to make the braces less visible).
The process of getting ceramic braces is identical to the process of getting metal braces. The orthodontist will place each bracket on your teeth and then a wire will go through the brackets. During each appointment, the orthodontist will tighten and adjust the wires to move the teeth slowly into place.
So now that you know what they are, what are the pros and cons of ceramic braces? Let’s discuss!
Benefits of Ceramic Braces
The most obvious benefit of ceramic braces is that they’re far more subtle than standard metal braces. Some people even refer to them as invisible braces, even if this isn’t really true.
While the braces will seem obvious to the person who is wearing them, they’re far less visible to anyone else. Even in photos and videos, ceramic braces aren’t obvious unless you point them out or unless you’re close to the camera.
The thing that makes them more obvious is the metal wire, but they’re still far less visible than their standard metal counterparts.
Ceramic braces tend to be on the more affordable side of orthodontic work. While they often cost more than metal braces, they tend to cost less than Invisalign (though this isn’t always true and it’s important to discuss this with your orthodontist first if cost is a deciding factor).
Ceramic braces are effective for a wide range of orthodontic issues, making them a great option for anyone who has a “complex case” but doesn’t want obvious metal braces.
They also may be quicker than clear aligners, though again, this will vary depending on your case. It’s always best to consult with your orthodontist about your treatment options before committing.
Downsides of Ceramic Braces?
Ceramic braces are fantastic, but they do have some downsides to keep in mind.
First, as we mentioned before, they are still more visible than clear aligners (in most cases). If someone is looking for the most subtle form of braces, this isn’t going to be the best option.
Ceramic braces, just like metal braces, can be more uncomfortable than clear aligners. While getting orthodontic work done is always going to cause some discomfort, the wires and brackets tend to be less comfortable than the plastic aligners.
You can, of course, get orthodontic wax to solve the problem.
When you wear ceramic braces, you’re going to have some dietary limitations. Sticky and chewy foods will be off the table until your teeth are straight and free of wires.
You’ll also have to be more careful when you’re brushing your teeth.
What Is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a clear aligner system that’s orthodontist-approved.
When you commit to getting Invisalign, your orthodontist will scan your mouth. THey’ll send that scan to Invisalign headquarters so they can start making your custom aligners.
About 6 weeks later (give or take), you’ll receive your aligners. The number of aligner sets that each person gets varies depending on their case. People with mild cases may only need a few months of Invisalign while others will need to wear aligners for several years.
Every week (or, in rare cases, every other week) you’ll swap out your aligners for a new set. Week by week, your teeth will shift back into place. An orthodontist will not be adjusting your aligners, but you will need to visit them to make sure that you’re on the right track.
Most people also need to wear attachments, which are similar to brackets. These attachments make complex movements quicker and easier. You may also need to wear rubber bands either at night or full-time.
So what are the pros and cons of Invisalign?
Benefits of Invisalign
The top benefit of Invisalign is the same as the top benefit of ceramic braces, but even better. They’re by far the least visible conventional orthodontic option.
While they’re not completely invisible (the attachments and rubber bands are visible and the aligners have a sheen to them), they’re less obvious than the ceramic braces. Many people won’t realize that you have aligners in if you don’t tell them.
With Invisalign, you never have to worry about what you eat. You remove your aligners for meals, so all of your favorite foods are still on the table. Just make sure that you remove your aligners before you eat and brush your teeth before you put them back in!
Downsides of Invisalign
Invisalign isn’t perfect for everyone.
It’s often the least affordable option (though again, you’ll need to discuss this with your orthodontist and your insurance company if applicable). It’s also possible for it to take longer than ceramic braces, but this isn’t always the case.
One of the biggest perks of Invisalign, the fact that you can take out your aligners, is also one of its biggest downsides. As far as adult braces go, this isn’t usually a problem. If the aligners are for a child or young teen, however, this could be problematic.
Someone needs to be responsible enough to keep their aligners in for 20-22 hours per day and not lose them accidentally. Losing aligners or not wearing them enough will set back your treatment time.
Ceramic Braces vs Invisalign: Which Will You Choose?
Deciding between vs ceramic braces vs Invisalign might seem tough, but hopefully, this list of pros and cons will help! Both options will give you a straight and healthy smile without all of the metal that comes with traditional braces!
Are you ready to talk to an orthodontist about your orthodontic options? We want to meet you! Contact us to schedule an appointment today.