Years ago, the only method available to people desiring straighter teeth were to have traditional, metal braces put on by an orthodontist. For that reason, despite the advancements in orthodontics, people still tend to refer to all teeth straightening treatments as braces. Aligners are one of the most innovative and popular straightening treatments available today. So, what is the difference between metal braces and clear aligners?
Braces vs Aligners - What’s the Difference?
Braces are traditionally made of stainless steel. But, clear braces can be made from clear ceramic or polycarbonate which is a type of plastic. The treatment involves an orthodontist affixing the braces to a patient’s teeth. The braces must remain on the teeth the duration of the treatment process, which can vary from 18 months to 24 months or longer.
Aligners, on the other hand are thin, clear, BPA-free, plastic trays. Aligners are custom-made trays created from the impression of your teeth. Aligners look very similar to retainers that most patients are required to wear after their braces are removed. Unlike braces, aligners are not permanently affixed to your teeth and are made to be easily removed by the patient.
How Long Do Braces Take vs. Clear Aligners To Straighten Teeth?
The amount of time a patient must wear braces is based upon the degree of alignment required. Patients must follow up with an orthodontist every 4-8 weeks approximately to check the progress of their teeth. During follow-up visits the orthodontist may also tighten braces and replace wires.
Results from aligners can be achieved in as little as 4-6 months. Aligners also don’t require monthly follow-up visits with the orthodontist. Patients usually don’t need to return to their dentist except for regular cleanings.
Do Clear Aligners Hurt As Much As Braces?
All orthodontic treatments, including braces and clear aligners, involve moving the teeth. This movement requires force, which will cause some level of discomfort. So clear aligners may make your teeth feel sore, especially in the beginning of treatment. However, while braces can cause fairly moderate pain and soreness, pain from clear aligners is much less intense. The most common and effective ways to alleviate pain or soreness from clear aligners are:
- Over-the-counter pain medication (Advil, Tylenol, etc.)
- Swish with salt water
- Cold compress
Also Read: Do Aligners Hurt?
Are Clear Aligners Cheaper Than Braces?
Yes, because clear aligner treatment does not require office visits, aligners typically cost approximately 60% less than braces. The total cost for aligners is usually around $1895, while the average cost of treatment with braces is $5,000 - $8,000. Clear aligner companies, like UpSmiles, also frequently offer promotions and financing programs to make their aligners more affordable.
Can You Straighten Teeth Without Braces?
There are several methods to straighten teeth without braces. Among the most popular are porcelain veneers, bonding/contouring, and clear aligners. Clear aligners are the most popular braces alternative because of their convenience and lower cost.
Bonding is more suitable for small changes, like chips or slight spacing, while porcelain veneers are ideal for patients seeking a complete smile transformation. Dental contouring, bonding, crown work and porcelain veneers are the different types of restorative treatments that can also be used straighten teeth.
These methods can be used instead of braces to correct the following:
- Injury to the teeth
- Narrow or underdeveloped palate
- Bite issues (overbite, underbite, etc.)
Treatment to Straighten Teeth Without Braces
For many people, traditional braces aren’t convenient and take longer than they’d hope to straighten their teeth. As an alternative, clear aligners have become the leading choice for convenience and effectiveness. Clear aligners can straighten your teeth in about half the time required for braces, and at a much lower cost.
Can UpSmiles Aligners Straighten Teeth?
Although braces remain the most comprehensive orthodontic treatment, clear aligners can treat many of the same conditions. As we previously discussed, our aligners can treat crowded teeth, spacing between teeth, and mild bite issues. Our aligners are comparable in quality to some of the leading clear aligner providers. But we offer our aligners at a affordable prices.
Cost isn’t the only perk of straightening your teeth with clear aligners. Patients report various benefits, including:
- Protection from grinding
- Nearly invisible on the teeth
- No dietary restrictions
- Better oral hygiene
Straightening Teeth Using Clear Aligners
Custom, clear aligners that straighten teeth without braces have gained a great deal of popularity over the last few years. Many patients find clear aligners to be a more affordable, quicker, and convenient option compared to traditional, metal braces. At UpSmiles, we offer high quality aligners at a lower cost than our competitors.
We make getting started simple by sending you a home impression kit and then mailing your aligners. So, you never have to leave the comfort of your own home. Impressions are simple to take, and we’ll send you instructions to make things easier. Once you receive your custom aligners, you can begin treatment.
Clear aligner treatments can be completed in just 3 easy steps:
- Visit UpSmiles to order an impression kit to prepare your impressions at home. We will use the impressions to create a 3-D image of your teeth.
- UpSmiles creates a treatment plan based upon your 3-D images. Place and order your custom, clear aligners.
- You gently and gradually straighten your teeth at home by wearing the aligners the duration of the time set by UpSmiles - most patients are required to wear their aligners 22 hours a day.
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
Are you ready to take the next step toward straightening your teeth without braces and achieving the smile you’ve always wanted? UpSmiles offers a free, no obligation, consultation to help you explore the treatments available to straighten your teeth without braces.
During your consultation, one of our highly trained orthodontists will explain each treatment we offer based on your individual needs and preferences. Your doctor will also take images of your teeth during the initial consultation and use them to show you what the final results of your treatment can look like.
Consultations are risk-free and require no obligation to order aligners. If you have questions or if you’re ready to begin treatment, visit UpSmiles today to schedule your consultation.