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:
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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.
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.
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.
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 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.
However, some people find them more uncomfortable since they can irritate your tongue easily and temporarily affect your speech.
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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 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.
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.
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
Yes, invisible braces are an excellent option for treating cases of malocclusion.
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.
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.
Hirani, Dr Sagar et al. “Invisible Orthodontics-A Review.” (2016).
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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/
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