There are different types of braces, and depending on which one you choose, the costs will vary significantly. Your orthodontist will help you find the right one for your needs.
There are a variety of reasons an orthodontist may recommend braces or orthodontic treatment (JADA, 2007). If your orthodontist has recommended braces for you, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the variety of types of braces that are available.
For individuals who are only familiar with the traditional metal braces, many are surprised to learn that there are actually many different types of braces. Firstly, it is good to know that some experts broadly classify braces into fixed and removable types ( JADA, 2007).
Secondly, these broad classifications are further subdivided into types based on the materials used in the brackets. These materials can be metal, ceramic, plastic or a mix of the three (JADA, 2007).
Still others classify braces more conventionally into three main types, namely: traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, and lingual braces. Regardless of what classification your orthodontist uses, each of these braces types all have their own benefits and drawbacks as the different kinds of braces are useful at addressing certain aspects. Some have different types of braces brackets which may be more aesthetically pleasing while others work faster and others are more affordable. The fact of the matter is when it comes to different types of braces for teeth it’s all a balance between aesthetics, price, and speed.
While all three of the traditional types of braces such as lingual braces, ceramic braces, and traditional metal braces all have similar speeds, other types of corrective measures like Invisalign can be slower. However, it has a very high aesthetic value. So the best way to understand the different types of braces is to think about what will you need for your particular treatment? What can you afford? And how good do you want to look while you receive that treatment? With that in mind then, let’s take a look at the three major different types of braces and what they can offer.
Lingual braces are by far the most expensive of all braces types, usually coming in between $8,000 and $10,000. However, this does not tell the full story as the truth of the matter is with orthodontic insurance, work benefits, or even payment plans it is entirely possible to be able to get this type of braces at a price that you can afford without breaking the bank. But why would somebody want such expensive braces? And why are they so expensive in the first place?
Lingual braces are unique compared to the other two braces that will be mentioned in that they attach to the back of the teeth. Compare that to most braces like ceramic braces or traditional metal braces all attaching to the front. Because they attach to the back of the teeth, they look the best of all three types. They are even better than Invisalign when it comes to aesthetics as lingual braces are truly invisible unless somebody is sticking their head in your mouth and they are working 24-7. This super high level of aesthetics can be important for many people, especially those who put a high value on their smile and how they look. If you don’t want anything to come between your smile and others, then lingual braces may be a great pick for you.
Ceramic braces have a higher aesthetic quality level than traditional metal braces but far lower than lingual braces and as a result end up being significantly cheaper than lingual braces while only being slightly more expensive than traditional braces.
Ceramic braces usually hover between $4,000 and $5,000, depending on where you are and the orthodontic office involved. While they are half the cost of lingual braces, they also have some aesthetic benefits over traditional metal braces. The reason they are called ceramic braces is also the key for why they are much nicer in appearance and that is they utilize tooth colored ceramics for the brackets. These ceramics come in three primary colors – white, ivory, and porcelain. These three different types match the shades of the vast majority of individuals’ teeth and so can help make the brackets nearly invisible, especially when used in conjunction with clear orthodontic bands.
While it is still noticeable that you are wearing braces, they are far less noticeable than the readily apparent stainless steel of the traditional braces. And with a price tag that is only slightly more expensive than traditional metal braces, these are often a great pick for people whose insurance may not cover lingual braces but still want to have an added benefit of aesthetics.
One drawback though about the aesthetics that should be mentioned is that the brackets can be stained. Things like coffee, colored juices, and even smoking may stain the brackets and can in effect reverse the aesthetic benefits that you had in the first place by your brackets ending up discolored from the way your rest of your teeth are colored. This can be a huge psychological blow to an individual who thought they were getting something that would maintain its beauty indefinitely but like with all things, you need to take care of them and keep them clean for them to continue serving their function.
Traditional metal braces
Traditional metal braces as the name suggests are the traditional ones we all know. This type of braces has evolved significantly over the years, and they have come a long way from the bands around the teeth of years past, and they continue to make major advancements. Despite the fact that these have the lowest of the aesthetic qualities, and they are the most obvious you are wearing them, they have other major benefits.
The primary benefit to the vast majority of people is that they are very affordable. Coming in usually around $3,000, these braces are by far more affordable than either ceramic or lingual braces. This can be a huge benefit for individuals for whom cost is the biggest factor or aesthetics is simply not a big concern. This is why traditional metal braces are most often used in children for whom the aesthetics is a far lower concern and for parents for whom the price is a major factor.
However, metal braces, in addition to their cost benefit, are also the most common and it is very easy to find practitioners who will be able to readily install them. New advancements in materials such as space age memory metals that utilize the heat of the mouth to maintain tension mean that you can even see an orthodontist less often and that the braces will continue to work better and faster, completing the treatment in less time than in years gone by.
Of course only your orthodontic office will know for sure what will be the best treatment style for you. By talking with your orthodontic office about whether lingual braces, ceramic braces, traditional metal braces, or perhaps an entirely different procedure like Invisalign will be best for you, you can know for certain what the right choice is. With many high quality orthodontic offices like Ivanov Orthodontics offering free consultations, there is never any harm in finding out what will be the best braces for you to make sure you have the smile you’ve always wanted.
JADA. (2007). Braces Straighter Teeth Can Improve Oral Health. The Journal of the American Dental Association, 138(4), 556. Retrieved May 11, 2021, from https://doi.org/10.14219/jada.archive.2007.0210
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