Invisible Braces (Top Brands, Reviews & Costs)

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Medically Reviewed
by Dr. Erica Anand
Michael Bayba
Written by
Michael Bayba
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Evidence Based
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5 sources cited
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Types of Invisible Braces

The term “invisible braces” can refer to clear aligners, ceramic or clear braces, or lingual braces because the treatments are more discreet than traditional metal brackets.

These are all alternatives to traditional metal braces that orthodontists use to straighten teeth. All of these treatment methods differ slightly, but they all treat malocclusion (misaligned teeth).

Common types of malocclusion that can be fixed by invisible braces include:

  • Crowded teeth — not enough space in the jaw for the teeth to align properly
  • Diastema — small gaps between teeth (gapped teeth)
  • Overbite — the upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth and jaw
  • Underbite — the lower jaw is pushed forward and overlaps the top front teeth and jaw
  • Crossbite — some bottom teeth are located outside the upper teeth when the jaw is closed
  • Open bite — the upper and lower teeth slant outwards and do not touch when the mouth is closed
  • Overjet — the upper front teeth are ahead of the lower teeth

Aligners Crash Course

Clearing Things Up About At-Home Aligners

Are you interested in straightening your teeth, but don’t know where to start? Become confident in at-home aligner therapy with our crash course.

Clear aligners can fix many malocclusion cases and are becoming increasingly popular for adults who want to improve their smile. However, not everyone is a candidate for clear aligner treatment. 

Many people can achieve straight teeth with clear aligners. However, in severe cases of malocclusion, traditional braces or other treatments may be required. If you are interested in straighter teeth or a new smile, speak with your dentist or orthodontist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

Clear Aligners

In the last two decades, clear aligners have become one of the most popular orthodontic treatments. Invisalign was founded in 1997 and FDA approved in 1998.

Since then, doctors worldwide have used Invisalign and other clear aligner programs to correct teeth alignment problems. 

invisalign aligners

Clear aligners are virtually invisible and removable custom-fitted plastic trays that straighten your teeth discreetly and comfortably.

The process uses a mold of your teeth and digital 3D computer processing to come up with a custom treatment plan. You will receive a set of aligners and change the plastic aligner tray every couple of weeks until your teeth are in the proper position.

Many people prefer this option because the invisible aligners do not change your appearance the way traditional metal braces do.

In addition, since they are removable, it’s easy to keep up your regular oral health practices, and you can brush and floss the same as before. Treatment time for clear aligners is often less than traditional braces as well.

In-Office vs. At-Home Treatment

Most doctors that offer clear aligner treatment in the United States use Invisalign treatment in their offices. However, there are other brands of clear aligners that doctors use, including ClearCorrect and SureSmile.

Going to your dentist or orthodontist for clear aligner treatment provides benefits such as face-to-face interactions and more precise check-ups.

However, Invisalign costs much more than at-home treatment options (usually between $4,000 and $8,000), and some people prefer the convenience of virtual consultations over having to visit their doctor each month.

At-home teeth straightening treatment options include Candid Co., byte, SmileDirectClub, ClearCorrect, and more.

These companies will send you an impression kit and then use your mold to develop a custom treatment plan. They will then monitor your progress virtually and mail you new aligners when it is time to change them.

Since these companies work directly with consumers, they cost significantly less than Invisalign aligners ($1,800 to $3,000).

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are metal brackets that get attached to the back of your teeth instead of the front.

They are the least visible type of metal braces available and can correct most of the same issues that traditional braces can.

lingual braces graphic

However, some people find them more uncomfortable since they can irritate your tongue easily and temporarily affect your speech.


NewMouth recommends at-home clear aligners if you have mild teeth misalignment. Find out if you're a candidate for clear aligners.


They also may cost more and have a longer treatment time than conventional braces. 

The average cost of conventional metal braces is $3,000 to $7,350, while lingual braces range from $5,000 to $13,000.

Ceramic or Clear Braces

Ceramic braces, also known as clear braces, are very similar to traditional metal braces.

They function the same, except ceramic braces use tooth-colored brackets and clear or white rubber bands.

Though many teens and adults prefer their look over silver or gold metal brackets, they are still visible. 

teeth with ceramic clear braces

Takeaways

Invisible braces are a popular option for teens and adults looking for straight teeth and a beautiful smile.

Clear aligners are the most convenient and cost-effective way to correct crooked teeth, gapped teeth, and other mild to moderate forms of malocclusion, while lingual or ceramic braces are the best option for severe cases.

Speak with your dentist or orthodontist to find out which treatment option is best for you.

Invisible Braces FAQs

How much do invisible braces cost?

Your treatment cost will depend on the severity of your condition, your treatment length, and your location. The average costs of invisible braces are:

Invisalign Treatment: $4,000 to $8,000

At-Home Aligners: $1,800 to $3,000

Lingual Braces: $5,000 to $13,000

Ceramic Braces: $4,000 to $8,000

Do invisible braces really work?

Yes, invisible braces are an excellent option for treating cases of malocclusion.

What are the cheapest invisible braces?

Byte clear aligners are one of the most cost-effective and highly rated invisible braces on the market. They are a direct-to-consumer brand to make it convenient and affordable for customers.

How long do you have to wear invisible braces?

Your treatment time will vary depending on the type of invisible braces and the severity of your condition. The average treatment time is around six to eight months but can vary from three to 36 months.

Some people will need refinements (additional aligners or elastic rubber bands) at the end of their treatment to ensure optimal results. 

What’s Next?

The most popular at-home clear aligner kits can be found right here:

Learn about the different brands and what they offer.

Resources

Hirani, Dr Sagar et al. “Invisible Orthodontics-A Review.” (2016).

Gabriele Rossini, Simone Parrini, Tommaso Castroflorio, Andrea Deregibus, Cesare L. Debernardi; Efficacy of clear aligners in controlling orthodontic tooth movement: A systematic review. Angle Orthod 1 September 2015; 85 (5): 881–889. doi: https://doi.org/10.2319/061614-436.1

Muir JC. Lingual orthodontic appliances: invisible braces. The New Zealand Dental Journal. 1991 Apr;87(388):57-59., https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1896144/

Rossini, Gabriele, et al. “Periodontal Health during Clear Aligners Treatment: a Systematic Review.” The European Journal of Orthodontics, vol. 37, no. 5, 2014, pp. 539–543., doi:10.1093/ejo/cju083., https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25548145/

Weir, T. “Clear Aligners in Orthodontic Treatment.” Australian Dental Journal, vol. 62, 2017, pp. 58–62., doi:10.1111/adj.12480. 

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