Invisible braces offer a way to straighten teeth without obvious wires and brackets. They are alternatives to traditional braces, and there are a few different systems available. Each one is less noticeable than traditional braces, and will give you the enhanced self-esteem and physical confidence that comes with a beautiful smile.
3 Types of Invisible Braces
If you’re interested in these less visible alternatives, there are three types of invisible braces that orthodontists offer:
- Ceramic Braces
- Lingual Braces
- Clear Aligners
Each of these has its own features and advantages, and each one may be worth considering. Which one will be best for your situation will depend on what your teeth currently are like, how concerned you are about noticeability and what your goal for a smile is.
Ceramic Braces: Traditional Braces with Clear Brackets
Ceramic braces are just like traditional braces that place brackets and wires on the front of your teeth, but these braces use ceramic brackets instead of metal ones. The ceramic brackets are much closer to the natural color of your teeth, and they’re much less noticeable as a result.
While food might still get caught in ceramic braces, other people will barely see the brackets as long as your teeth are brushed. The braces certainly aren’t noticeable from any significant distance, which is sometimes a concern for people who give presentations.
In short, ceramic braces offer the same functionality as traditional braces while significantly reducing the braces’ noticeability. If you have a complex case that requires braces (rather than aligners), these have a good balance between orthodontic functionality and general visibility. They’re one of the more budget-friendly options, too.
Lingual Braces: Brackets on the Back of Teeth
Lingual braces use brackets and wires much like traditional braces do, but these braces place the brackets and wires on the back of teeth rather than their front. The name comes from the hardware going on the lingual (tongue) side.
Since the brackets and wires are on the back of teeth, they’re virtually completely hidden. The hardware doesn’t have to be ceramic, for the teeth to block people’s view of the braces.
Lingual braces can be used to straighten teeth in many cases, but these are the most expensive of the various braces options. They can cost in the high-four to even five-figure range over the entire course of treatment. For this reason, many people choose one of the other two, more affordable invisible braces options.
Clear Aligners: Minimally Invasive Removable Trays
Clear aligners are completely unique in that they don’t use brackets and wires to straighten teeth. Instead, clear aligners use removable trays — the aligners — to straighten teeth. The aligners are clear so that they aren’t noticeable, and this is the least invasive of the traditional and alternative braces options.
With clear aligners, the aligners are worn for at least 22 hours per day. You remove them when eating and brushing (of course), and then wear them the rest of the time. The aligners simply slide over your teeth, and they’re easy to take in and out.
Compared to the other invisible braces options, clear aligners have one disadvantage and a couple of advantages.
Because clear aligners don’t use brackets and wires, they’re a little more limited in how much straightening they can do. Aligners are suitable in most cases, and they’re often a faster treatment option in the majority of cases where they can be used. Certain complex cases, however, have nuances that require the precision of a bracket and wire. An orthodontist can evaluate your mouth, and let you know whether clear aligners will work or if one of the bracket-and-wire systems would be better for you.
On the plus side, clear aligners are one of the least noticeable of the various options. The trays are barely noticeable when they’re in since they’re clear, and you can take them out if you absolutely have to. While you should wear the aligners for 22 hours per day, an allowance can be made for that occasional big presentation where you want to look your best for a short while. Take the aligners out for just the duration of your presentation, and then put them back in after.
Clear aligners are also one of the most affordable teeth-straightening treatment options. Aligners themselves cost less than traditional braces and are much less expensive than lingual braces, and the shorter course of treatment provides even further savings.
Being low-visibility and low-cost, clear aligners are one of the most popular alternatives to traditional braces. As long as they’re able to do the orthodontic work you need, these are well worth considering.
Choose the Best Invisible Braces for You
For help choosing which invisible braces are best for you, schedule a free consultation with Laster Orthodontics. Dr. Laster and the team will be happy to discuss each of these options with you, and Dr. Laster will share which option(s) would be best for you.
At Laster Orthodontics, we help families develop healthy, life-changing smiles using customized treatments, cutting-edge technologies, and caring relationships. Our individualized treatment plans help our patients achieve their perfect smile in the quickest, most painless way possible by utilizing a wide range of options from traditional braces to propel accelerated treatment to Dr. Laster’s in-house aligner program, Laster Perfect Smile. With three locations throughout the Triangle Area, we create life-changing smiles every day.