Metal or Ceramic?

This is the place to post general questions and comments about all areas of orthodontic treatment. Before you post a question, use the forum's SEARCH tool to see if your question has already been answered!

New Members: YOU MUST MAKE A POST WITHIN 24 HOURS OF REGISTERING OR YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE DELETED. In other words, don't sign up unless you plan to actively participate in the message board immediately. This is necessary to keep out spammers and lurkers with bad intentions. Of course, you can read most forums on the board without registering.

DO NOT POST FULL-FACE PHOTOS or personal contact information on this website. We have had problems with people re-posting members' photos on fetish websites. Please only post photos of your teeth, not your whole face. Keep your email and your personal information private. Thank you.

Moderator: bbsadmin

Message
Author
lildropofsunshine
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:47 am

Metal or Ceramic?

#1 Post by lildropofsunshine »

I'm getting braces in about a month and a half, and I'm trying to decide whether I should get metal or clear.

I've heard conflicting things about clear -- some people say that it's just as good as metal with the only real difference being the color, and others say that they're not because they don't move teeth as well, they're expensive, stain and not as strong/chip easily and more.

Which is true?

desertd
Posts: 104
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:45 am

Re: Metal or Ceramic?

#2 Post by desertd »

Just got full metal braces, with colored bands, 5 days ago and seriously, nobody notices. Cheaper and from what I read faster too. :tingrin:
Metal Damon braces on 3/27/2019 - Sentence 24-30 months - Class II overbite, crossbite. My story: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=54263

r1r1r12000
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:32 pm

Re: Metal or Ceramic?

#3 Post by r1r1r12000 »

I have full metal. DesertD is right; nobody notices. I would choose metal if I were starting treatment again.

assertives
Posts: 642
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:29 am

Re: Metal or Ceramic?

#4 Post by assertives »

I have full metal. No regrets. No one cares or even noticed I had them. Also, the ceramic ones are a little bulkier in profile, so that's something to take into consideration as well. I had a coworker who had ceramics for the top and metal for the bottom. She told me if she had to do it again, she would choose all metal because they work faster.

lildropofsunshine
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:47 am

Re: Metal or Ceramic?

#5 Post by lildropofsunshine »

Does anyone have a source with empirical evidence? Because what you guys are saying is exactly where the conflicting views come from since people on both sides will usually argue for their side.

I'm sure no one cares (except me of course), but I also know that people would notice - at least I would notice right away if someone I knew got braces. Maybe because I judge peoples teeth/mouths all the time...but it's not something that's exactly inconspicuous anyway. Plus, I have absolutely no desire to look any younger than I already do. I'm 28 and I get as young as 18 all the time, and I hate it! Also, while clear braces are still definitely noticeable, I feel like they don't really give the teenager look that metal ones often do.

And, in my case, clear braces wouldn't cost me any extra. Where I live, braces are braces when it comes to cost. Even Invisalign isn't any more expensive. I can't tell you why, but it's the case.

What I know for sure is that I want top and bottom to match...so if I can't have the clear ones on bottom, I'll most likely get full metal.

SinkFullOfDinner
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 2:25 pm

Re: Metal or Ceramic?

#6 Post by SinkFullOfDinner »

Hi -
Thread bomb alert! I hope it's helpful. You can find studies for almost any aspect if you’re willing to look hard enough. I researched some of the differences beforehand and got information from my ortho as well. I’ll summarize what I remember and what I experienced below. I’ve had both (mostly ceramic, but metal on the lowers ones other than front four). People who’ve had full ceramic top and full metal bottom would be good data points if you get a reply. Importantly, when you mention that everyone seems to advocate for whichever they have, it just means that most people wind up happy with whatever they chose, so you’ll be fine with whichever type you choose.

Size: Ceramic brackets are slightly larger. You can find measurements online for your ortho's lineup, but here's an AW link with some comparisons of bracket depth size viewtopic.php?f=13&t=54211&p=506861#p506861. The differences are in hundredths of an inch. Some people can feel the difference, but I couldn’t. Either way, when they first go on, they feel absolutely, freaking ginormous! So don’t panic.

