Dental Braces Types Comparison: Metal, Clear, Damon, Invisalign

| November 19, 2015

Dental Braces types comparison among metal, clear (ceramic), damon, invisible (invisalign), lingual, smart brackets braces and self-Ligating braces options.

Dental Braces are the first thing that comes to our mind when we think about crowded teeth, a misaligned bite or jaw problem and a picture of mouth, full with metallic wires and elastics come along the word braces.

Dental Braces are normally considered as one of beauty enhancing product as “your perfect smile is our aim”, is used as motto of braces but in actual, braces are also used to eliminate problems you may have with eating, speaking properly, or with keeping your teeth clean.

In traditional dental braces, standard metal brackets are adhered to your teeth with an adhesive and these brackets are connected by wire. You have to visit your doctor at regular intervals as traditional dental braces types require periodic tightening in order to create sufficient pressure which is essential to gradually straighten your teeth and align your jaw as needed. After every tightening session, pain and discomfort especially while eating are normal.

Like all other products, idea and design of dental braces has also evolved. Although there is not plenty of choices, but more and more advancements are expected in this area. This is also the matter of fact that the idea of dental braces is relatively new. i.e. only 50 years of age. Still there is variety of dental braces types available which you can now put on and off in second. Really the idea of dental braces has evolved.

Dental Braces Types Comparison: Metal, Clear, Damon, Invisalign

Dental Braces Types Comparison

Let’s review and compare the pros and cons of different dental braces types to find out the best dental braces type for your needs:

  1. Metal Braces

    Metal braces are the most traditional dental braces type, consists of silver or gold colored brackets and connected through a wire. They may be a little irritating to your Gums when initially attached but with the passage of time, patients normally get used to it as cheeks and gums grow tough gradually.

    In addition to brackets and wires, elastic rubber bands are also used with traditional braces. These are called ligatures and they keep the arch and the bracket attached to each other. They are available in different colors so you can choose the color what you like. With metal braces, you have to change your eating habits like instead of taking bite from whole apple, it’s better to cut into pieces, stay away from crunchy and sticky foods like chips and chew gum and so on.

    Metal Braces Advantages

    • The main advantage for which metal braces are known for is the strength of metal brackets, they are not only strong and can withstand most types of daily interaction.
    • It has observed and reported that metal braces take lesser time as compare to all other available types of dental braces.
    • Metal braces are relatively less expensive and one can afford them easily.
    • By the time, you are using metal braces, it is advised not to eat sticky and hard foods to avoid the breakage of brackets, as breakage of brackets can prolong the treatment.

    Metal Braces Disadvantages

    • The most irritating problem that comes with metal braces is having trouble while cleaning the teeth. Brushing is difficult and flossing is almost impossible as getting around the wires is tough.
    • Most of the people don’t adopt proper methods to clean teeth with metal braces as its little troublesome and as a result get gum diseases or stains on teeth. Waterpik is an alternative for flossing.
    • People with metal braces are uncomfortable while talking and laughing. Lack of confidence due to metal braces is one of the major issues about which patients mostly complaint.
  2. Clear/Ceramic Braces

    Clear or ceramic braces, made up of clear hard plastic or ceramics, can be one of your choice, made of composite materials with varying levels of transparency. They are most preferred dental braces type of people due to cosmetic reasons. They blend so good with the teeth color that no one can easily judge them as dental braces. In addition, two shades of clear braces are available, i.e. crystal transparency and a pearl-white shade.

    In terms of properties and material, Ceramic braces are similar to clear braces. Most preferred choice of adults because they blend in with the color of the teeth and are cosmetically less noticeable than metal, hence less noticeable.

    Ceramic Braces Advantages

    • Cosmetic appeal is the main edge of ceramic braces.
    • The ceramic brackets do not stain.

    Ceramic Braces Disadvantages

    • Due to its material, i.e. ceramic which is normally used in dinnerware and resemble glass, so they are not strong and absorbent to shock or force. So they can break easily.
    • They are far more expensive than metal braces, as orthodontist charge more for many reasons such as they observe extra care while applying and often take more visits.
  3. Invisible/Invisalign Braces

    There are three different versions of invisible braces i.e. Clear trays(Invisalign), lingual braces, and simple wire. Clear trays, as is the most popular type of invisible braces as they are removable and transparent.

    The invisalign braces consist of clear molds that act as aligners and make your teeth straight. At first your orthodontist records impressions of your teeth, like metal braces, and then sends them to an invisalign lab where your individual molds prepares. In Lab, it takes usually two weeks and with the help of digital technology, your clear liners or retainers are there, ready to use.

    People can hardly notice that you have braces because they are clear. In case of clear braces, you have to replace one set of Invisalign aligners usually after about 3 weeks. Number of sets you need depends on your problem as well as your orthodontist’s preference.

    Invisalign Braces Advantages

    • Cosmetic value is an obvious advantage in using Invisalign braces. You can laugh and talk confidently, having no worries in your head that the person to whom you are talking actually not observing your braces but listing to your words.
    • You are very comfortable while eating, because these type of dental braces are removable. So you can eat what you want without having any trouble and worry of bracket breakage.
    • Clinically it has reported that with Invisalign braces, you have very low chances of gum problems that often result with metal braces over time including tooth decay. There is no cleaning problem with these braces like metal braces because you can remove them and can do brush and floss easily.

