ASK YOUR DENTIST 20 - Braces

 “I am thinking of getting aesthetic braces, as I work in marketing, but do need to stop going to the dentist for fillings. My teeth are quite crooked. I have heard that different kinds of tooth colored brackets are available. What is the difference between them? I make a decent salary, but some are quite expensive. Is the investment really worth it?

Nicole”

Dear Nicole,

When there is a marked increase in price for any product in medicine, the difference is almost always very drastic, and almost always worth it, if one can afford it. Getting tooth colored brackets is a great idea, and you will see that all of them work of fof the same idea, and functionally speaking there is not that much difference between the brackets. The difference is aesthetic, and if you are going to the trouble of getting aesthetic braces, perhaps considering the more expensive option is acceptable. Here are the kinds of aesthetic brackets that I know of, and how they are different from each other.

braces colored

There are plastic aesthetic braces, ceramic ones, and ones made of sapphire crystals. For the sake of simplicity, let’s compare the plastic and the ceramic, and then the sapphire one separately.

The cheapest solution is the plastic one. Close to it in price is the ceramic bracket, and quite far from both of them is the sapphire crystal brackets. The plastic one relates to the ceramic one in that they have similar problems. The archwire can stain these materials, and if the braces you have are self ligating, you may see a sort of shade around the archwire on the brackets from discoloration. Certain foods like red berries, beets, tea and coffee can also stain the plastic, although the ceramic one takes quite a lot of the same food to dye any color at all.

Sapphire crystals do not stain and will remain the same color regardless of what you eat. This is especially important if you chose to get clear or transparent brackets instead of tooth colored ones. This is the main difference, the archwire and foods will not be able to stain the brackets, and thus this solution can truly be called aesthetic, as the crystals will look the same after you are done wearing them. This is why it costs more, because it is a better solution, and the materials are more expensive to acquire and work with than plastic or ceramic materials.

image: 1. 

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