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Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces are a popular teeth-straightening alternative to traditional metal braces. They are as effective as metal braces but less noticeable since they are made from tooth-coloured or clear material. This makes ceramic braces a great option for people who want to straighten their teeth without an obvious orthodontic device.

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The orthodontist will bond the fixed ceramic brackets to each tooth and connect each with an archwire. The wire may also be coloured or frosted so the appliance blends with your teeth. Small elastic bands, known as ligatures, will hold the archwire in place on each bracket. The archwires and brackets often have one colour.

During your orthodontic treatments, checkups are vital every 6 – 10 weeks. At your visits, the orthodontist will check the treatment progress and adjust the wires to ensure your teeth are moving in the right direction. The duration of treatment is about 18 months, depending on the extent of correction needed.

Some patients may experience soreness for 1 – 2 days after tightening their braces. Besides this, any discomfort should be minimal.

Some ceramic braces use a self-ligating technology that allows the wire automatically tighten and adjust itself for a more comfortable treatment. This means ligatures aren't necessary because the brackets clasp the wire.

Ceramic fixed braces offer several benefits.

  • Suitable for adults and teens
  • Discreet teeth straightening option
  • Can correct a wide range of teeth alignment issues, including severe malocclusion
  • The ceramic material is strong and doesn't break or chip

Many people do not undergo orthodontic work because they are self-conscious about their uneven teeth. Besides the aesthetic of straighter teeth, they are also easier to clean. Investing in braces is also a good investment in your oral hygiene.

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Metal vs ceramic braces

Ceramic and metal braces have the same component, treatments, and results. However, the difference is the material used to make the brackets. For ceramic braces, the brackets are white, tooth-coloured or clear. This means the braces will blend with your teeth, making them less obvious from a distance.

About 75% of orthodontists in the UK offer a choice between ceramic and metal braces. While ceramic braces are still noticeable closeup, they offer a better aesthetic, making people feel more confident while undergoing treatments.

Teenagers and kids who want to straighten their teeth can avoid a metal mouth, and adults may feel more professional with clear braces.

The advanced materials used for ceramic braces make them more expensive than metal. You may also have to restrict your eating to prevent staining the white or clear ligatures. Besides these two factors, ceramic braces have no other downsides compared to conventional metal braces.

Combining ceramic and metal braces

Patients can get both ceramic and metal braces for financial reasons. Ceramic braces are more expensive than metal, so getting ceramic braces only on the top jaw, which is most visible, makes it more affordable.

Your dentist may choose not to fit white braces on the bottom teeth for practical reasons if you have a deep bite. The ceramic material is stronger than the teeth, meaning the teeth can chip if knocked hard against the bracket on the lower jaw. Metal brackets do not have this problem.

Both ceramic and metal braces need special attention as regards cleaning. The dentist will show you the best technique and tools for removing bacteria and food in hard-to-reach areas. This inconvenience will ensure your teeth are not damaged or stained during treatment.

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Alternatives to ceramic braces

Ceramic braces aren't the only option for people who want an orthodontic device less noticeable than metal. Other types of braces are available that are less noticeable with other benefits.

  • Ceramic braces vs Invisalign

Invisalign invisible braces are available if you need a more discreet option to straighten your teeth. They use a different teeth straightening system consisting of clear plastic aligners that fit over your teeth.

Invisalign aligners are a good alternative to ceramic braces because they are invisible to any casual observer and are removable. However, you must wear them for 20 – 22 hours daily.

Invisalign is suitable for 90% of orthodontic cases and costs about the same or lower than ceramic braces.

Invisalign treatment or ceramic braves have no fixed cost, so visiting an orthodontist or dentist is best to get a personalised quote.

  • Lingual braces

You may also consider lingual braces. Although lingual braces are made from metal, they are fitted behind the teeth and aren't easily noticeable. They can be custom-made to give a more accurate result. However, they are more expensive than other options.

Types of ceramic braces

  • Clear ceramic braces

Clear braces are made from sapphire, plastic (polycarbonate), or ceramic. The aluminium compound used in clear ceramic brackets is more stain-resistant and durable than polycarbonate.

If you have naturally white teeth, clear ceramic braces may be your best choice. The transparent material will be virtually invisible. Clear ceramic brackets do not often stain easily, but the ligatures may stain. While you will have the ligatures changes at every checkup, ensure you take extra precautions with what you drink and eat to reduce the risk of staining.

  • White ceramic braces

Although they are known as white braces, they are designed to be tooth-coloured. If the braces are pure white, they can draw more attention, especially if your teeth are naturally a bit yellow.

White ceramic braces look best against slightly darker teeth. You can also use ceramic braces with white metal instead of metal to make the braces less noticeable.

A different aluminium compound is used to achieve a whitish colour of the brackets. Some brands can match your teeth shade, while others are available in standard shades that may not perfectly match your teeth.

The brackets of the clear braces do not become stained, but the elastics might get stained.

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  • Coloured ceramic braces

Many people choose ceramic braces and need them less obvious, but you can add some colour with coloured ligatures. Like coloured metal braces, you can personalise the braces by choosing different elastics.

You will replace your ligatures at every visit, so you can continuously change your look during treatment.

Brands of ceramic braces in London

Dentists work with different braces brands for different reasons. For example, availability, comfort, quality, ease of fitting and removal, price and customer service may affect a dentist's decision.

