Clear Aligners Vs. Metal Braces – What’s Better?
There are plenty of reasons why adults and children may need orthodontic treatment, ranging from overbite to crowding and jaw misalignment. Thankfully, there are as many treatment options as well, with aligners and metal braces being the most common. Read on to learn more about clear aligners vs. metal braces:
Metal Or Clear Braces?
As the name suggests, metal braces are made using high-grade stainless steel, including brackets, archwires, and small rubber bands called ligatures. The brackets are individually bonded to the teeth and connected using metal wires that curve around the teeth, putting pressure on the teeth. As for the elastic bands, they attach the wire to the brackets on each tooth, holding them together.
Clear braces are aligner trays made using high-quality, transparent plastic. These trays are custom-made to fit your teeth precisely and not the gums, so they’re comfortable to wear and look invisible. They work by putting gentle but constant pressure on the teeth, moving them a little at a time. Unlike metal braces, clear aligners are removable, but that’s not why they’re preferred because you’ll have to wear them all the time, except when eating and brushing.
What Should I Choose: Metal Braces or Clear Aligners?
That is for the periodontist to determine! While metal braces can treat almost all periodontal problems, clear aligners can only treat minor to moderate dental problems. Also, children cannot opt for clear aligners until all their adult teeth have grown, no matter what age they are.
Aesthetic Appearance – Metal Braces Or Clear Braces
Clear aligners are hands down the winner here because they’re almost invisible, and people wouldn’t find you’re wearing them at all.
Comfort And Convenience – Metal Braces Or Clear Braces
Here again, clear aligners may seem convenient because they can be removed while eating or brushing. There are no food restrictions, allowing you to enjoy your favorite food without guilt. Unlike metal braces that rub on the cheeks and lips, clear aligners do not irritate the gums, cheeks, or lips because plastic aligner trays are smoother than metal or porcelain brackets. They’re also convenient for people playing wind instruments or sportspeople playing contact sports. With metal braces, there are several food restrictions – the dentist may suggest avoiding hard food like nuts, tough and sticky food, bagels, and sugary drinks.
On the other hand, clear aligners require self-discipline. For the treatment to be effective, you must wear them for at least 22 hours. Also, you must wash the trays daily and brush your teeth without fail before wearing the plastic aligners back after eating, especially if you’re eating acidic food or food likely to stain your teeth. Irrespective of the type of braces you choose, you must visit the dentist regularly to either replace the plastic trays or elastic bands, as the case may be.
Clear Braces Cost Vs. Metal Braces Cost
Clear braces cost much more than metal braces – anywhere in the range of Rs. 1,00,000 to even Rs. 3,00,000, depending on the dentist’s experience and the location of the hospital. Metal braces cost anywhere from around Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 80,000. Naturally, treatment costs far less in a Tier III city like Kanyakumari than in a metro city like Mumbai or Delhi.