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Differences Between Clear Brace and Clear Aligners
If you search for clear braces on the web, chances are that you will get contrasting information on what clear braces really are. When people talk about clear braces, they are usually talking about regular braces that use clear, ceramic brackets (instead of metal) or clear aligners. Technically, clear aligners are not braces, but they are often categorized together since they serve the same purpose: straightening the teeth discreetly.
Overview of clear braces
Almost everyone is familiar with braces. Conventional braces have metal brackets that are attached to each tooth and held together with a metal archwire. The dentist will then place silver or colored elastics around the brackets to cause friction within the threaded wires. The metals and colored parts of the braces are noticeable.
Clear braces are exactly that: clear. They are created using clear, ceramic material and use only clear elastics for friction. Although the archwire is still metallic, the entire straightening system is significantly less conspicuous than the metal version. Ceramics are usually used for the front row teeth that are immediately visible.
Clear aligners are different from braces. The device uses a series of clear trays that are worn over the teeth for 22 hours daily. The trays are custom-made for the patient and designed to shift the teeth into proper alignment. Every set of the tray will move the teeth gradually (a few millimeters) throughout the wear time until it is swapped out after two weeks.
The major differences
Every patient is unique, and the recommended treatment is usually based on the person’s condition. However, almost all patients are eligible for clear aligners and ceramic braces. The treatment option is entirely up to them, but some of the factors to consider regarding the differences include:
- Although ceramic braces are less noticeable than metal braces, clear aligners are almost invisible on the teeth
- Clear aligners are removable for drinking, eating and brushing while braces are fixed permanently to the teeth
- Clear aligners demand a higher level of commitment than ceramic braces; the aligners can be misplaced or damaged, and since they are removable, patients must dedicate themselves to wearing them for at least 22 hours daily for successful treatment.
- Ceramic braces need regular adjustments and elastic changes every few weeks; with clear aligners, the dentist will provide multiple trays at once, meaning fewer visits to the office
- Ceramic braces are delicate and vulnerable to damage; brackets and wires may loosen, meaning a visit to the dentist, while clear aligners are exempted from such problems
- The treatment cost and duration of clear aligners and ceramic braces are similar and are usually covered under insurance
- Clear aligners are effective for many orthodontic issues; however, in severe cases of bite misalignment, ceramic braces might be a more effective option
Regardless of the option you choose to complete your teeth straightening treatment, you can be assured of a good-looking, straighter smile after treatment. Clear braces provide the strength needed to move the teeth and are discreet too. Book an appointment with the dentist to learn which would be the most effective solution for your teeth.
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