In the quest for straight teeth, you may be weighing up the pros and cons of both clear aligners and regular braces. But what are the key differences between them? How much do clear aligners cost? And is the treatment worth it?
Read on to find out.
Before you decide whether clear aligners are the best option for you, you need to consider the key differences.
Both clear aligners and traditional braces have their pros and cons, but the main differences are as follows.
Some studies have found that clear aligners can work considerably faster than traditional braces for non-complex cases. However, this depends entirely on the severity of the patient’s case, and clear aligner therapy isn’t always the most suitable option.
Thanks to their ultra-thin makeup, clear aligners are virtually invisible to the naked eye. This makes them an attractive choice for both teens and adults who may feel self-conscious about their appearance. Conventional braces, on the other hand, aren't at all discreet, and parents may worry about their children getting bullied for having them.
Unlike fixed braces, clear aligners are removable, which makes it easy for wearers to brush and floss their teeth. This also means that wearers have more freedom when it comes to food choices, and can enjoy better oral hygiene throughout their orthodontic treatment. In addition to this, wearers of lingual or ceramic braces must stay away from foods that are likely to get stuck inside or break the braces’ delicate parts. This means that delicious foods such as popcorn, candy, and crunchy snacks must be avoided to prevent an emergency trip to the dentist!
As they're made from plastic that moulds perfectly to your existing teeth, clear aligners are more comfortable than metal, ceramic and lingual braces. On the other hand, traditional metal braces consist of brackets and wires, which can cut the inside of the mouth and lips of the wearer. It’s worth remembering that you’ll wear your orthodontic device between 22 and 24 hours a day, so comfort should play a key role in your decision.
Clear aligners work by gradually moving your teeth over time as you move from tray to tray. On the other hand, traditional braces must be manually tightened by your dentist or orthodontist. For this reason, clear aligners typically require fewer trips to your local dental practice.
We always recommend consulting a dentist or orthodontist to find out which treatment is more suited to your case. Pricing will depend on the severity of your malocclusion, and you’ll need to be examined by a registered professional to understand this. The best thing to do is speak to an SmileStories expert – they’ll be able to give you a reasonable estimate.
There are now many ‘DIY’ clear aligner suppliers to choose from, the majority of which offer treatment that can be purchased and undergone from home.
Many of these companies don’t require the supervision of a professional. Instead, they’ll send the patient an at-home dental impression kit in the post. This method of cutting out the middle man is what makes these options so much more affordable. But it’s also what may reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. Without hands-on supervision from a professional, your teeth may not end up looking like how you’d expect after the course of your treatment.
It’s important to remember that although clear aligners are suitable for most patient malocclusions, sometimes they are not the answer. Direct-to-consumer braces often focus on the superficial results of the treatment, and don’t offer future guarantees. They offer a quick-fix approach to teeth straightening that doesn’t include an orthodontic assessment.
The British Orthodontic Society (BOS) says that they are ‘extremely concerned’ about do-it-yourself braces, and that they can even result in permanent damage to dental health. They recommend choosing a treatment that’s overseen by a trained clinician, who can carefully monitor the progress and ensure problems are quickly addressed should they arise.
In short, you will have to pay more for the supervision of a professional, but it means you’ll benefit from a safe treatment, tailored to you.
Given the extensive list of benefits offered by clear aligners, most people agree that they are worth the cost. For best results, we recommend opting for clear aligner treatment that’s supervised by a professional dentist or orthodontist, such as ClearCorrect. There are so many companies offering clear aligners nowadays – choosing a method that’s overseen by a professional will ensure the treatment runs as smoothly and safely as possible.
Depending on your situation, there may be a number of options for funding your clear aligner treatment. Your dentist or orthodontist will be able to advise you on this. To speak to an expert about your treatment and payment plans, visit SmileStories today.