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Difference between Ceramic Braces and Metal Braces

Dental braces have, during all the years, played a significant role in teeth alignment and restoring natural smile. Ceramic and metal braces are among the choices the patients have when installing dental braces to solve their teeth misalignment problems. However, the difference between the metal and ceramic braces is not that obvious and oftentimes patients get confused that which one to opt for. Let’s highlight the key differences between these important dental braces just before your next orthodontist appointment.

Difference between Ceramic and Metal Braces-1

What is Metal braces?

Metal braces are the traditional dental braces known for their ability to straighten teeth using the arch wires. These braces are made of the durable stainless steel and are nowadays made small and thin unlike in the past with uncomfortable braces on your teeth. The rubber bands on the metal braces can be customized with colored elastics.

Durability-wise, metal braces are durable and are thus more suited for intensive teeth corrections. However, those who are concerned about their cosmetic and aesthetic appearance, the metal braces may feel a little bit uncomfortable because they are visible. People will notice that you are wearing braces. Nonetheless, they are still one of the best dental braces today in spite of being visible.


What is Ceramic braces?

These are dental braces made of clear ceramic material. They are inconspicuous on your teeth so people won’t notice that easily that you have dental braces. Ceramic braces can be clear or colored to match your teeth appearance. In terms of effectiveness, they perform the same with the metal braces. The only difference is the visibility and durability.

Ceramic, unlike, stainless steel, is susceptible to chip and crack. In most cases, ceramic braces are put on the upper teeth and metal braces on the lower teeth because of the pressure applied on the lower teeth. Metal braces can withstand pressure.

If you care much about how you look, then ceramic braces are for you. However, you should take into account frequent maintenance needed on these braces. They are typically expensive than the metal counterparts.Difference between Ceramic and Metal Braces

Differences between Metal Braces and Ceramic Braces 

Appearance of Ceramic and Metal Braces

As emphasized above, metal braces are visible. The rubber bands and the brackets are noticeable from a distance that someone is putting on the dental braces for teeth corrections. On the other hand, ceramic braces are inconspicuous. They can be clear or colored as per your teeth appearance. It is not easy for one to notice from a distance that you are wearing dental braces.


Metal braces are durable, so they can last long without any breakage or repair when exposed or subjected to pressure. The same cannot be said with ceramic braces. They are prone to damages should you subject them to too much pressure. If, for instance, you play an intensive sport where your mouth can be in contact with too much pressure, i.e. boxing, then ceramic braces are not ideal for you. Ceramic braces can cost you lots of money in maintenance.


Strength still goes to metal braces. Ceramic braces are strong, but lacks in strength when compared to metal dental braces.


The major difference emerges when considering the prices. While the ceramic braces come with the benefit of invisibility, they can be exorbitantly expensive. Typically, ceramic braces can range between $4000 and $8000, whereas the metal braces range from $3000 to $7000.

If you have dental insurance the cost should not bother you that much. But confirm first with you insurance company to check if they can cover the dental braces, especially the expensive ceramic options.

Metal braces Ceramic braces
They are visible from a distance They are inconspicuous
They are durable They are susceptible to crack
They are easy to maintain They require frequent maintenance. Repairs can be costly
They are inexpensive They are considerably expensive

Summary of Metal Braces and Ceramic Braces 

  • Metal braces are visible on your teeth whereas ceramic braces are invisible. They can be clear or colored to match your teeth.
  • Metal braces are durable and suitable for pressure on your teeth
  • Ceramic braces are less durable than metal counterparts and they can be prone to damages if exposed to pressure
  • Metal braces are fairly inexpensive
  • Ceramic braces are expensive

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References :

[0]Lazare, M (2011). Lazare’s The Patient’s Guide to Dentistry. Trafford Publishing – Health & Fitness.

[1]El-Bialy, T, Galante, D, Daher, S. (2016). Recent Advances in Dentistry: Orthodontic Biomechanics. Bentham Science Publishers – Medical.

[2]Freedman G.A. (2011). Contemporary Esthetic Dentistry. Elsevier Health Sciences – Medical.

[3]"Image Credit: http://ped203health3.wikispaces.com/Dental+Care"

[4]"Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Orthobraces_-_dental_braces_lower_upper_jaw.jpg"

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