Category Archives: Dental

Park, Steven Y. DMD General Dentist: Buena Park, CA

Park, Steven Y. DMD General Dentist: Buena Park, CA dentaldecider

Benefits of Metal Braces

Pros of metal braces (brackets and wires)

You’ll notice that most orthodontists prefer and recommend metal braces over clear ones. This is because metal braces give dentists a lot more maneuverability and versatility over shifting your teeth. It’s much easier and quicker to establish a perfect bite when using brackets and wires than it is with clear trays. Here are some of the advantages of wearing metal brackets and braces over clear ones:

Metal braces can not be removed

Wait, but isn’t this supposed to be a disadvantage? No, not if you’re a teenager who doesn’t like to follow instructions! Removable clear braces require heavy compliance and unfortunately most teenagers don’t follow through. This is the main reason why metal braces are still preferred for youngsters. Trust us, you can’t expect your teenager child to wear his or her clear braces 22+ hours a day if they’re not worrying about paying for it themselves!

Brackets and wires are more effective and efficient

Traditional metal braces are still the king when it comes to excessive teeth movement. You can fix just about any bite discrepancy with metal braces. They give your dentist more control over the movements and yield much faster results. They work for most cases where clear braces fails to produce satisfactory results, such as:

  • Moderate to severe overbites and underbites
  • Fixing overbites resulting from thumb-sucking or tongue-thrusting
  • Fixing posterior crossbites
  • Forcefully pulling out impacted teeth (trapped)

Only very simple and minor teeth movements qualify for clear braces. In fact, clear braces really only work well when closing minor gaps in between your teeth or fixing minor relapses. For everything else you must resort back to metal braces. Having more control and yielding better outcomes is often worth the metal look and inconvenience associated with wearing brackets and bands.

Clear braces cost much more than metal ones do

Clear braces trays are a patented design. This means that they’re made by only a select few manufacturers which typically charge between $500 to $1,500 per case. Obviously, this will be reflected as an additional expense onto your bill. So generally speaking, clear braces cost $2,000 to $3,000 more than metal braces do.

Keep in mind that most of the difference in price doesn’t go to your dentist or orthodontist but rather the tray manufacturer. Thus don’t expect that you will be able to bargain too much on the price here!

On the other hand, metal bracket and wire braces have minimal overhead for your dentist or orthodontist. Cost of bands and brackets are negligible, which is why metal braces cost so much less than clear braces do. Metal braces are almost always the more affordable treatment option, and typically cost a few bucks thousand less than clear braces.

NEXT >> Deciding between clear or metal braces

Pros of clear braces (Invisalign or ClearCorrect)

When to Get Braces: As an Adult

1. Adults show better compliance with oral hygiene when wearing braces. The thing we love most about treating adults with braces is that they follow instructions so much better than teenagers do! Not only does this make treatment easier but because adults tend to brush better and consume less sweets so they end up with less dental problems while in braces. We see many kids and teenagers who have wear braces for a few years and end up with multiple cavities or even occasionally a root canal infection. This happens far less frequently in adult patients due to their better compliance, less sugar consumption and generally better oral hygiene.

2. Adults have a lesser chance of relapse. You may have heard of people who wore braces twice or even thrice. In almost every single one of these cases they wore braces as a teenager but didn’t wear their retainers and ended up having to do a second round of braces to correct the ensuing relapses. Adults have stiffer bones which reduces relapse rates and since wisdom teeth have either been removed or settled in place they also cause less problems in adults.

  • Having softer and flexible bone allows teeth to shift easier during treatment but it also allows them to collapse into their original position easier as well.
  • Teenagers also face a problem with their wisdom teeth coming out and pushing on other teeth. Wisdom teeth come out in late teens or twenties and not only can they hurt you but they also make other teeth more crooked. Since many teenagers typically don’t remove their wisdom teeth until it starts hurting we see relapses happening all too often.
  • If you take your braces off and fail to remove the wisdom teeth right away or soon afterwards, assuming that they need to be removed, then there’s a good chance your remaining teeth will shift over time. It is also very important that teenagers continue to wear their retainers consistently as instructed to prevent their teeth from relapsing particularly when they are still young.

3. Adults are better candidates for clear-braces. Teenagers typically don’t comply with wearing the clear-brace trays for 22+ hours a day as they are supposed to. This is why they are almost never offered clear-braces as an option for orthodontic treatment. On the other hand, adults who need braces to close smaller gaps or fix minor relapses are great candidates for wearing clear-braces. Adults show much better compliance with wearing their clear-trays as well as showing up for regular orthodontic visits. And adults can actually afford these more expensive types of braces.

NEXT >> When to Get Braces: How to Decide

When to Get Braces: As a Child or Teenager