For many people, the decision to straighten their teeth is an easy one. The bigger question is which way to go about it, as there are several options to choose from. Ceramic braces are a popular choice that offers numerous advantages. For expert work with these braces in Franklin, IL, Petty & Bielik Orthodontics delivers beautiful results with less trauma than traditional braces.
Ceramic Braces in a Nutshell
Old-school metal braces were a technology that nobody liked – that is, until the day they were finally removed from the mouth. Everyone loved the results; they just hated the process. Children (and adults) endured mouth pain, anxiety over food and drink, a stigmatizing look, and a metallic taste in the mouth for years in order to have straight, healthy teeth.
In the 1980s, orthodontic specialists began experimenting with high-tech composite materials that had been originally developed with NASA technology. Today, these ceramic materials are frequently employed instead of metal braces. Both methods are used in the same way and perform the same function. But because the ceramics are less visible than metal, the experience of “having braces” is very different, and for many patients much more tolerable.
What Are the Advantages?
The differences between ceramic and traditional metal braces aren’t generally a matter of results. Both methods are proven and effective. The main advantages of ceramics are in the patient experience. Ceramic braces offer a host of physical, emotional, and practical “pros” that make them the most popular choice for professional results.
Much Harder to See
Ceramic braces straighten teeth with largely the same techniques as today’s modern metal braces. The biggest and most obvious difference is that ceramics are much less visually prominent during the 18-24 months it takes for them to finish their work. In fact, depending on the condition of the patient’s teeth and the choices made in the actual coloring of the ceramics and supporting wire, these braces can be nearly unnoticeable.
The ceramic materials used can be matched to virtually any tooth color. The wire that holds the braces in place can also be nearly invisible, making the braces even harder to see. As an alternative, a color for the wire can be chosen by the patient that will put a personalized stamp on their smile for the duration of the treatment.
Major Emotional Relief
All people, young and old, would love to have straight teeth. Many, however, miss out on this opportunity because they feel that they’d be too stigmatized to be seen wearing braces for all that time. Adolescents in particular are highly sensitive about the way they look. A spot of acne is a temporary blemish in theory. As all teens (and parents) know, they can be much more than that in practice.
Being able to go through the orthodontic process without the stigma of being seen as a “metal mouth” is extremely liberating. This lower emotional overhead of orthodontic treatment makes for happier patients with less anxiety about their appearance. Moods are better, sleep is better, stress is lower. These are not just cosmetic advantages. They are, in fact, health advantages.
Another reason why ceramics are preferred over metal is that they are less intrusive in the mouth overall and less likely to cause injury. Metal braces have come a long way since the clunky apparatuses the Baby Boomers lived with. Even today, metal braces can be painful, scratchy, and irritating to both gums and inner cheeks. Ceramic braces have smaller brackets and smoother, rounded surfaces.
No Damage to Enamel
What’s the effect of a foreign object on your teeth for years? In the case of ceramics, it’s minimal. Discolored tooth enamel through demineralization once conventional braces come off is a real concern for both patient and orthodontist. Ceramics leave less of a visible “footprint” even after they’ve been removed, with minimal damage to precious tooth enamel.
Easier to Remove When Done
Ceramic braces are easy to take out when the teeth are finished with their straightening. Even though the braces have been strongly bonded to your teeth, they are easily removed by a “de-bonding” agent that chemically undoes the adhesive. There is no after-effect on the tooth’s looks or integrity. When ceramic braces are worn, they’re barely visible. When they’re finished, they leave no trace of themselves besides straight teeth.
Ceramic braces can straighten teeth more quickly than other methods. Depending on the severity of the case, straightening with this method usually takes a year and a half to two years. That’s comparable to metal braces – although those can stay on for as long as three years — but faster than tray methods such as Invisalign. Also, because they’re so visually subtle, the time spent wearing ceramics doesn’t feel as long and traumatizing as metal braces.
How Do I Get Started?
The decision regarding which method you’ll choose to straighten your teeth is something you’ll want to discuss with our orthodontic masters. The “best” decision relies on a number of factors and varies by patient, age, condition of the teeth, and willingness to spend the time and effort for the orthodontic process.
Start on your journey toward a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile by scheduling an appointment with Petty & Bielik Orthodontics in Franklin, IL. We’re the experts with braces in Oak Lawn, and we’ll show you all the latest treatments and available options, and come up with a plan that will work best for you and your dental goals.