Orthodontic procedures range from traditional braces to dental aligners, all having their own pros and cons. Here, we will discuss about the difference between their costs and how each should measure up to its value. Are clear braces more expensive than traditional ones? If you want to switch to clear aligners instead of traditional braces, which one should you choose?
Clear braces: An overview
When one talks about clear braces, it could mean 2 different procedures. One is the ceramic braces, the other is dental aligners like Invisalign, WonderSmile, or ClearCorrect. So for the purpose of comparison, let us dig deep into these two orthodontic procedures and learn a thing or two about their differences and similarities.
Are clear braces more expensive?
First, let us talk about ceramic braces, the aesthetic counterpart of metal braces. Traditionally, dental braces use metal wires and brackets to gradually and systematically move the teeth to their proper positioning. But because a lot of patients have been throwing shade at it saying that it is not physically appealing and that the gears make them look nerdy or geeky, orthodontic manufacturers devised a more aesthetically-pleasing option that makes use of the same technique. This is where ceramic braces came about. Using the wire-and-bracket system, the manufacturers made use of tooth-colored ceramic material as the brackets instead of using metal, making the brace components a little less noticeable.
Another procedure that gets discussed when talking about clear braces is dental aligners. The first brand that started this innovation is Invisalign. As its tagline would say, it is a set of dental aligners made with medical-grade thermoplastic that is virtually invisible to other people. Invisalign and other dental aligner brands are removable orthodontic appliances that are custom-fitted to methodically shift the alignment of your teeth based on the 3D treatment plan that your orthodontist organized using your brand’s advanced technology.
Because both procedures are improved versions of the traditional metal braces, we can safely say that, yes, clear braces are more expensive.
Are clear braces more expensive? Ceramic vs. dental aligners
If we are to compare the two clear braces, how would they weigh? Let us look at the way they work, how their appliances look like, how comfortable to wear them, and how much they would cost.
The look and feel
Wearing ceramic braces feel the same way as wearing your metal braces, minus the ‘noticeability’. Because the ceramic braces use tooth-colored brackets, the feel is the same but it is more discreet than the metal ones. Dental aligners, on the other hand, are like clear and thin mouthguards that you use to cover your teeth. It is manufactured to seamlessly fit your teeth, making them look and feel like they are part of the outer surface of your teeth. They also have smooth surfaces compared to the braces, making them more comfortable to wear. Moreover, their removable feature makes it easier and relaxed it would feel to have your orthodontic treatment without making that much adjustment with your diet and other daily activities.
Well, ceramic braces, like the traditional once, are manually adjusted by the dentist to move your teeth by tightening the wires and putting on elastic bands that pull your teeth straight. Dental aligners are systematically changed chronologically and make the teeth move by fitting into the grooves of the aligners with less supervision by your dentist.
Are clear braces more expensive? Yes, they are. Compared to metal braces, ceramic braces can range from $4000 to $8000, and dental aligners cost would depend on the manufacturer, but it definitely is higher by an estimated difference of $2000 to $3000. To know the exact cost you need to expect for dental aligners, discuss your options with your dentist.