    Invisalign Braces Disadvantages

    • Invisalign are removable, this can be taken as advantage as well as disadvantage of Invisalign. It will be turn in to disadvantage when patients are not wearing them as per instructions. In this way, correction can be disrupted and depends upon the patient’s behavior. Prescribed timings are 20–22 hours each day, removing them only during eating or brushing.
    • They are already very expensive and become more when patient fail to wear brace in the prescribed length of time. As a result, the next brace in the series won’t fit and a new set will be needed,   incrementing the cost.
    • Since patient remove the braces for 2 or 3 times daily, there is more risk of damage and lost if not kept in the recommended containers. Being made of clear plastic, they are difficult to locate if lost.
  4. Lingual Braces

    Lingual braces are traditional metal braces but not at front of your teeth but your orthodontist places lingual braces on the back of the teeth, such dental braces are termed as lingual braces. Simple wire is similar to lingual braces, it places also on the back of the teeth, only difference is that it does not include the brackets like in lingual braces.

    Lingual Braces Advantages

    • Other people will remain unaware of your braces, is the main advantage associated with lingual braces.
    • Working adults prefer this type of dental braces as they don’t have worries about their social stigma.
    • Usually less expensive than the other dental braces types, which offer same advantages like lingual braces such as Invisalign.
    • In case of simple wire behind the teeth, you don’t have any dietary issues like patients has in lingual braces.

    Lingual Braces Disadvantages

    • Invisalign are removable, this can be taken as advantage as well as disadvantage of Invisalign. It will be turn in to disadvantage when patients are not wearing them as per instructions. In this way, correction can be disrupted and depends upon the patient’s behavior. Prescribed timings are 20–22 hours each day, removing them only during eating or brushing.
    • They are already very expensive and become more when patient fail to wear brace in the prescribed length of time. As a result, the next brace in the series won’t fit and a new set will be needed,   incrementing the cost.
    • Since patient remove these dental braces for 2 or 3 times daily, there is more risk of damage and lost if not kept in the recommended containers. Being made of clear plastic, they are difficult to locate if lost.
  5. Damon Braces

    Damon System is one of the most modern solutions available for teeth correction problems. Let’s review, why Damon braces are termed as system and how they are different from traditional braces. There are three key differences in which Damon braces different from the others:

    1. Firstly the brackets on Damon braces that are not only functioning like in traditional ones but they have a passive self-litigating system. The wires are held in place by a sliding mechanism. Thanks to this system, you don’t need elastics anymore, can enjoy more freedom of movement and it also eliminates the need for tightening by the orthodontist, which usually you hates.
    2. The wires used in Damon braces are light weighted, only 0.014 inches in width. They are composed of a copper, nickel and titanium alloy.
    3. The Damon brackets reduce friction because the wire slides freely through the slot.
    4. Damon System will not require a palate expander or tooth removal in most cases. The system allows for a new approach to orthodontics and treatment.

    Damon Braces Advantages

    • Elimination of unpleasant tightening experience and elastics is
    • Damon braces are known for producing more attractive final result.
    • Removal of elastics gives not only a feeling of freedom and relaxation but Damon braces offers best hygiene condition, as Damon brackets are easier to keep clean, resulting in less hassle for patients.
    • A laser-etched pad is used to attached the brackets to the teeth. This method provides more customization opportunities in addition to a strong and reliable bond.
    • Clear Damon brackets are also available for look conscious people.
    • The material used is resistant to staining caused by foods like coffee, wine and mustard

    Damon Braces Disadvantages

    • First of all, Damon braces are really expensive as compare to traditional dental braces.
    • The Damon brackets are very painful for the first couple of days as well as can cause mouth sores but that are easily treatable with dental wax.
    • They are composed of metal and still give you a metal mouth look
    • Every dentist can’t put them in to your mouth as it requires relevant training.
  6. Smart Brackets Braces

    In this modern age, we not only have smart phones but Smart bracket braces also. In Smart brackets braces system, sensors are mounted onto the teeth that give feedback to a microchip. The microchip readings helps the orthodontist in determining that how much force is being placed on each tooth, which direction they are moving and how fast. Short treatment and possibly reduce pain are main advantages of smart brackets braces.

    They have developed by a team at the University of Freiburg, Germany. These braces are available in two forms, one is with sensors while the other is in form of self-ligating braces (discussed below). With Smart bracket system, patients spent 19.4 months while 23.5 months with traditional braces. Self-ligating braces cost approximately $4,000 to $6,000 which is on par with conventional braces.

  7. Self-Ligating Braces

    Self- ligating braces are totally opposite to the standard dental braces types. They eliminate the need for bands. Self-Ligating Braces use a unique moveable clip or a moveable door in order to hold the wire in place. This option has been prevalent since the 1930s but have recently been in the spotlight. Patient with these braces have usually fewer orthodontist’s visits. They are available in traditional metal, ceramic as well as clear brackets. Ceramic, which blend in with the teeth, is also more aesthetically pleasing than traditional ones.

    Like all other dental braces types, smart bracket braces have also some down falls such as for the gate that closes around the arch wire, can be opened while chewing. It can even break from continual opening and closing. Jamming of the gate is also one possibility if patient is not careful with oral hygiene.

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