Staining: Many, many years ago, the ceramic materials they used could stain. That hasn’t been a thing for a while. However, elastic ligatures and powerchains stain (degree depends on color). If you have self-ligating ceramics, you won’t have to deal with ligatures. However, both ceramic and metal wearers deal with the same powerchain staining issues, although a yellow powerchain is more obvious with ceramics. Ask if your ortho allows patients to stop in between appointments for a quick change if you need to remove evidence of last night’s awesome curry before that big presentation or hot date.

Strength: Metal is stronger, but how flippin’ strong is strong enough? If a ceramic bracket chips (mine never did) or pops off (I had one of each pop off), it just gets replaced. I imagine if you’re a professional boxer or play full-contact trumpet, you might need the extra durability of metal, but I’ve never seen a post from someone who switched to metal because their ceramics weren’t strong enough. One thing to note, however, is ceramic material is harder than your tooth enamel and will chip your teeth if you’re biting on them. Your ortho will use molar buildups or bite turbos to prevent your anterior teeth from contacting brackets regardless of bracket type. Mine also occasionally used an elastic “bumper” ligature if the issue was only one tooth.

Debonding: Metal brackets debond easier. Ceramic will often break into pieces when removed and then require a little more time to buff off. To me, the difference is a couple extra minutes out of a couple years, but there is a difference. Maybe more of an issue if you have super sensitive teeth.

Speed: My ortho said there’s an almost negligible difference in friction between the metal archwire and the ceramic slot for certain movements (“sliding mechanics”), although some ceramic brackets have metal-lined slots. Estimated treatment time doesn't change if you choose one bracket material or the other. He said it doesn't matter.

Cost: Some orthos charge more for ceramic. Your doesn't. Same with mine. But for some, there's a difference.

When it’s all said and done, it’s mostly about appearance and personal preference. If you like (or don’t care about) the look of the metal brackets, then that’s probably your best call. If you prefer the look of ceramic, then go with that. I preferred the aesthetics of ceramic, but that was just for me. Up close and conversational distance, all braces are noticeable. But from a little further away and often in photos, there’s more of a difference….if you care. To repeat the earlier comment, it seems that most people advocate for what they have, so you’ll be fine with whatever you choose…once you get past the inevitable “what have I done!” Good luck!

lildropofsunshine
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:47 am

Re: Metal or Ceramic?

#7 Post by lildropofsunshine »

^Thank you for the very well thought out and detailed reply! I wish I knew what type (brand) my ortho uses, but I don't...

User avatar
Nozzelnut
Posts: 641
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:34 pm
Location: Rochester, NY

Re: Metal or Ceramic?

#8 Post by Nozzelnut »

I had several ceramic brackets crack and chip during my treatment. I never had a stainless bracket fail. The little tabs ligatures go around seem to be the weak point. The ortho can put more pressure on the bracket (tooth) without the risk of failure of the bracket itself when using metal.

If I had to do it again; I'd save some time with all metal.
Round 3 (lifetime) Damon stainless applied 3/16/20 (after 4 weeks attempting invisalign)
Upper ceramics 5/21/14, Lower stainless 5/28/14
Double jaw surgery was 6/18/15. Estimated time Jan 2016; still on at my 2 year anniversary...
Braces removed 7/20/18; upper and lower Hawley and Essix retainers with bonded lower too.
I'm emphatically against extraction orthodontics!

clh5086
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:46 pm

Re: Metal or Ceramic?

#9 Post by clh5086 »

I have ceramic but sometimes I wish I had gotten metal. Metal seems smaller and I like the look better. I get colored powerchains and ligatures so I don't care to try to make them "invisible"

Puddles1987
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:08 pm

Re: Metal or Ceramic?

