A Clear Alternative to Metal Braces Ceramic braces are also referred to as clear braces, tooth-colored braces, or aesthetic braces. They work the same way metal braces do. We are happy to serve you in Hillcrest, Moundville, Northport, Taylorville, Tuscaloosa, and the surrounding areas. About Clear Braces Our clear braces are designed to be less noticeable on your teeth than metal braces. They're smaller than ever and made of nearly invisible tooth-colored polycrystalline ceramic material. These ceramic options will blend in well with your natural smile. Though they're not completely invisible, and the brackets are about the same size and shape, they’re much less noticeable than metal braces. Blend In With Clear Braces Ceramic brackets are a less obvious way to straighten your smile when paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties. This option is especially attractive if you are an esthetic-minded adult or teen. Ceramic braces are perfect if you want an esthetic treatment option but don't want the extra hassle of removable aligners and the responsibility of wear time with clear aligner systems like Invisalign®. Even though most patients in ceramic braces love how discrete they are, we do have some teens and adults who like to use colored ligature ties. This gives braces an almost neon look. The colors pop off the clear brackets, creating a really unique look most people haven’t seen before. Differences Between Ceramic & Metal Braces Metal braces are known for their durability and strength. Ceramic braces are also tough, but they are made from a different, more fragile material that is more likely to chip or crack. Traditional braces are also better at tolerating pressure than newer ceramic ones. If you need more drastic corrections, metal braces could be a better option. Adjustments with ceramic braces have to be slightly smaller, so it can take a little more time to align your teeth. Having said that, both types of braces work on the same principles and tend to be equally as effective in most cases. You may be worried about ceramic braces staining, but that hasn’t been a problem for several years. Ceramic brackets won’t stain. But, the adhesive used to attach the brackets to the teeth and the clear elastic ties used to hold the wires in can stain. This can give an overall impression of discoloration or staining over time. You can choose to avoid things like coffee and tea, red wine, tomatoes, mustard, etc. to cut back on the chance of any staining, but this isn’t necessary since we change your elastics at every adjustment appointment. As long as you maintain a good oral hygiene routine, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about giving up your morning cup of coffee or evening glass of wine. Cost of Ceramic Braces One of the biggest factors that affect the cost of your treatment will be the materials used to make your braces. In our office, ceramic brackets cost a little more than metal brackets. The good news is, we offer flexible payment plans, automatic bank drafts, and we will also check with your insurance company for orthodontic benefits. Our goal is to provide outstanding value for reasonable fees! Treatment fees will vary depending on the complexity of your orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cowan will determine a treatment fee that fits your specific orthodontic needs, and our office will do everything we can to accommodate you and your budget. The work it takes to put your braces on, adjust them, and take them off must also be factored into the total cost of treatment. Placing and removing ceramic braces are more sensitive to technique and requires more time. Our treatment coordinators will be happy to go over the cost with you at your first free consultation. Best for Adults After a thorough orthodontic evaluation with our doctors, we can determine what treatment you need, and which treatment option will be best for you and your smile. We think ceramic braces are generally better suited to adults and older teens. This is because ceramic brackets are more likely to break, and they're more expensive than metal brackets. Schedule a free consultation to learn if they may be right for you.