Metal braces comprise of stainless steel brackets and wires, with elastic bands used to hold the wires in place. Although they might look the same on the surface, metal braces, too, have undergone some dramatic changes in recent years. Metal braces now have brackets that are smaller and lower profile, and advanced archwire technology can move teeth quickly and effectively. Today’s braces are more comfortable and less obtrusive than ever before. If you had braces as a child or teenager, you’ll be surprised by how much they have changed since then.
Why Choose Metal Braces
With all the other treatment options on the market, you may wonder why braces continue to be the most popular choice among our patients. Here are some of the reasons for metal braces’ enduring popularity:
Metal braces work better in complex cases. Aligner technology has advanced in recent years, making them an option for most patients, but there are still some orthodontic cases where metal braces are the only option for treatment, or the preferred option.
Metal braces are always working to straighten your teeth. Because they’re attached to your teeth 24/7, they do the job around the clock. Clear plastic aligners only work when being worn. For patients who have trouble complying with the required 20-22 hours of wear a day, this can present a problem, often resulting in a longer treatment time.
Metal braces are durable. They’re made with stainless steel, which makes them stronger than both ceramic braces and plastic aligners, and they’re meant to last for the duration of your orthodontic treatment.
Metal braces are affordable. Not only are they less expensive than clear braces and invisible aligners, they’re also more likely to be covered by your dental insurance plan.
Metal braces are customizable. Kids enjoy choosing different colored elastics at each appointment, making their braces an outlet for self-expression. (You’d be surprised at how much kids love choosing their favorite team colors or matching their elastics with the season!)
Metal braces are often the fastest treatment option. While every patient is different, and aligners may have a comparable treatment time to metal braces in some cases, in others, metal braces work much more quickly than the alternatives. This is particularly true when patients are unable or unwilling to wear their aligners for the recommended amount of time each day.
Metal braces are a tried-and-true treatment option. Orthodontists have been using them for decades for one reason: they work well.
Metal braces can be used to correct underbites, crossbites, overbites, misaligned teeth, and most other orthodontic issues with excellent results. During your consultation, we will go over each of your options and discuss your treatment goals, your lifestyle, and other factors to take into consideration when making your decision.
Typical Cost Of Braces
Treatment cost varies with the complexity of a case. Braces typically cost between $2500 and $6500. There are times when a patient wants just one or two teeth moved. We call this limited treatment and the cost can be much less than putting full braces on.
Braces On One Arch (e.g. Top or Bottom Teeth)
Yes! This treatment is your treatment. We will show you all the problems we see, and discuss all your treatment options with you. You may decide you do not want to fix all the problems, just one, and, if possible, we will give you that option.
Braces During Pregnancy
Yes you can. You will want to avoid xrays while pregnant so, if possible, have your diagnostic work up done before you become pregnant. If your case requires any oral surgery (tooth removal), you will want to have the surgery done before you become pregnant, or postpone all the treatment until after you have the baby. The increased hormones in your blood will make your gums more reactive to plaque, so be extra diligent with your hygiene. Talk to your orthodontist so you know what to expect.
Colors for Braces
Every time you come for a visit we will let you choose the colors you want. Some people choose colors for holidays, or sports teams. Others prefer more subdued colors, or darker colors to make their teeth look whiter. It is amazing what cool schemes some people come up with, just use your imagination!
How Metal Braces Work
Braces, whether metal or clear, work as a handle that is attached to your tooth. The wire we place grabs this handle and moves the tooth where we want it to go. Any constant force put on a tooth, whether from a brace, clear aligner, or habit, changes the cells that surround your tooth. On the pressure side of the force the cells turn into bone resorbing cells, and on the tension side of the force the cells change into bone depositing cells. This is how we can make teeth move and still keep the bone that surrounds them healthy. This is also why retainers are so important after treatment. Imagine all the forces in your mouth when you eat, talk, or clench your teeth. These forces will also make your teeth move unless retainers are worn.
Gold braces are similar to traditional metal braces in many ways. They are made of stainless steel but are uniquely coated in gold. The gold coating may be considered a more cosmetic option than traditional metal braces, and the cost of gold braces is surprisingly comparable to most clear braces. These are especially comforting to many with a nickel allergy as they add extra security against an allergic reaction. The gold is able to form a stable bond between the teeth and the brackets and will also blend very nicely against ones teeth to soften the esthetics. These have become more popular for many simply becuase they feel they look better than traditional options but they do come with added cost.
These appear very similar to the traditional stainless steel orthodontic braces. Titanium has an added advantage (besides being nickel free) that they are often considered to be more flexible than traditional stainless steel braces. This will allow them to be more flexible upon chewing and placing forces on them. This makes them a more durable option for many.