Traditional Metal Braces
This is the most common type of braces used in orthodontic treatment for adults and children. These brackets are made from medical-grade stainless steel, they are comfortable and sturdy and provide excellent results. The brackets are attached to the tooth surface with special bonding materials. Wires are placed in the brackets and secured with small rubber ties.
With metal braces, you have the option of using clear, metalic color (silver) or colored elastics (rubber ties) that are changed at every appointment and can be matched with different themes, occasions or moods!! Metal braces are fun and less expensive than other types of braces.
Self-ligating braces are made with a metal closure on the bracket that eliminates the need for having elastic ties. The idea is that teeth can move faster when there is less friction between the wire and brackets. There are a variety of studies that support and reject this claim, therefore it is not proven that treatment time can be shorten by using this type of braces but is showing from the same materials as traditional braces. However, self-ligating braces do not require the use of elastics, meaning fewer appointments and less friction being placed on the tooth. Self-ligating braces can be made of metal or ceramic ( clear) brackets. They can be same size or smaller than traditional braces. These braces don't require elastic ties but if you like the colorful look, the color ties can be used with these braces as well.The proven advantage of these kind of braces is that there are fewer and less frequent appointments required to adjust the braces.
Clear (Ceramic) Braces
These braces are made of porcelain and are therefore less visible and more fragile than metal braces. Adult patients and teenagers who are interested in a more cosmetic option for their orthodontic treatment can choose to have ceramic braces on the upper teeth only or both upper and lower teeth. These brackets work the same way and deliver the same quality results as the metal braces but cost more due to the material, manufacturing and esthetic advantage.
Clear Aligners (Invisalign)
Clear aligners are made of clear plastic material,they are removable and more comfortable than braces. The patented technology (Invisalign) allows for the programming of tooth movements in the series of aligners that are worn 1-2 weeks for 20-22 hours/day. The aligners are removed when eating so patients can enjoy non-restricted diet and easier brushing and flossing process. The negative part is that the plastic that is not attached to the teeth is not as fast and predictable in moving the teeth and if the aligners are not worn regularly for more than 20 hours a day the teeth can't be moved at all. These aligners usually require small button attachments placed (bonded) on the teeth that help increase control and efficiency of tooth movement. The attachments are usually small and strategically placed on the teeth to maximize control and speed of tooth movement. They are less noticable when aligners are worn and have no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment.
Lingual braces are the type of brackets that are designed to be placed behind the teeth and are therefore "invisible". The best types of Lingual braces are 100% customized for each patient to fit the back of the teeth and cost more for this reason.Lingual braces are a good option for models, actors/actresses, musicians who play wind instruments, and adult professionals. These type of braces are harder to get used to initially but are less visible than traditional (outside) braces and offer faster and more predictable results than clear aligners and Invisalign.