Differences between aesthetic ceramic brackets
The quality of the materials used in orthodontic treatment has a direct effect on the quality of the results. This was a topic I covered in one of the sections of the blog entry how to choose an orthodontist.
In this entry I would like to explain what the differences are between low quality aesthetic ceramic brackets and those of high quality. In our clinic I use the·3M brand ceramic brackets that go by the names Clarity and Clarity Advanced. By my criteria these have been the best ceramic brackets around for quite some time. Before I go on, I should make it perfectly clear that I am in no way influenced by any kind of agreement with commercial brands. Whenever new products are launched by different companies I take time to try them out, getting a finer understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of each product or material, so as to be able to offer my patients whatever is best.
To date I have tried out 10 different types of aesthetic brackets and so far there have been none to match 3M’s Clarity. The differences in price and quality can be immense. Clarity can cost up to ten times more than other low quality brackets, not to mention the brackets that many of the large centers and clinics buy from China and other suspect markets.
Ceramic brackets create greater friction between the brackets and the wire, so it is harder for the teeth to move. This problem was solved by inserting metallic grooves in the aesthetic ceramic brackets (the wire being placed inside the groove). At present the Clarity Advanced brackets do not have this metallic groove, and work in the same way as the other brackets that do. Thanks to the manufacturing process for these brackets and the fact that the ceramics are very fine grain and polished to extreme smoothness, there is less friction and the groove is resistant to wear.
The image below shows the Clarity Advanced markers system, which enables correct placement. The blue marker is easily washed away with water. Because its groove is not metallic, these brackets are relatively discreet.
En la siguiente imagen se puede ver el modelo más antiguo del Calrity que tenía una ranura metálica.
The advantages of Clarity over other brackets:
1. They do not stain. The Clarity brackets are made of a recently innovated ceramic material with a color that is not affected during orthodontic procedures.
2. Performing their attachment is easier thanks to a greater degree of space below the brackets’ tie-wings.
3. The ‘stress concentrator’ design makes it easy to remove and clean these brackets. The stress concentrator lets you detach the bracket by collapsing it, so none of the ceramic material is left on the tooth. If ceramic material is left on the tooth there is a danger of damaging the enamel when removing it. With Clarity, the only material left behind is the adhesive, which is very easy to clean without damaging the surface of the tooth.
Image of the remains from low quality brackets and adhesive we have removed.
Image of the remains from low quality brackets and adhesive we have removed
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