Braces are easily the most recognizable aspect of dental treatment, so much so that the intimidating appearance of early models became a movie trope in its own right. Today, there are many types of braces that promise incredible efficiency without being visible at all. However, the reality is far more nuanced, with some options coming with trade-offs or just being unsuitable for your dental issue. Here is a primer that will help you grasp the basics and make an informed decision.
These are the oldest variety of 6-month braces out there and probably the most recognizable one. They consist of stainless steel brackets that are attached to teeth and a wire threaded through them. Over the years, the design has been refined to make them as non-intrusive as possible. Nevertheless, metal braces are certainly the most visually prominent option.
Of course, traditional braces still have some advantages. Most notably, they are inexpensive to manufacture and relatively easy to take care of, making them one of the most affordable braces Albuquerque can offer. On top of that, new manufacturing techniques made the teeth braces treatment process far less unpleasant than before. Finally, they come in many colors, which adds a dash of charm to this now-iconic classic.
This next step of evolution was meant to deal with the main drawback of metal braces – their visibility. Here, the bracket is made of ceramics, which don’t stand out against teeth nearly as much. For this reason, they are often called clear braces, although they just have the same color as a tooth. Otherwise, they are essentially identical to traditional ones, both in treatment and in care.
To be fair, their subtle appearance comes at a cost – 6 month braces price will be somewhat higher for ceramics. They also require more attention to oral hygiene, as ceramics can get stained by certain types of foods:
These are literally metal braces inside-out. To be more specific, the brackets are attached on the inside of the bite. In most situations, such braces are nearly impossible to spot. This theoretically makes them the best combination of traditional and clear braces Albuquerque has. And, as you might have guessed by now, this is not entirely true.
To start, installing a bracket on the inside of a tooth is more difficult, which means you’ll need to visit your dentist more frequently and regular adjustments will take longer. And while they are made of metal, the complexity of the procedure will raise the price quite a bit. You’ll also need more practice for cleaning them on your own as they are not easily reachable. Some even find them causing discomfort during talking – not something you might expect from an item that has “lingual” in its name. Finally, due to the shorter distance between brackets, treatment might take longer.
Not a separate type in a strict sense, but rather a variation of the traditional braces. In fact, these come both in stainless steel and ceramic varieties. The only difference here is that instead of an elastic band, they are attached to the wire with a clip. This makes them the most comfortable braces for your teeth. First, no rubber bands means less friction or pain. Second, they are generally leaner, which means easier cleaning and less trapped food. Finally, they may be more effective in some cases, shortening the treatment duration, although it won’t work for every patient.
Technically, these are not braces at all, but because they serve the same purpose, the aligners still pop up in nearly every discussion about braces for teeth. Instead of being attached to teeth like brackets, the custom-made aligners are worn over them. They are made of transparent plastic, making them nearly invisible, and do not require regular readjustments like traditional braces do. Instead, you are supposed to replace them with the next set every couple of weeks.
On the downside, Invisalign is not as effective as metal or ceramic braces, so it will not work for more complex dental problems. They also require greater care in wearing and may not be suitable for younger children, when the treatment is the most effective. Finally, they are relatively expensive, although their advantages make the price justified.
As can be seen, there is no clear winner in this contest. Each option has its advantages and downsides which may or may not resonate with you. In addition, some solutions just won’t work for your unique situation. In the end, it is your health, not a fancy-looking accessory that you are supposed to be after, so be sure to talk to your orthodontist before deciding which type of braces will be perfect for you.