Sapphire Braces Pros and Cons | vs Ceramic, Metal Braces

Sapphire Braces Pros and Cons | vs Ceramic, Metal Braces

Sapphire braces are the optimal solution for demanding patients who need to correct their occlusion. These braces are completely transparent, which means they are almost invisible. Sapphire braces have a very secure fit.
They are made from artificial sapphire for medical purposes.

The stones are grown using the same technology as crystals for the watch and jewelry industry. Only difference is the output which is not blue stones, but transparent and colorless crystals, completely invisible on the teeth. But as soon as a beam of light hits the sapphire, it begins to magically sparkle.

What are sapphire braces made of?

Sapphire braces are made from specially grown synthetic sapphires. The resulting material is second only to diamonds in hardness. Sapphires are absolutely harmless to the human body. They are hypoallergenic, prevent the deposition of food particles (plaque), do not enter into chemical reactions with tobacco or alcoholic beverages, and do not crumble.

Sapphire braces are placed on the teeth from the labial (lips side) side. This allows you to maintain correct diction and exclude microtrauma to the mouth.

It should be understood that such orthodontic designs look effective only on white teeth. If the enamel gives off yellowness, then the crystals will emphasize it disadvantageously. In this case, it is better to choose ceramics, they will harmoniously merge with the natural color of your teeth, and will not attract too much attention.

Sapphire Braces Pros and Cons

Pros of sapphire braces
Each crystal is thermally polished, so the stones are very strong, clean and smooth.
Great for teenagers who are embarrassed to put on metal braces because of the ridicule of their peers. And for adults who are not allowed by status and work to wear less aesthetic options.

They have a streamlined shape without sharp corners, so you can quickly and easily get used to them.

Sapphire braces are the price of comfortable teeth alignment. They do not put as much pressure on the teeth as metal structures.

Cope with the problems of the dentition of any complexity.
They are atraumatic and hypoallergenic, which metal braces cannot boast of.

The sapphire bracket system has a mild effect of the vestibular structure on the dentition, it assumes comfortable wearing without severe pain.

It takes a lot of effort to keep it clean and hygienic.
Crystals are colored from juice, coffee, cola, wine, berries. Therefore, some foods will have to be excluded from the diet. Due to the average pressure of the arch on the jaw, the process of correcting teeth is longer than when wearing metal structures.

Sapphire braces are more expensive than ceramic braces.

The course of treatment takes a long period of time due to the weak force of movement of the teeth.

Not used by doctors in difficult cases of curvature of the dentition and malocclusion.

It is used to correct defects in the upper jaw.

A slight difficulty manifests itself in the installation of sapphire braces - transparent material is more difficult to position in the desired position, so an expensive product should be trusted only by professional orthodontists. The disadvantages of the ligature system also include the risk of staining or yellowing from different foods.

Sapphire vs Ceramic Braces| Differences

Single crystals of sapphires are grown and polished at a very high temperature, which helps to create a strong, beautiful lock that is almost invisible on the teeth. Ceramic products have noticeable aesthetic qualities, but they differ in a number of properties:

The color scheme does not always allow you to choose a perfectly similar shade of the patient's tooth enamel.

Ceramic braces make it somewhat difficult for the dentist to work if curvature of the teeth or malocclusion is a serious anomaly.

Ceramic braces are more difficult to control the correct position of the tooth and the entire system as a whole.

The opaque polycrystalline structure of ceramics can deteriorate as a result of improper handling.

Sapphire braces design

Sapphire braces include 2 main parts - the sapphire clasps themselves and the orthodontic arch.

The transparent diamond-shaped locks are directly attached to the teeth with orthodontic adhesive. They have rounded edges and are perfectly polished so as not to cause discomfort to the mucous membranes during treatment. The clasp has a groove for an arc and ligature wings for holding the ligatures.

The orthodontic arch, which is responsible for the movement of the teeth in the right direction, is inserted into the slots of the braces. Arcs are made of metal with shape memory and their usual color is gray, but especially for sapphire systems they can be coated with a white Teflon coating.

The arcs are fixed to the clasps using ligatures - elastic bands or rings made of thin metal wire. The ligature is put on the wings of the bracket when the archwire is inserted into the groove and holds it securely until the next activation.

Types of sapphire braces

Inspire Ice by Ormco
Ormco is an American company specializing in the production of orthodontic appliances. They analyzed the shortcomings of previous sapphire systems and created more advanced Inspire Ice braces.

For patient comfort, the braces have more rounded edges and a smoother groove for easy arc glide. The structure of the base of the bracket is formed by zirconium balls, which increases the reliability of fixing the lock to the enamel.

Other manufacturers of sapphire braces
Sapphire braces Radiance are transparent ligature braces from the American company American Orthodontics.

Pure sapphire braces (Ortho Technology) are braces made from a single piece of sapphire using high-precision laser milling.
Miso sapphire braces - Korean bracket system.

Installing sapphire braces on teeth

A small set of examinations is pre-appointed by the orthodontist:
Panoramic X-ray of the upper and lower jaw, which shows possible inflammation, the condition of the roots of the teeth.

An impression, allowing the doctor to better assess the degree of curvature of the dentition, to simulate the correct installation of the braces plates.
If there is gum disease, a consultation with a periodontist or dental surgeon is prescribed.

