Every time we meet with more demanding patients in the day to day of a dental clinic. These patients have different concerns and motivations, and it is important that as professionals we are able to understand them. So we can offer the treatment that best suits each case. There are several types of brackets, which we can use in different types of orthodontic treatments. Each of these brackets has different characteristics and is better suited to one type of treatment. That is why it is important that we know them.
The best brackets in terms of durability:
If we take into account only the durability of the brackets, the kings of the comparison are the metal brackets , since these are practically unbreakable and require very little maintenance. This is one of the factors that makes metallic braces the most used in children's orthodontics. However, sapphire brackets and ceramic brackets are already very close to the metal brackets in terms of durability, and this should not be a critical factor when deciding on one or the other. Very far from all the previous ones, there are the plastic brackets and the resin brackets since they are much more delicate. This causes them to fracture in the middle of treatment, causing discomfort to the patient and consuming a lot of time of the orthodontist in changes and repairs.
The best brackets in terms of aesthetics:
In the aesthetic section, the winners are the sapphire brackets , since they are practically transparent. In addition, these brackets, being a material similar to glass, do not stain with the passage of time, and maintain their aesthetics throughout the treatment. The sapphire brackets are comparable in aesthetics to other solutions such as " Invisalign ", and it is convenient to use them together with aesthetic arches(white) if we want the orthodontic treatment to go as unnoticed as possible. After these, we found the ceramic brackets, which have an aesthetic similar to those of sapphire at the beginning of the treatment, but if the patient is not very careful with hygiene and avoids food such as coffee, tea, etc. they finish darkening with the passage of the weeks of treatment. Lastly, we find metal brackets, which should be reserved for treatments where aesthetics are not a great concern for the patient.
The best brackets in terms of adhesion capacity:
The metal brackets are those that best adhesion to the tooth surface. This is another reason why they are the undisputed kings in children's orthodontics, since it is more difficult for them to take off. Even so, modern ceramic and sapphire brackets have treated surfaces to obtain a greater roughness in the adhesion zone.
The best brackets in terms of patient comfort:
At the beginning of an orthodontic treatment, it is normal for the patient to feel some discomfort, since we have introduced a foreign body in the mouth to which he must habituate. There are no great differences in terms of patient comfort depending on the bracket material. If we must take into account the quality of the bracket in this aspect, since the quality brackets have the edges and edges better polished so that they rub as little as possible with the mouth of the patient.
The best brackets in terms of oral hygiene:
It is advisable to insist that the patient maintain good oral hygiene with any type of bracket. However, metal brackets are somewhat more permissive in this aspect since their dark color conceals that the ligature becomes somewhat yellow. With ceramic brackets and sapphire brackets we must be much more thorough in cleaning, as it will be much more noticeable as soon as the transparent plastic ligature begins to yellow.
The best brackets in terms of price:
For orthodontic treatments where price is a critical factor, metal brackets are the clear winners. There are very cheap metal brackets , but it is very important to ensure that they have a minimum quality and have all the certificates to be marketed in the European Union. Ceramic brackets are somewhat more expensive, and lastly we find sapphire brackets, which must be reserved for treatments in which aesthetics are an important factor.
The best brackets in terms of treatment speed:
If what we are looking for is to accelerate the treatment, the material of the bracket is not so important if not its design. In this aspect, the low friction self-ligating brackets are clearly winners, being able to accelerate the treatment in several weeks. Self-ligating brackets are usually metallic, but there are also self-ligating ceramic brackets. This type of brackets are somewhat more expensive than conventional brackets, but by reducing treatment time, they save patient visits and professional time, which is why it is often worthwhile to use them.
As we said at the beginning of the article, the type of bracket to be used will depend on the treatment and the patient's peculiarities. That is why it is important to know all the types in order to offer alternatives to the patient and use them when it is most convenient for us.