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Braces are the collective name given to appliances which the Orthodontist uses to do orthodontic treatment.  The singular word literally means to anchor; to couple to and to create tension which are all aspects done in an orthodontic treatment.

Since only straight teeth is by far not the only orthodontic goal, braces come in various forms which also give attention to having the jaws aligned and creating a balance with the facial muscles.  This ultimate goal is the only result which will remain stable and ensure your long term health of your oro-facial environment.

Metal Braces

This is the most common form of treatment used by over 90% of all Orthodontists.  It is the only method that can do most of the work required in a treatment i.e. offer most control and has very few limitations.  Furthermore are they strong, easy to place, relatively comfortable, easy to clean and most importantly the most economical.

Invisible Braces

Several types of braces are called invisible braces or clear braces because it is difficult to see them, unless you are close to a person.  They are all gimmicky in that they add no value in treatment concepts, but often increase time, difficulty and costs.

Clear / C-Thru (See Through) / Ceramic Brackets

With these braces the bracket that is attached to the tooth and which holds the wire, is clear or opaque – it matches the tooth color very well. They break more easily, distort and discolor.  Ceramics (i.e. aluminum oxide based) with metal inserts are better, but still do not have the quality and controllability of metal braces.  They are expensive yet more cost effective than lingual braces.

Lingual Braces

With these braces the brackets are placed on the inside of the patient’s mouth and are therefore not seen.  Since all the wires and brackets are next to the tongue, they are more uncomfortable impede speech and cause more problems. Apart from longer treatments (especially the adjustment appointments) they also cannot be used to treat all types of malocclusions and it is extremely difficult to get a perfect result. They are very expensive.

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Clear Removable Plates (Aligners)

These plates are extremely expensive and have a very limited range of treatment possibilities.  Furthermore is it virtually impossible to achieve an ideal result with them alone.

Pros and Cons of different types of braces

Choosing the braces for your treatment is an important consideration, with cosmetic appeal and pricing being the main factors in the type of bracket used during treatment. Here we've set out in a matrix the pros and cons of the different bracket types to assist you in choosing the best option for you.

Silver Braces

Ceramic Braces

Lingual Braces


This is the most cost-effective option More expensive than silver braces, more cost effective than lingual orthodontics This is the most expensive option

Cosmetic Appeal / Visibility

Very visible, low cosmetic appeal Low visibility, higher cosmetic appeal Totally invisible, most cosmetic appeal

Additional Info

The easiest, fastest and most cost-effective option Treatment time may take slightly longer, may discolour slightly over time Placement time and appointment times are longer, and may be slightly uncomfortable


321 Bulwer Street
Central CBD


E-mail: orthodontist@sainet.co.za
Telephone: 033 394 7635

Appointments can be made daily from Monday to Friday 08:00 to 16:30. You may also leave a message at any time for us to contact you on our answering service.

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