Ceramic (porcelain) braces are a common alternative to metal braces.  They are similar in size and shape and have the same type of brackets that are attached to the front of each tooth and are then wired together.  However, the difference is that clear/Sapphire or tooth-colored brackets (and sometime tooth-colored wires) are used to make the braces far less visible. They are usually somewhat more expensive than metal braces and must be cleaned properly in order to avoid stains and stay “invisible.”  They can be a beautiful alternative to metal braces, but are not recommended for severe cases.

Ceramic braces come in two types, but either way, they blend in very well:

  • Semi-translucent or clear/Sapphire brackets — better for very white teeth
  • Tooth-colored ceramic — better for slightly darker teeth

They are also strong if they are high-quality, and usually won’t chip or break unless badly abused.  The brackets are bigger than metal braces, but because they blend in this is not an issue for most patients.

In a study, test subjects were asked to rate various alignment systems:  ceramic braces (sapphire/clear brackets, clear elastics, esthetic archwire) tied for second place after removable clear aligners, and a close third was ceramic braces (sapphire brackets, clear elastics, standard silver archwire).

Whether adult or child, it’s never too late to have straight teeth.  Adult orthodontic patients are often more interested in straightening systems that are invisible, or nearly invisible, because they don’t want to distract from their appearance during the time they are having their teeth aligned.   An advantage over removable clear aligners is that they move the teeth much faster.  Also, some patients report that there is less pain because they don’t irritate the gums.

If metal braces aren’t just what you’re looking for, ceramic braces might be a great alternative!

If you are interested in ceramic braces in Costa Rica, fill out the “Find a Dentist” form on this page.  One of our patient advocates will reply to your needs.