Clear Aligners vs Metal Braces

Traditional braces and clear aligners both have their benefits and disadvantages, but do you know which is right for you? Read on in this blog from 320 Dental Studio to find out how braces and clear aligners work, what orthodontic problems they correct, and how to determine which one is suitable for you.

How Are Clear Aligners & Metal Braces Different?

Metal braces are the traditional go-to for orthodontic problems. They are very reliable for correcting more severe malocclusions. Metal wires and brackets are bonded to the teeth to place enough force on them to shift into the proper alignment over time. 

The average treatment time is 24 months and they are suitable for patients of all ages. The fact that the braces are fixed to your teeth means you don’t have to remember to take them out before eating or to clean them, but it can be more difficult to thoroughly brush and floss all of the surfaces of your teeth.

Clear aligners, on the other hand, are made of thermoplastic and are completely removable. This is more convenient and discreet, as no one can tell that you are wearing aligners and you can practice better oral hygiene by cleaning all of the surfaces of your teeth. 

While you do need to remember to take your aligners out when you eat or drink, you can also eat a restriction-free diet, unlike with metal braces. These aligners must be worn for 22 hours a day for the treatment to work properly, which makes them great for adults, but not for children or adolescents. 

Clear aligners are best for correcting minor orthodontic problems and the average length of treatment is 12-18 months or much shorter for very minor alignment or gap issues.

What Can They Fix?

Metal braces fix all sorts of orthodontic problems, from tooth alignment issues to improper bites. They are excellent at correcting overcrowding, wide gaps, and severe jaw misalignment. They can also raise or lower teeth into the jawbone, which is a limitation of clear aligners. 

They are much more effective at rotating teeth and are suitable for teeth that are short or pegged. Clear aligners, on the other hand, are quite effective at correcting minor to moderate issues like small gaps, crooked teeth, overcrowding, and can even correct bite problems like open bites, crossbites, overbites, or underbites. 

While in the past, clear aligners were thought to be incapable of correcting more severe malocclusions like bite problems, thanks to the advent of attachments and elastics, they are equipped to correct these problems as well. However, metal braces remain the gold standard for correcting more severe orthodontic problems.

Which Option Is Best for Me?

The best way to determine if you are a better candidate for metal braces or clear aligners is to come in for a consultation with Dr. Joseph Haack. Generally speaking, metal braces are best suited for those, especially children and adolescents, with severe orthodontic problems. Clear aligners are best for adults who are looking for an aesthetic alternative to braces that can correct minor orthodontic problems like crowding or crooked teeth.

Explore Your Orthodontic Options at 320 Dental Studio

An orthodontic consultation will help us determine how severe your orthodontic problems are, what orthodontics are best for you, and how long treatment would take. Contact us at 320 Dental Studio today to schedule an orthodontic consultation with Dr. Joseph Haack. We offer metal and ceramic braces as well as Invisalign and SureSmile clear aligners.

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