Types of Braces – Orthodontic Treatment Options


Metal braces (traditional braces)

Metal braces are the most popular. They consist of metal brackets and wire braces that are attached to the outside of the teeth. The brackets are fastened to your teeth, and flexible wire is threaded through them to apply pressure. Metal braces are popular for teenagers because they are the cheapest and most efficient kind of braces.

Newer orthodontist technology produces wires that move teeth faster and with less pain. Modern-day metal braces are smaller and more effective. The colour of the rubber bands around each bracket can also be customised, giving teenagers a chance to personalise their braces. Self ligating brackets are also an option where there are no rubber bands around the brackets.

Wires are changed and adjusted throughout treatment to move teeth, and elastic bands may also be introduced. Also available are heat-activated archwires, which take advantage of your natural body heat to help move the teeth quicker with less pain.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are the same as metal braces but with clear or tooth-coloured brackets instead so that they are less noticeable. The brackets are made out of ceramic material and are more expensive than traditional braces. Tooth-coloured wires are also available to enhance their appearance.

Ceramic braces are also more effective than Invisalign (clear aligners) and lingual braces. However, ceramic braces are much less durable than metal ones and can stain easily.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces are the same as traditional metal braces, but they are attached to “the inside” of the teeth. The wires are changed and adjusted throughout treatment to move teeth slowly. Lingual braces are common for patients working in performance, retail, or customer service jobs since they cannot be seen.

Lingual braces have more disadvantages, which make them less unsuitable for many orthodontic patients. Because they are placed behind your teeth, lingual braces can be tougher to keep clean and can cause increased plaque buildup. Lingual braces can also affect speech more than other braces do. They are also not a suitable option for patients who have complex or severe orthodontic problems that require more extensive treatment.

Most patients do not choose lingual braces because the treatment is more extended, and they are more expensive than metal braces.

Invisalign (clear aligners)

Invisalign is a brand name for clear aligner’s types of braces. They are the same as plastic aligners, which are known as clear aligners. Invisalign is a series of custom-made plastic clear aligners. Invisalign are as effective as standard orthodontic braces, and their “invisible” appearance makes them popular amongst adult patients.

Grand Dental provides orthodontist treatment in the Blue Mountains. Please call us on (02) 4742 1004 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Max to give you the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile.

Metal braces Ceramic braces Lingual braces Invisalign (clear aligners)
Aesthetics Very noticable Less noticeable than metal braces, but more noticeable than Invisalign or lingual braces Virtually invisible and popular with patients who feel self conscious
Effectiveness Can be used in all cases Used only for dental problems that are mild to moderate in complexity
Material Stainless steel Ceramic  Stainless steel Plastic 
Oral hygiene Oral health is harder to maintain because it is harder to brush and floss properly. This results in increased plaque buildup and possible inflammation of the gums harder to brush and floss, resulting in a higher chance of tooth decay  easy to maintain good oral hygiene throughout treatment
Comfort  Ulcers may occur due to irritation from parts of the braces. Broken brackets and wires may cause discomfort and need urgent treatment. Can affect tongue position and, therefore speech. Ulcers may occur due to irritation Minor discomfort at the start of wearing each new aligner. May cause a temporary lisp at the start of treatment.
Removable  Not removable, braces are adhered to teeth for the entire duration of treatment. Removable, but they are required to be worn 20-22 hours a day
Compliance  Higher levels of compliance required as they are fixed to teeth, and most require patients to change their own elastics. However, this varies from person to person.  Higher patient acceptance due to the invisible and non-irritating nature of the aligners.
Cost  Generally the cheapest More expensive than metal braces More expensive than metal braces