#10 Post by Puddles1987 »

Ceramic all the way. I really dislike the look of metal brackets. I chose self ligating clarity braces. Most people haven’t noticed them unless really up close.

I never considered metal brackets but from research in general I don’t think metal braces are any better or quicker than ceramic.

BracedRico
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2020 8:37 am

Re: Metal or Ceramic?

#11 Post by BracedRico »

I have ceramic. They are less noticeable than metal brackets. My orthodontist didn’t charge me extra for ceramic, cost is one reason why metal are usually chosen over ceramic. I have found pretty comfortable.

User avatar
djspeece
Posts: 1960
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:36 am
Location: North Canton, Ohio USA

Re: Metal or Ceramic?

#12 Post by djspeece »

SinkFullOfDinner wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:02 am
Hi -
Thread bomb alert! I hope it's helpful...
SFOD to the rescue! This is a great summary, and will save you lots of work. In the end, it's only a personal preference. Does you ortho have posters of beautiful young people wearing ceramic braces that you can barely notice because they are all so good-looking? It worked for me. "Say, those ceramics are barely noticeable on those good-looking models, I'm sure that I will look the same even if I am old and ugly." What I disliked most was that in photographs, my oral area tended to have a ghastly gray look, as though the camera were somehow confused -- are those braces? Something gray in there.
I did not have any issue with debonding with ceramics -- the ortho used a specialize tool that just popped them off.
As mentioned, most people won't even notice, no matter which route you take. Best of luck to you.
Dan

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Buddist saying

lildropofsunshine
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:47 am

Re: Metal or Ceramic?

#13 Post by lildropofsunshine »

Update: I have had both, and have both. I’ve got ceramic on top and metal on the bottom. LOVE LOVE LOVE the ceramics!! They are hardly noticeable both in terms of visibility and comfort. I would love to have them on my bottom arch but my ortho doesn’t do that.

User avatar
Speck
Posts: 246
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:11 pm
Location: Keyboard

Re: Metal or Ceramic?

#14 Post by Speck »

lildropofsunshine wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:19 am
I've had my braces since May of this year, top only so far, and I have ceramic on the first 6, metal on the rest. I absolutely hate my ceramic ones because they're so big and bulky, and I feel like they've made my speech so much worse because I feel like I'm always "tripping" over them.
lildropofsunshine wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 6:05 pm
Update: I have had both, and have both. I’ve got ceramic on top and metal on the bottom. LOVE LOVE LOVE the ceramics!! They are hardly noticeable both in terms of visibility and comfort. I would love to have them on my bottom arch but my ortho doesn’t do that.
Very nice to hear that you now love them! What changed? Was/is it that you simply got used to the somewhat bulkier ceramic brackets?
-Andy


Image


Image


Image

lildropofsunshine
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:47 am

Re: Metal or Ceramic?

#15 Post by lildropofsunshine »

Speck wrote:
Fri Dec 25, 2020 2:17 pm
lildropofsunshine wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:19 am
I've had my braces since May of this year, top only so far, and I have ceramic on the first 6, metal on the rest. I absolutely hate my ceramic ones because they're so big and bulky, and I feel like they've made my speech so much worse because I feel like I'm always "tripping" over them.
lildropofsunshine wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 6:05 pm
Update: I have had both, and have both. I’ve got ceramic on top and metal on the bottom. LOVE LOVE LOVE the ceramics!! They are hardly noticeable both in terms of visibility and comfort. I would love to have them on my bottom arch but my ortho doesn’t do that.
Very nice to hear that you now love them! What changed? Was/is it that you simply got used to the somewhat bulkier ceramic brackets?
So here’s what happened: I actually switched over to metal brackets and was so much happier than with the ceramic ones. But then I moved to another state and had to switch orthodontists. My new ortho uses a different type of ceramics than my original one, and they’re much smaller so I decided to give it a go. What I have now are 3M Clarity brackets and they aren’t that much bigger than metal brackets and are very comfortable and discreet.

Post Reply