For those seeking the best alternative to braces, there is good news, modern orthodontic treatments offer several different products and techniques that are less invasive than traditional braces.
This article looks at the alternatives, pros and cons, and all the details you will need to make an informed decision on what treatment to take.
Are Metal Braces Always the Best Solution?
Metal braces are often the recommended solution for more serious cases of teeth misalignment as they provide a reliable and long-lasting result due to their high-strength construction which is capable of withstanding the necessary tension required to realign teeth over an extended period.
These braces are most commonly associated with being used in the teenage years when the teeth shift at a more rapid rate and although they have for a long time been the traditional choice in orthodontics, they are not always the best solution.
Metal braces are very visible when worn, making it difficult for adults to wear them without feeling self-conscious plus they require frequent trips to the orthodontist for readjustment and may cause mouth discomfort or tissue irritation for some patients.
Fortunately, many alternatives are available. Discover with us which option may be right for you.
Clear braces offer a minimally-invasive and discreet solution for those wishing to improve their smile, typically providing an effective alternative to traditional metal brackets.
These types of braces are made from advanced plastic polymers, known as ceramics or polycarbonate, that blend into the natural color of your teeth.
They work by gradually straightening the teeth over time; a set of brackets is affixed to the front of each tooth and connected with thin ceramic wires. As the wearer progresses through their treatment plan, these wires create appropriate tension, moving the teeth into their correct position.
The average treatment time when using clear braces is 18-24 months, but this varies depending on the original condition of your teeth.
Generally, clear braces will provide excellent results and are a good solution for patients who need a stronger solution to teeth straightening without the confidence issues caused by wearing the more visible metal braces.
However, it should be noted that they can be more expensive than traditional metal braces and are often not suitable for complex cases due to their limited strength. Clear braces can also require extra care when cleaning and brushing them to prevent any staining from occurring.
Additionally, clear braces can discolor over time, which can be a challenge for patients who are not diligent with their oral hygiene. Consuming certain foods and beverages, such as coffee, tea, and red wine, can also stain clear braces. While discoloration may not impact the functionality of the braces, it can be unsightly and require additional visits to the orthodontist for replacement or cleaning.
See our article: Clear Braces on The Top and Bottom Teeth.
Lingual appliances, also known as “incognito” braces, are orthodontic tools that are worn on the tongue side of teeth to help produce a more favorable dental position. These appliances are custom-made and typically used in adolescents to assist with growing jaw structures, eliminating bad oral habits, and reducing overbite.
The appliance is custom-made to fit each patient’s teeth perfectly and works by applying very gentle pressure to each tooth in the mouth. As pressure is applied to a tooth, it gradually moves into its desired position.
Lingual appliances provide an alternative to traditional braces as they are less noticeable due to their placement within the mouth. However, as lingual appliances work under the tongue, they can be challenging to get used to and cause minor speech impediments while being worn. Additionally, they are more expensive than traditional braces and may not be suitable for severe orthodontic issues.
Depending on how much teeth straightening is required, treatment with lingual appliances can take anywhere from a few months to a couple of years.
See our article: How to Fix a Smile Without Braces?
Veneers are a type of cosmetic dental treatment used to help improve the appearance of teeth. They are thin, tooth-shaped pieces of porcelain that are bonded onto the front surfaces of the natural teeth.
Treatment usually takes two office visits, the first visit involves designing and preparing your veneer while the second involves attaching it.
The major pros of using veneers include having a more aesthetically pleasing smile with minimal effort, increased self-confidence in social situations, and they can even help improve speech impediments due to damaged or chipped teeth.
The drawbacks include sensitivity due to removing some of the enamel during preparation and long-term expensive maintenance such as replacing broken veneers. Also, veneers take a cosmetic approach to broadening smiles so issues such as overcrowding are best sorted with other dental treatments.
See our article: Teeth Veneers Pros and Cons.
Clear aligners are made of a transparent and strong plastic material, usually medical-grade thermoplastic polyurethane, which allows them to be virtually invisible when in use.
The aligners are worn over the teeth and gradually shift the teeth into place. The aligner trays act in much the same way as traditional braces, but without the hassle of dealing with brackets and wires. Instead, patients wear the trays each day and change them out every two weeks to adjust the alignment of their teeth.
Overall, clear aligners offer many benefits for people looking for discreet orthodontic treatment. The clear plastic makes them more aesthetically pleasing than traditional metal braces, and it is also generally easier to speak clearly while wearing them due to their flexibility and fit.
However, it must be noted that clear aligners require a great deal of commitment from users since wear must be stopped completely during eating and drinking and they must be kept clean to prevent discoloration or damage to their structure.
To receive the best results, treatment with clear aligners takes between 6-24 months.
See our article: Invisible Braces – How They Work.
What are Cheaper Alternatives to Braces?
For patients looking for more affordable orthodontic treatment options, there are several alternatives to traditional braces. One option is clear aligners, which can be less expensive than braces as they require less maintenance and visits to the orthodontist and provide similar results for certain types of orthodontic issues.
Some patients may also benefit from limited braces treatment, which focuses on correcting only the most noticeable orthodontic issues rather than a full mouth correction.
See our article: How Much Is Single Arch Orthodontic Treatment?
What to Choose – Find the Best Alternative to Metal Braces
If you want to straighten your teeth without the hassle of metal braces, one of the best alternatives available is invisible aligners.
They offer a high level of comfort, are very affordable, and offer an efficient and discreet solution to teeth straightening issues.
Here are some of the best options with reviews:
Byte Review – The best choice, this aligner is the most affordable and comes with a free HyperBite and teeth whitening kit. Byte aligners come with a lifetime guarantee.
NewSmile Review – Low cost and offering premium aesthetics this product comes with a teeth whitening kit and retainer.
SmileDirectClub Review – The most popular invisible aligner that comes with a lifetime guarantee and a free one-time replacement.
Candid Review – The most similar aligner to Invisalign this product offers a hybrid in-office care procedure.
ALIGNERCO – Lowest in price this invisible aligner offers a seasonal discount package from $945 and a zero monthly payment plan with zero down payment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to Get Instead of Braces
Instead of braces, you might consider looking at invisible aligners as an alternative option.
Invisible aligners, which need to be worn for 20-22 hours a day and replaced every two weeks, can provide more comfort and convenience than braces, so it’s worth researching further to determine if this option is right for you.
Are there Alternatives/Other Options to Braces?
There are several different options for traditional braces including invisible aligners, clear braces, lingual braces, or veneers.
Selecting the correct treatment option for your situation is important so you should discuss it with your orthodontist who will ensure you make the correct decision.
What is the Best Alternative to Braces?
Invisible aligners are an increasingly popular choice among those seeking alternatives to braces. Unlike traditional braces, this system involves custom-made clear aligners that are designed to fit snugly over the teeth and gradually move them into the desired position.
Aligners are comfortable, discreet, and highly effective at treating mild to moderate misalignment issues.
Are Regular Braces Cheaper than Invisalign?
An article by Oral-B states that the cost of metal braces averages around $3,000 to $7,000 whilst Invisalign is around $4,000 to $7,400.
When comparing the cost of regular braces and Invisalign, it is important to consider a range of other factors aside from the initial cost.
Braces come with a lower upfront cost, but require more maintenance over time. Invisalign is initially more expensive but offers more flexibility in the long term due to not needing regular visits for readjustment, helping save on costs.