Types of Braces: Cost, Pictures, Pros and Cons

May 2, 2022

Types of Braces: Cost, Pictures, Pros and Cons

In the modern era of orthodontics, patients have more choices than ever. It’s important to know what types of braces are available, and which type will be the best fit for you.

6 Types of Braces: What You Should Know

There are 6 main types of braces:

  1. Traditional Metal Braces
  2. Gold Braces
  3. Clear Ceramic Braces
  4. Clear Aligners
  5. Self-Ligating Braces
  6. Lingual Braces

Here, we’ll explain the different types of braces along with their advantages and disadvantages. While you should consult with an orthodontist to fully understand your options, this article sheds some light on modern orthodontic technology.

Traditional Metal Braces

Average Cost: $3,000 to $6,000

Metal braces are the most common type of orthodontic treatment. They use a system of brackets, wires, and bands to move teeth into their proper position and correct a misaligned bite. Metal braces have come a long way over the years; and they are much smaller, lighter, and less noticeable than in the past. However, they are still among the most noticeable types of braces, so patients with cosmetic concerns may prefer an alternative.

Gold Braces

Average Cost: $5,000 to $7,500

While some patients want their braces to be as discreet as possible, others prefer to lean the other way, highlighting them as a unique part of their look. Gold braces use the same wire-and-bracket system as conventional braces, but they are made with a gold-colored metal alloy. This makes them an excellent choice for patients who are looking for something “different.” 

Clear Ceramic Braces

Average Cost: $4,000 to $8,000

Ceramic braces are exactly like metal braces except that they are made of clear or tooth-colored materials. Because they are less noticeable than metal braces, ceramic braces are a popular choice among teens and young adults with aesthetic concerns. 

Clear Aligners

Average Cost: $4,000 to $7,000

Clear aligners use a series of transparent, removable trays to correct crooked teeth or a misaligned bite. This treatment option is often referred to as "clear braces.”

The most popular brand of clear aligners is Invisalign, which can treat mild to moderate conditions. While Invisalign patients must wear their aligners for 22 hours a day, there is a 2-hour time window for eating and cleaning. This makes clear aligners a more convenient option compared to traditional braces.

Self-Ligating Braces

Average Cost: $4,000 to $7,000

Self-ligating braces don’t require elastic ties to hold the wire in place. Instead, they use clips to create a sliding mechanism, allowing the wire to move on its own. This reduces the frequency of appointments, and it typically makes the appointments shorter as well.

Lingual Braces

Average Cost: $5,000 to $11,000

Lingual braces are made just like traditional metal braces, but they’re placed on the back of your teeth where they’re hidden from plain sight. The drawback is that it takes longer to adjust to them, and they can cause tongue discomfort for the first few weeks.

Types of Braces: Which is Right for You?

If your orthodontist thinks you're a good candidate for braces, your next step will be to choose a type that fits your needs. If your primary concern is affordability, traditional metal braces tend to be the cheapest option. However, ceramic braces and clear aligners are only slightly more expensive; and many patients feel that the low-profile look is worth the extra cost. Although some types of braces are more expensive than others, it's possible that cost won't be a major factor if you or your child has dental insurance. Most plans cover at least a portion of the cost. Talk to your insurance provider, and consult with an experienced orthodontist to fully weigh your options.

If you’re looking for braces in Tucson, Arizona, contact Wilde Orthodontics to sign up for a free smile assessment!

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