What are ceramic braces?
As the name suggests, ceramic braces are the same as metal braces except that they’re made out of a tooth-coloured porcelain material instead of stainless steel. When paired with a white archwire and clear brackets, their appearance is virtually invisible. They’re often referred to as clear braces and are a popular choice among appearance-conscious adults.
As ceramic braces share a design with traditional metal braces, they actually function in the same way, although treatment times may be lengthier due to the extra friction in the system. However, they’re able to treat the same type of complex malocclusions and help correct bad bites.
Why get ceramic braces?
Ceramic braces are particularly popular among adults who are looking for a less obvious treatment option than traditional braces. The use of clear or tooth-coloured products in the appliances makes them both subtle and effective. In addition, if you have a metal allergy but need your orthodontic treatment to complete complex tooth movements, such as gently pulling a tooth down into alignment, then ceramic braces may be a better option.
Do ceramic braces cost the same as metal braces?
Due to the varying cost of materials, ceramic braces usually cost more than their metal counterpart. However, the difference between the two treatment options may not be significant. Depending on the extent of treatment required, you may have braces for anywhere between 6 months and two years. The duration of your treatment is decided on case complexity rather than by the type of appliance used.
Ceramic braces vs clear aligners
The rise of clear aligner treatments (such as Invisalign, ClearCorrect and OrthoCaps) have piqued the interest of many adults who don’t want everyone to know they’re correcting their bite. However, while clear aligners are an attractive option for image-conscious adults, they’re not suitable for use in all cases.
For example, you may not find clear aligners suitable if you have large gaps between your teeth or if you would require the removal of teeth as part of your treatment. Ceramic braces, on the other hand, are capable of performing the same complex tooth movements as traditional metal braces – the only difference being their materials.
Caring for ceramic braces
When undergoing treatment with ceramic braces, your care instructions are basically the same as with traditional braces. This includes how you clean your braces and the foods that should be avoided until your braces come off. One big difference is that you should limit your intake of food and drinks that have the potential to stain the ceramic materials, such as coffee and red wine.
In days gone by, orthodontic treatment meant wearing bulking, uncomfortable and very visible metal braces for anywhere up to several years. For many people, the thought of this put them off even considering the treatment. However, thanks to advancements in modern dentistry, it is now possible to undergo orthodontic treatment without a metal bracket or wire to be seen. In fact, the ClearCorrect treatment is so discreet, many people will never notice it.
What is ClearCorrect?
ClearCorrect is a revolutionary orthodontic treatment which uses a series of removable clear, plastic “trays” to gradually, comfortably, and almost invisibly move your teeth into their ideal position. Made of medical-grade polyurethane resin, ClearCorrect aligners do not contain any BPA or phthalates.
How does ClearCorrect work?
ClearCorrect gradually moves your teeth to their ideal position by placing gentle pressure on the teeth. You will wear each custom-made tray for around two weeks (you’ll receive specific instructions for each tray) before moving on to the next tray. You’ll receive a series of trays at each appointment with your dentist which you will progress through at the pre-designated times. This means you’ll need fewer appointments throughout your treatment.
At your initial consultation, your dentist will take impressions, photos and x-rays of your teeth. These will be sent to the ClearCorrect laboratory for your aligners to be custom-designed and manufactured. Once this is completed, your aligners will be sent to your dentist for you to begin treatment. Your dentist will monitor your progress at appointments about every six weeks, when you’ll also be given your next set of aligners.
Are there foods I can’t eat when undergoing ClearCorrect treatment?
No! This is one of the best features of the ClearCorrect treatment. As your aligners are removable, you simply take them out to eat, then replace them as soon as you are done. Because there are no brackets or wires, you don’t need to avoid certain foods; you can continue to enjoy your favourite foods throughout your treatment. Just don’t forget to put your aligners back in after eating.
How long does the ClearCorrect treatment take?
The length of your ClearCorrect treatment will be dependent on your unique circumstances. If you have a more complex case, your treatment will take longer. Your dentist will be able to give you a good idea of the treatment length your case would require at your consultation, and even show you the projected results.
Is ClearCorrect suitable for everyone?
Unfortunately, there are some cases which ClearCorrect will not be able to address. It is best suited to mild to moderate cases; severe cases often require metal braces. The best way to find out if ClearCorrect could be the right treatment for you is to request a consultation.
How long do I need to wear my ClearCorrect aligners each day?
One of the key factors in this treatment succeeding is compliance. If you don’t wear your aligners for long enough each day, your teeth won’t move, and the results can actually start to reverse. We recommend you wear your aligners for 22 hours each day. It’s best to only remove your aligners for meals, then brush and floss before re-inserting them.
Is ClearCorrect painful?
During your treatment, you’ll probably experience some discomfort in the first few days after moving to a new set of aligners; this means they are beginning to take effect. This should not last too long though, and they’ll soon become more comfortable. Each aligner is custom made to perfect fit your mouth, making them as comfortable as possible. If you progress to a new aligner too quickly, you may experience unnecessary discomfort; please stick to your schedule and talk to your dentist if you’re experiencing any problems.
Will ClearCorrect effect my speech?
Some people find that the aligners have a temporary effect on their speech early in the treatment, but most adapt to ClearCorrect quite quickly, and it is rare for any effect to last for an extended period.
How much does ClearCorrect cost?
The cost of your ClearCorrect treatment is dependent on your unique circumstances. There are so many variables! The only way to give an accurate projection of the cost of ClearCorrect is to attend a consultation.
There was a time when having braces meant you’d be wearing bulky and uncomfortable metal wires and brackets on your teeth for several years, and probably find yourself on the receiving end of nicknames such as “brace face” or “train tracks”. Thankfully, due to advancements in modern dentistry, metal braces are now more streamlined, comfortable, and discreet than ever before.
