Posted: November 10, 2017
Ceramic braces are one of the most popular alternatives to traditional metal options. Shaded to match your teeth in color, ceramic braces are much less noticeable than silver alternatives. New York City dentists Dr. Elisa Mello and Dr. Ramin Tabib use clear arch-wire for ceramic braces as well, helping ensure they are as unobtrusive and unnoticeable as possible.
Tooth-colored ceramic braces are comprised of brackets and arch-wire, and work in the exact same way as the less attractive option they offer an alternative to. Once ceramic braces have been placed, you will periodically need to return to our office to have the wire tightened, gradually moving your teeth over the course of 12 to 36 months.
Benefits & Drawbacks of Ceramic Braces
Ceramic braces are tooth colored, so they are not as noticeable as those comprised of metal brackets and arch-wire. What’s more, each bracket can be shaded individually, allowing for complete customization of your braces. This alone makes ceramic braces more attractive to many of our patients.
In addition to being less noticeable, ceramic braces are:
- Less likely to cut gums or irritate sensitive oral tissue than metal braces
- Not porous, making them resistant to stains
- Durable and hard to chip, crack, or break
Less irritating, stain resistant, durable, and more aesthetically pleasing, ceramic braces enjoy a number of benefits over traditional metal options. However, ceramic cannot withstand the same amount of pressure as metal. As a result, treatment with ceramic braces can be slightly longer and may not be a good option for people with severe malocclusion.
Not as strong as metal braces, additional drawbacks to ceramic options include their being:
- Larger than metal braces
- More expensive than traditional options
Adjustments at our NYC dental office will also take a bit longer with ceramic braces. While the brackets themselves are not porous, the ligatures that hold the arch-wire in place are, which makes them prone to stain. Because of this, ligatures are typically replaced at every adjustment. This adds both to the length of time required for adjustments and to the overall cost of ceramic braces.
Our Manhattan orthodontists offer AcceleDent®, a revolutionary device that can speed the movement of your teeth by up to 50%. If you are concerned about the amount of time it will take to undergo orthodontic treatment with ceramic braces, this service may be something of great benefit to you. We will discuss the option during your consultation to help you determine if it is a good fit.
Invisalign® is a complete alternative to braces. Unlike ceramic braces, Invisalign is not comprised of brackets and arch-wire. Instead, this treatment relies on clear plastic aligner trays that slip over the teeth to gently move them into their ideal position.
Invisalign patients do not need to return to our office for manual adjustments of arch-wire or replacement of ligatures. However, office visits are needed to check the progression of movement and to supply the next set of aligners as appropriate. These visits are not as frequent as those required for people with braces and they tend to be much shorter. Because they do not require adjustments, they tend to be more comfortable as well.
Benefits & Drawbacks of Invisalign
Most of the benefits offered by Invisalign are due to the removability of the aligners. Ceramic braces will require special cleaning instruments and can make daily oral care more time consuming and complex. By comparison, Invisalign aligners are simply removed for tooth cleaning, eliminating all obstructions and allowing for optimal oral health. This can improve convenience and save you time.
Traditional and ceramic braces necessitate dietary restrictions. Invisalign aligners are removed prior to eating, allowing patients to enjoy a diet complete with crunchy fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and other foods that are prohibited during orthodontic treatment with braces.
In addition to removing obstacles to eating and caring for the teeth, benefits offered by Invisalign include:
- A shorter treatment period
- No risk of irritating gums or sensitive oral tissue
- No risk of injury if worn during athletic pursuits
- Less discomfort following adjustments
Because they are clear, Invisalign aligners are also less noticeable than some other forms of orthodontic treatment.
Removability of Invisalign aligners gives the treatment some of its most impressive benefits. It also produces some of the treatment’s biggest concerns. Keeping track of aligners can place a burden on patients, particularly those more prone to misplacing things.
Successful treatment with Invisalign requires aligners be worn almost all of the time. If aligners are misplaced, your treatment will be on hold until a new set can be made. Making a new set of aligners can take several weeks, during which time your teeth may slip back into their previous position. If keeping track of aligners seems cumbersome to you, Invisalign will not be the best option.
While faster than ceramic braces, sometimes by several months, Invisalign treatment is not well suited for certain bite issues. Tipped teeth, teeth that are severely rotated, and larger gaps and spaces are typically best treated with metal or ceramic braces.
Invisalign costs more than both metal and ceramic braces. If cost is the only concern, however, we offer orthodontic financing that can help make treatment affordable for nearly any budget. We will discuss all of your payment options during your initial consultation.
Ceramic Braces vs. Invisalign: Which Option is Best for You?
Both ceramic braces and Invisalign offer unique benefits and each comes with its own limitations, making neither option ideal for every patient. The best way to learn which orthodontic service is best for your needs is through a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Tabib or Dr. Mello. During your orthodontic consultation, we can discuss all of your options, carefully evaluate your smile, and guide you towards the most effective solution for your specific needs.
If you are considering orthodontic treatment in Manhattan, please call 212-452-3344 to schedule a consultation at NYC Smile Design today. For more than 20 years, NYC Smile Design has served the needs of people living in New York City and surrounding areas. We welcome an opportunity to meet with you and discuss your needs, and to help you find the orthodontic solution most suitable for your smile.