Ceramic Braces: Pros, Cons & Cost

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Table of Contents

  1. Benefits of Ceramic Braces
  2. Downsides of Ceramic Braces
  3. Cost Comparison to Other Orthodontia
  4. Ceramic Braces Work for Many People

Ceramic braces are a more discrete choice for people who have severe misalignment or bite issues that require braces. They are more expensive than metal braces, and they can get stained.

Since more adults are seeking orthodontic treatment to adjust misalignments, the dental industry has developed several options for orthodontic devices that are less noticeable but still effective. For example, clear aligners have gained immense popularity since they can be worn for several hours a day and are barely visible. However, clear aligners may not be an effective option for everyone. 

Ceramic braces are white or slightly off-white braces that work like traditional metal braces. They are bonded to your teeth and use metal wires, which are tightened slightly over time, to realign your teeth. 

Ceramic braces are more aesthetically pleasing for many people. They can be more effective for moderate or severe alignment issues compared to clear aligners.

DID YOU KNOW Aligners work for many orthodontic issues and can cost thousands less than braces.

Benefits of Ceramic Braces

The Benefits of Ceramic Braces

Ceramic brackets were introduced in the 1980s as a more subtle method of straightening teeth compared to traditional metal braces. 

They are still one of the best options for improving the alignment of your teeth without being very noticeable. Although ceramic braces still require metal wires, it is possible to use white plastic coatings on the wires to improve the overall appearance of the braces and make them even less noticeable. 

Ceramic braces are an excellent option for people who have alignment problems that are more difficult for clear plastic aligners to manage, especially if they want faster dental treatment. These brackets are tougher than plastic aligners, so they put greater pressure on teeth, similar to what metal braces do. 

They are clear, white, or the color of your teeth, so they aren’t as visible as metal braces. If you have moderate or severe misalignment or malocclusion of your teeth, ceramic braces can be a good option for fast, effective, and long-lasting treatment.

Downsides of Ceramic Braces

The Downsides of Ceramic Braces

Although ceramic braces are a good option for many people, they have some downsides compared to traditional metal braces or plastic aligners.

Clear, plastic aligners are nearly invisible, while ceramic braces still require metal wires to straighten teeth, which can be seen. If you are more concerned with visibility than the speed of treatment, you may opt for clear aligners rather than ceramic braces.

Ceramic braces can become discolored. While proper oral hygiene is an important part of any orthodontic treatment, many people find that ceramic braces get discolored easily.

Coffee, tea, soy sauce, and foods or drinks with high acid content can all cause enamel and ceramic discoloration. With ceramic braces, it will be hard to lighten or remove stains.

If you are concerned about cost, ceramic braces are more expensive than traditional metal braces. While these two options are similar in their level of effectiveness and speed of treatment, ceramic requires production processes that metal does not, which increases the cost.

Ceramic braces may be about the same price as Invisalign, but they are more costly compared to other types of clear plastic aligners, like over-the-counter, at-home options.

Ceramic is also more brittle than metal, so this type of orthodontic device can be harder to apply well to your teeth. It is important for ceramic not to come in direct contact with the enamel of your teeth, as this can cause cracking or wear.

Ceramic braces are harder to remove than metal braces, which increases the cost of this approach to treatment. Although modern ceramics are very durable, they might still partially fracture or fail, especially during tightening or removal. This may damage your teeth, but it can also make your treatment plan take longer.

Cracks, fractures, and enamel flaking have all been reported by dentists during the process of removing ceramic brackets. They often use special tools to remove ceramic that they would not need to use to remove metal brackets.

Cost Comparison of Ceramic Braces to Other Orthodontia

The typical cost of ceramic braces can vary depending on your dental insurance, where you live, and how long you need treatment. The current estimated cost ranges from $4,000 to $8,000. This is roughly the same cost as dentist-prescribed clear aligners, provided through Invisalign. 

Ceramic braces are also less expensive than lingual braces, which are metal brackets placed on the backside of your teeth rather than outside. However, ceramic braces are more expensive than metal braces. 

Here is the cost comparison:

  • Ceramic braces: $4,000–$8,000 for full treatment

  • Lingual braces: $8,000–$10,000 for full treatment

  • Invisalign: $4,000–$7,400 for full treatment

  • Traditional metal braces: $3,000–$7,000 for full treatment

  • Over-the-counter, clear aligners: $2,000–$4,000 for full treatment

While price may be a major part of your decision when looking at orthodontic treatment, it is important to ask your dentist for their help too. Many people can correct mild to moderate malocclusions with clear plastic aligners, for example. 

Over-the-counter teeth aligners are a good option to take control of your orthodontic treatment, but they do not solve every dental misalignment or health problem.

Ceramic Braces: Pros, Cons & Cost
CostVisibilityConditions treatedProsCons
Metal braces$3,000 - $7,000Most visible, with metallic hardwareTreatment plans for major or complex smile issuesMost affordable; can treat a wide range of issuesWearers may feel self-conscious; braces aren’t removable and require in-office adjustments
Ceramic braces$4,000 - $8,000Less visible than metal braces; white or tooth-colored hardwareTreats most orthodontic issuesMore discreet than braces and can treat a wider range of issues than alignersMay be prone to discoloration and staining; aren’t removable and require in-office adjustments; more expensive than metal braces; easier to damage than metal braces
Lingual braces$8,000 - $10,000Nearly invisible, as hardware is attached to back of teethTreats most orthodontic issuesVirtually invisible; can treat a wider range of issues than aligners canExpensive; may be more uncomfortable and cause problems when eating and talking; harder to clean
In-office aligners (including Invisalign)$4,000 - $7,400Virtually invisibleTreats mild to moderate issues as well as some more complicated problems; may be used with traditional braces for more major issuesRemovable and clear; a discreet alternative to traditional braces; usually faster than bracesCostly treatment, especially when compared to at-home aligners or metal braces; less convenient than at-home aligners
At-home aligners$2,000 - $4,000Virtually invisibleTreats mild to moderate issues like crowding, gaps, and rotationFast results; straightforward and affordable pricing and financing; potential for completely remote treatment for convenienceMust be worn as prescribed to work; limited or no in-office care; may not be able to treat more complex smile issues

Ceramic Braces Work for Many People

If you want fast but discreet orthodontic treatment, ceramic braces could be right for you. They are similar in effectiveness and speed to metal braces since they are worn constantly until your dentist removes them. But they are less visible compared to bulky metal braces.

You will need to avoid certain foods like caramel, gum, or popcorn while you have ceramic braces. You may need to use special types of floss to get between the wires to prevent food building up there.

If you have moderate or severe misalignment or malocclusion, ceramic braces work faster and give you longer-lasting results than plastic aligners. However, they are less cost effective than metal braces or most clear aligners.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to serve as dental or other professional health advice and is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any condition or symptom. You should consult a dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.
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