Metal vs. Ceramic (Clear)
Braces can be made out of metal or ceramic. With regard to cost, time in treatment, ease of use, and quality of result, there is still no better way to straighten teeth than traditional metal braces. Metal braces are also smaller than ever before, so patients wearing traditional braces are typically showing much more tooth than metal when they smile.
Ceramic braces do offer an alternative for patients who would like a more cosmetic appearance in their braces. They are less noticeable and they can be a good option for patients with certain metal allergies. However, ceramic braces do cost a little more than metal braces, and in some cases can cause treatment to take a little longer than they would have with traditional braces. The ceramic material can also discolor over time for patients who drink a lot of coffee, tea, wine, or other staining foods.
Active Retainers (Small Corrections)
Patients who have one or two teeth slightly out of alignment, or tiny spaces that need to be closed, may not have to correct those issues with braces. In some cases, active retainers can be used to accomplish small corrections. First, the patient would need an impression or a scan taking at the office that is then sent to a lab for retainer fabrication. Once the lab has made the retainer, it is then sent back to the office and adjusted to fit the patient’s mouth. Patients are then seen over a period of just a few months to correct these small problems.