An x-ray shows whether a healthy tooth needs to be removed to align a whole row. This is a frequent decision of dentists and has a beneficial effect on the patient's final appearance. Sapphire braces are installed completely painlessly, the procedure itself does not take much time:

The surface of the dental crowns is treated with a special composite solution.
Spot application of dental glue and braces to the teeth. It often contains a coloring pigment. This is done in order for the doctor to better control the correct installation of the sapphire clasp. After drying, the substance becomes completely colorless.

A special size and shape of the bracket is applied to each tooth.
After the glue hardens, an arc of nickel-plated metal alloy is installed in the grooves or locks.
Securing metal or rubber ligatures.

It is worth noting that before installing the bracket system, it is necessary to cure caries and all foci of inflammation, it is also recommended to get rid of tartar. The process of removing the structure is very simple - the dentist splits each individual sapphire product, then grinds the tooth surface to a perfectly clean state.

After installing the structure, the patient is required to carefully follow the rules of oral hygiene:
After eating, you need to brush your teeth from food particles with a toothbrush with a depression for braces.

You will need dental irrigators, special devices that remove the smallest particles of bacterial plaque that contributes to the appearance of caries.
The dental brush will qualitatively clean the interdental spaces and areas under the orthodontic arch.

The habituation period is a different amount of time for each patient individually. In the first week, many people feel a little pain associated with the onset of tooth movement. However, soon the discomfort practically disappears. Sapphire braces do not interfere with speaking, do not spoil diction and are a modern attractive decoration.

A separate stage in correcting a smile with artificial sapphires is the use of retainers. Dental products are represented by transparent mouth guards for the entire dentition. Wearing them sometimes takes an equal amount of time in sapphire braces. They perfectly secure the result of the orthodontic installation.


Sapphire Braces Frequently Asked Questions

Do Sapphire braces stain?

Sapphire braces are comparatively resistant to staining due to a highly polished and smooth surface. Sapphire braces can prevent the deposition of food particles (plaque), do not enter into chemical reactions with tobacco or alcoholic beverages to get stained, and do not crumble.

However, if elastic transparent ligatures are used, the aesthetics are not preserved for long - the ligatures around the locks almost immediately gt stain and change color due to food coloring. But this is not a problem, since the ligatures are changed at each activation once a month. Alternatively, you can follow a white diet to keep the rubber bands clear until the next activation.

Do Sapphire braces take longer?

It depends on the complexity of the case. In simple minor correction and with proper patient care, treatment will not take long. The course of treatment takes a long period of time due to the weak force of movement of the teeth. Sapphire braces are not used by doctors in difficult cases of curvature of the dentition and malocclusion.

Mostly it is used to correct defects in the upper jaw. Although sapphire is the hardest material than ceramic still it can chip away from a tooth with high forces.

How long does it take to get braces?

The duration of a braces installation session takes about 2 hours.

How do I care for clear braces?

After installing sapphire braces, the patient may experience slight discomfort. However, this discomfort will disappear within a few days. Excessive stress on teeth should be avoided, too hard foods should be avoided, caramel, nuts, chips should be excluded from the diet.

In addition to a regular toothbrush, good toothpaste and dental floss, with which you usually brush your teeth, when wearing sapphire braces, you will also need to use special brushes (single-bundle, with a V-neck) and brushes for braces. They are convenient for cleaning surfaces between braces and under the arch. A set of such brushes and brushes orthodontist Belgravia Dental Studio will give to the patient when installing braces.

Is there an additional way of leaving?

An irrigator can be used as additional care . It will help to remove bacteria and food debris using a stream of water with added rinse aid and special attachments.

What models of sapphire braces are there?

Inspire ICE (manufacturer - Ormco, USA) - transparent, transmits both normal daylight and neon light. Very durable, easy to remove. Does not damage the enamel of the teeth.

Self-ligating Damon Clear (USA) - absolutely transparent. They have low friction force. Equipped with a unique quick and easy arc change system.

Miso ligature-free braces are easy to clean . Provides comfortable arc correction.

Radiance braces from American Orthodontics are equipped with a special type of attachment to the teeth, which allows for quick removal after the end of treatment.

How much do sapphire braces cost?

The price for high-quality sapphire braces in USA starts from above 5000 to USD 9000 USD. The cost may vary. If all braces are sapphire, then their cost will be higher. If sapphire braces are installed only in the smile zone, and braces made of metal or ceramic are placed on the back teeth , then the cost will be lower.

How long does it take to wear sapphire braces?

It all depends on the clinical case. A wide gap between the teeth can be narrowed in six months, the protruding canines can be leveled in 6-8 months, and the bite can be corrected in a year or two.

How long is the retention period?

From six months to 2-3 years. In some cases, night guards need to be worn for life.

Why so expensive?

Expensive materials are used for manufacturing. Everything is done exclusively to order when it comes to sapphire braces. As a more affordable option, dentist offer our patients combined braces: sapphire + metal, sapphire + ceramics. Sapphire plates are placed on the front teeth, on the rest - metal or ceramic.


Evaluation of the friction force generated by monocristalyne and policristalyne ceramic brackets in sliding mechanics
Mono or polycrystalline alumina-modified hybrid ceramics(Marina R Kaizer, Ana Paula R Gonçalves, Priscilla B F Soares, Yu Zhang, Paulo F Cesar, Sergio S Cava, Rafael R Moraes)
Laser-aided debonding of orthodontic ceramic brackets(K Strobl, T L Bahns, L Willham, S E Bishara, W C Stwalley)
Comparisons of different debonding techniques for ceramic brackets: an in vitro study. Part I. Background and methods(S E Bishara 1, T S Trulove)

Den Tim

Practicing Dentistry for 20 years