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Types of Braces


Lee Orthodontics in Concord, CA

Today, orthodontic patients have treatment options, including innovative appliances and interventions, that allow for outcomes thought impossible only a few years ago.   Dr. Lee combines extensive clinical experience, continual evaluation of developing technologies, and evidence-based comparison, to select only the most reliable and effective treatment modalities for his patients. From these modalities, he assists you in making a well-informed choice for yourself or your child.

Most are familiar with the general term “braces”.  Braces consist of small brackets that are bonded to teeth and engaged by an archwire. (Typically, we are able to eliminate the need for the banding of molars, which means no separators between teeth prior to treatment!)  When aesthetic considerations are especially important, patients have the option of choosing clear ceramic or monocrystalline brackets. These clear brackets greatly lessen the attention drawn to the appliance and are especially appropriate for teens and adults.

All traditional braces employ archwires to deliver the necessary force for tooth alignment. Technological improvements in archwire materials have led to significant increases in the efficiency and efficacy of orthodontic treatment such that length of treatment is shortened and the number of office visits reduced.

In addition to archwire manipulation, many treatment plans include the use of elastics between upper and lower teeth to align arches. Select cases, when appropriate, utilize appliances designed to speed or retard the growth of the mid-face and/or mandible, compensating for an imbalance in the facial growth pattern. In other cases, when bony foundations of the upper and lower dental arches are sufficiently imbalanced, surgical correction may be combined with orthodontic treatment.


Types of braces

At Lee Orthodontics, we are experienced in working with many types of braces. When you come in for your initial complimentary consultation we’ll recommend the braces or orthodontic appliance that will be the best match for your orthodontic needs and your lifestyle. 


Metal vs. Clear braces


Invisalign vs. Clear braces


Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) at each visit for a more unique and colorful smile.


Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene, as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth. Although clear braces are a little bigger than metal braces, the effectiveness of the orthodontic treatment and overall treatment time aren’t affected by the difference in the size, shape, or appearance of the ceramic braces.

The most obvious benefit of clear ceramic braces is that they’re capable of providing the same strength and stability to orthodontic service subtly. They blend in with your tooth enamel and allow patients to retain a more natural look in photos. Additionally, the materials used do not irritate the gums as much as metal brackets resulting in more comfort for the patient throughout treatment.

A frequent concern of patients interested in clear ceramic braces is that they’ll stain easily. While the ceramic brackets are resistant to this, the clear elastic ties used with clear and ceramic braces may become slightly discolored when you drink tea, coffee, or wine, and eat certain foods or smoke. Ask your Concord orthodontist about how you can keep your braces looking their best. Thankfully, our team typically changes these o rings or colored ties monthly, which eliminate this concern and helps patients maintain a pleasing appearance.

As with any orthodontic treatment, the cost varies with each patient. With that said, clear braces are generally more costly than metal braces.

Many patients who choose ceramic or clear braces feel more confident about their orthodontic treatment, especially knowing that people are focusing on their smiles rather than their braces


Invisible (Clear) Orthodontic Appliances



Invisalign uses a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable aligners to straighten your teeth. And, no one can tell you are wearing Invisalign because it's invisible! Not only are the aligners invisible, they are removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment, plus brushing and flossing are less of a hassle. The aligners are comfortable and have no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment. Please visit our Invisalign page to learn more.


Lingual Braces

There is one appliance that is truly invisible, called lingual braces. They are on the inside of the teeth surrounding the tongue. Lingual braces follow the same correcting processes as normal braces, but the beauty is that you cannot see them. The teeth cover the whole appliance.

Lingual braces only fix certain orthodontic conditions. The orthodontist must have specific training and they cost a lot more than standard braces. They have a longer adjustment period to feel comfortable wearing them. Also, the treatment takes longer. However, lingual braces may be an option for you if your treatment works with them and you want the least noticeable fixed appliance.

Same Day Braces

Lee orthodontics is proud to offer Same Day Braces to those who don’t wish to wait a second longer on improving their smile!

We know how exciting to start the journey toward a healthy smile you can feel confident of, which is why we offer our patients same day braces to ensure you go home one step closer to the smile of your dreams. Just let our schedules know that you are interested in doing this and we will make it happen! No need to set an appointment weeks after your initial consultation and let the anticipation build. Start the journey to your dream smile the same day as your consultation!

Invisalign Page


Book your first visit today!

Invisalign, Metal braces, and Clear braces in Concord CA area. If you would like to make an appointment for a complimentary orthodontic consultation, contact Lee Orthodontics, Concord, CA, best orthodontist for metal braces and clear braces and Invisalign, by calling the office or using the online booking feature. A strong, beautiful, healthy, straighter, and more confident smile awaits you. We are happily accepting new patients in the San Francisco area, East Bay area, including Concord, Pleasant Hill, Bay Point, Clayton, Martinez, Walnut Creek, Pittsburg, Lafayette, Alamo, Benicia, Orinda, Moraga, Danville, San Ramon, Hercules, Berkeley, and Oakland. 


Conditions & Services


Two-Phase Treatment

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Surgical Orthodontics

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