Since the days of ancient civilizations, people have used various methods to improve their teeth both cosmetically and structurally. Evidence of ancient braces have been discovered in mummified remains of people with metal bands in their mouths, much like the braces used today. Even the great thinkers Hippocrates and Aristotle knew the benefits of correcting teeth and thought about how they could help solve this age-old problem. Although times have changed, people still use the same basic method of traditional braces. But with leaps in modern technology, orthodontists can now offer patients other treatment options like ceramic braces and Invisalign.
Ceramic braces consist of tooth-colored brackets and a wire (as opposed to metal braces where the brackets are visible). The most noticeable difference between metal braces and ceramic braces is the visibility element. Ceramic braces are intended to give the appearance of less metal in the mouth and look much like a retainer. Functionally, they work identically to metal braces.
In 1986, the first brackets made out of ceramic were used. White-coated or elastic wires replaced the traditional, shiny metal wires to remove the ability for others to see them in your mouth. The brackets can be customized to either be translucent or to blend in with the natural color of an individual’s teeth. The brackets are made from porcelain material, which holds the wire in place much like traditional braces. But unlike metal braces, which typically contain nickel and chromium, ceramic braces are made of safer materials that will not leace into the body. These materials include monocrystalline, also known as sapphire, and polycrystalline alumina.
Although ceramic braces offer aesthetic advantages, they tend to generate higher frictional force that increases the treatment time. To avoid this, Diamond Braces uses a special type of ceramic braces with a metal bracket from Clarity™ that utilizes both the speed of metal braces and the cosmetic benefits of ceramic braces. Clarity offers the best ceramic braces material available on the market today.
Another disadvantage of ceramic braces is that the wires or ties tend to stain depending on diet. Prolonged exposure to materials rich in color like cigarettes, caffeine, curry, lipstick or even colored mouthwash can lead to discoloration. This problem can be easily fixed during each adjustment since the ties are replaced periodically.
Furthermore, ceramic braces tend to cost more than metal braces, especially since they can require more office visits. Because the material can be harsh on enamel, these braces are also not recommended for every bite pattern. Diamond Braces will consult with you about the best course of treatment to fit your particular needs.
How Do They Work?
During a consultation, an orthodontist will examine your teeth and determine the best solution for you. If you choose ceramic braces, the orthodontist will plan the course of treatment with you. When you get your braces, a ceramic bracket will be attached to each misaligned tooth. Each bracket is customized to adjust the tooth to the proper location and angle. The bracket has a slot for the wire that will form an arch around the teeth. Using gentle pressure, the wire will move the teeth into the ideal positions. As with metal braces, it’s important to keep them clean. Otherwise, food and dirt buildup will stain the ceramic and maybe even your teeth.