Tooth-colored braces are typically made from ceramic and are similar to metal braces in function. Ceramic braces are quite popular among teenagers and adults who wish to undergo orthodontic treatment.
Usually, tooth-colored braces are suitable for adults who want a quick correction of a smile with minimal strain on the tooth movement. People who have full-time jobs or go to college choose tooth-colored braces as they are less noticeable. (1)
Typically, tooth-colored braces take around one year and a half to three years to complete the treatment. As compared to metal braces that take up a year or two for corrections. This is because tooth-colored braces are more likely to break between the treatment and delay the process of tooth straightening.
Usually, tooth-colored braces consist of three components – the brackets that stick to the tooth surface, the archwire is curved around the bracket to applying pressure on the teeth, and elastic bands to secure the wire around the bracket. (2) Let’s look at some of the benefits and disadvantages of tooth-colored braces –
Benefits of tooth-colored braces
- Tooth-colored braces are aesthetically better than metal braces
- It is a better treatment option for people who want quick results as tooth movement is faster than Invisalign. On average, tooth-colored braces can straighten the teeth between 18-36 months as compared to more time taken by Invisalign. (3)
- Tooth-colored braces can efficiently treat severe misalignments or malocclusions which clear aligners fail to perform
- Tooth-colored braces come in various shades that can be easily matched to the patient’s tooth color.
- Unlike metal braces, tooth-colored braces do not interfere with imaging tests
Disadvantages of tooth-colored braces
- With all the benefits mentioned above, tooth-colored braces are slightly more expensive as compared to metal braces.
- The brackets of tooth-colored braces are larger than metal brackets. This can lead to gum irritation and difficulty in cleaning the tooth and the braces.
- Metal braces are more robust and durable as compared to tooth-colored braces. This increases twice the probability of breakage that can also lead to tooth damage
- Although the tooth movements are faster as compared to Invisalign, metal braces are still the best orthodontic appliance that provides faster results in tooth alignment. (4)
- Tooth-colored braces tend to stain quickly in the mouth.
However, you can control the staining of tooth-colored braces by following the steps given below –
- Brush and floss after every meal
- Avoid food and beverages that have pigments
- Quit smoking or chewing tobacco
- Do not use whitening toothpaste as it may not be able to provide an even shade distribution to the part of the tooth covered by the bracket. (5)
- Follow-up with your periodic dental appointments
Cost of tooth-colored braces
The cost of tooth-colored braces usually depends on the length of the treatment and the location of the dental office. On average, the cost of tooth-colored braces treatment range between $4000 – $8000. This price is slightly higher as compared to the cost of metal braces. However, it is more economical as compared to clear aligners.
Most healthcare and dental insurance usually do not cover the cost of treatment with tooth-colored braces. You might have to choose a separate orthodontic plan to cut down the value of the procedure for your children or yourself.
Some insurance policies may cover the cost of treatment with tooth-colored braces if it is being performed with a purpose to correct a severe malocclusion. However, procedures performed for cosmetic purposes may not be covered by dental insurance.