Some common ceramic braces brands in the UK include:

  • Damon Clear
  • InVu
  • Clarity (ADVANCED and SL)
  • Radiance Plus

Damon Clear

Damon Clear braces are self-ligating, so they don't need elastic ties, meaning they are unlikely to stain. For many patients, self-ligating braces are more comfortable because the teeth gradually move under constant pressure, unlike other braces tightened in stages.

The self-ligating system may also have a slightly reduced treatment time and fewer checkups. This makes them popular for people who want faster results and a convenient schedule.

  • Radiant Plus

Radiant braces, made by American Orthodontics, are extremely strong because they are made from sapphire (the second strongest thing after diamond). They have a glass-like appearance, so many dentists call them the clearest braces. Radiant braces are one of the most expensive ceramic braces.

  • Clarity

Clarity made by 3M uses translucent tooth-coloured brackets specially designed for easy removal after treatment and comfort. They have self-ligating and standard options.

  • InVu

InVu braces are tooth-coloured and made to match the teeth' colour. Standard and tooth-coloured wires are available. The metal wire is coated in Teflon, so the coating can chip or get scratched to reveal the metal underneath.

  • Quick Straight Teeth

Quick Straight Teeth offers fast treatment. Treatment takes an average of 4 – 6 months, and they offer clear aligners and ceramic braces. The treatment focuses on only the front 6 – 8 teeth, making treatment faster.

This option may be cheaper than the full-service aligners and braces, but you need to visit a partner dentist for a quote. It is more effective than at-home solutions like Straight My Teeth which offer fast cosmetic teeth straightening bust without the inconvenience and cost of dental checkups.

How much are ceramic braces in London?

Ceramic braces cost between £3000 - £7000, depending on the treatment duration and complexity. The ceramic braces brand will also affect the cost. Self-ligating brackets are usually a bit more expensive.

Private dental treatments do not have a fixed braces price because dentists can set their rates. Below is an approximate cost of ceramic braces in the UK.

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Ceramic braces brands Cost per arch Material Self-ligating?
Radiant Plus £1800 - £4000 Clear No
Damon clear £1500 - £2750 Clear Yes
Clarity SL £1700 - £3700 Translucent tooth-coloured Yes
Clarity Advanced £1900 - £3500 Translucent tooth-coloured No
InVu £1800 - £3200 Tooth-coloured (colour match) No

The cost of the ceramic braces above is for one arch (top or bottom). Ensure you get quotes from 2 – 3 dentists to give you a better idea of treatment rates.

If you want ceramic braces in the UK, you will pay privately for them. Metal braces are available to under-18s on the public healthcare service and some adults with medical necessity.

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How much more are ceramic braces than metal braces?

Since ceramic materials are made from special materials, they are usually more expensive than metal braces. The exact difference in price will depend on the braces brand and duration of treatment.

Generally, ceramic braces for adults in the UK are about 25 – 50% more expensive than traditional metal braces, but you need to visit your dentist for a quote.

Living with ceramic braces

Many people wearing or have worn ceramic braces report feeling less self-conscious about wearing this type of braces.

However, ceramic braces are visible to some extent. Since people aren't so familiar with white or clear braces, they may take a longer look at your mouth to know what is in it but have less curiosity towards metal braces.

Do ceramic braces stain?

Brackets material are designed to be stain-resistant. However, the elastic bands on each bracket will become stained from some drinks and foods.

If you want to spend more to get ceramic fixed braces that are less obvious, you may want to put in extra effort to ensure they remain inconspicuous. This means rinsing and brushing your teeth after each meal, using interdental brushes and flossing daily. The dentist will advise you on which tooth to use.

You may want to avoid or reduce your consumption of drinks and foods that can stain your ligatures. These foods and drinks include:

  • Curries
  • Red wine
  • Coffee and tea
  • Balsamic vinegar and soy sauce
  • Brightly coloured sweets
  • Dark fizzy drinks like cola
  • Berries such as blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries
  • Tomato and tomato-based sauces

Your dentist will also include other foods to avoid, such as crunchy, hard and chewy foods to protect the braces. Smoking will stain your braces and harm your oral health, so quit smoking if you smoke.

If your ligatures become discoloured, you will have it changed at your next visit. Ensure you attend all your appointments because the longer you absent yourself from appointments, the greater the chances of staining.

If you choose a self-ligating appliance, you don't need ligatures. Clean your teeth and braces as your dentist advises to prevent the ceramic brackets from staining.

If you've decided to get ceramic braces for an effective and less obvious teeth straightening treatment, visit McKennell Dental Practice today or call 020 7834 8802 to schedule an appointment with us.

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Ceramic braces in the UK cost about £1500 - £4000 per arch. You can use ceramic braces on the upper arch and metal on the lower arch to reduce the cost of treatment.

No, only metal braces are available in the public healthcare service, and you must meet certain criteria to get the braces. Most adults are ineligible for braces treatment on the public healthcare service.

This choice depends on if you want to pay more for a less noticeable treatment. Your treatment will feel the same and be completed around the same time, whichever option you choose.

Metal braces may be the best option if you intend to pay as little as possible. If you are concerned about aesthetics, invisible or ceramic braces may be best.

Ceramic braces are made to be stain-resistant, but the elastics may get stained. Ensure you avoid smoking and maintain a good oral hygiene routine to ensure your braces are clean. Ensure you avoid foods that are likely to stain your braces and teeth.