The advantages of traditional metal braces
While there are modern orthodontic treatments which eliminate the use of brackets and wires, there is still a need for traditional metal braces. This traditional style is still the most effective orthodontic treatment; and is the only option which can address complex bite issues. Sometimes this will involve pairing them with other appliances.
Furthermore, as traditional metal braces cannot be removed from the teeth by the patient, there is no issue with compliance. The treatment will progress at the best possible pace, potentially meaning your treatment time is shorter than if you’d used invisible aligners.
How do metal braces work?
Traditional metal braces straighten your teeth by applying consistent pressure, gradually pushing or pulling your teeth to move into their desired final position. They are also able to affect this movement in a variety of directions, allowing us to address issues such as crowding, crookedness, malocclusion, gaps between teeth, and misalignment of both the jaws and bites, plus more.
Metal braces for teenagers
Teenagers and metal braces seem almost to go hand in hand. The reason for this is that in early adolescence, their adult teeth should almost all have erupted, but their jaw bone will still be growing. As such, it is possible for us to harness the pliable nature of the bone at this age, making the treatment somewhat faster and more effective. For many teens, braces are almost seen as a right of passage; many of them even enjoy being able to coordinate the bands on their braces to their school uniform, or a favourite outfit.
Metal braces for adults
Just because you’re no longer a teenager, doesn’t mean you cannot undergo orthodontic treatment. In fact, orthodontic treatment in adults has boomed in recent years. In some cases, it’s a do-over; made necessary due to not wearing a retainer following orthodontic treatment as an adolescent, which allowed the teeth to revert. In others, it’s simply a matter of them deciding they want to do something for themselves which either wasn’t possible when they were a child, or that they previously hadn’t thought necessary. No matter what your reason for considering orthodontic treatment as an adult, it’s never too late!
More than aesthetics; straighter teeth are healthier
Some people may feel that straight teeth is nothing more than a matter of vanity. Did you know that having straighter teeth can, in fact, considerably improve your oral and overall health?
Straighter teeth are easier to clean, meaning they’re less likely to get debris struck between them in such a way that it’s hard to remove. As such, your at-home maintenance can be considerably more effective, decreasing the build-up of plaque and tartar, and reducing the likelihood of gum disease, decay and cavities.
Further to this, when your teeth and jaws align properly, you’re better able to properly chew your food, which can also help to improve your digestion. As you can see, straighter teeth are healthier teeth, and lead to a healthier you.
Invisalign® is an orthodontic product to effectively help correct a number of different orthodontic issues and gives you a balanced, even smile. Because it involves the use of clear, removable aligners, this method of straightening teeth can be more flexible and less noticeable than solutions like traditional metal braces.
What is Invisalign®?
The Invisalign® treatment consists of a series of clear aligners, thin plastic trays, that apply a constant force to teeth to affect their movement and are changed every two weeks. They look a little like a traditional mouthguard, made of a thin, lightweight, clear plastic. The aligners are worn day and night but can be removed when eating, flossing or cleaning your teeth. As each aligner is worn and changed, they move the teeth very gradually until the required result is achieved.
Many adults who have bite problems or crooked teeth refrain from having their teeth straightened simply because they don’t want to be seen in the workplace wearing ‘railroad track’ braces. Invisalign® elegantly solves this problem. They are virtually undetectable. And they’re more comfortable – in fact, many people soon forget they’re wearing them.
Another advantage is that the aligners can be removed for brief periods. While they should be worn constantly, it is acceptable to remove them for a maximum of two hours a day – perfect for special occasions or big presentations.
What’s the process?
After an initial consultation with your dentist or orthodontist, a 3D digital image of your teeth will be produced. A set of custom aligners, specifically made for you, is then produced from this image. At this point, it’s also possible to see a computerised estimate of how your teeth will look once the treatment is complete. This gives you a realistic expectation of the final outcome.
Each aligner is worn for two weeks before moving to the next one in the series. Generally, treatment can take between 9-18 months and a visit to the dentist or orthodontist is required every 4-6 weeks. While the number of aligners needed is different for each patient and their treatment plan, it usually requires 18 to 36 aligners to achieve the final result.
Advantages of Invisalign®
There can be various reasons why adults are attracted to Invisalign®: it helps corrects a number of orthodontic issues including overcrowded teeth, widely spaced teeth, cross-bites, overbites and underbites
it’s virtually invisible as opposed to obvious metal braces
can be removed for up to 2 hours
causes less irritation to gums, teeth or cheeks
teeth can be brushed and flossed as normal
comfortable with low impact on day-to-day activities.
Can I get Invisalign®?
While Invisalign® is suitable for most people, not all orthodontic issues can be treated with aligners. It is important that you are assessed by an Invisalign® trained dentist or orthodontist to see if you are a suitable candidate for Invisalign®.
Is Invisalign® suitable for teenagers?
There is a specific Invisalign® product for teenagers called Invisalign® Teen. As teenagers are often more self-conscious about their smile than adults, they appreciate the invisible quality of the aligners. The exact same technology and process is used with Invisalign® Teen but a few helpful modifications are included.
A small indicator on the aligner gradually changes from blue to clear to remind teenagers that they are approaching the end of their wear time. There are also a number of free replacement aligners included – just in case any get lost or misplaced.
Are Invisalign® results permanent?
The results from Invisalign® last just as long as the results from traditional braces. However, no matter which technique is used, teeth have a tendency to relapse. It’s generally recommended that at the end of your treatment a fixed retainer be applied to your teeth, or you may need to wear a retainer at night, to maintain your new and even smile.