Braces date back hundreds of years up to the 1800s when the first functional designs of these teeth-aligning devices were invented. Over time, technological innovations have introduced several improvements in aligner treatments, including clear braces. These modern braces are virtually invisible and cause less discomfort, perfect for regular use. Here is a brief overview of the three most common types of invisible braces, their costs, and tips for buying them.
Types of invisible braces
Depending on the complexity of teeth misalignment and personal preferences, dentists recommend one of these:
Invisalign is among the most popular and regularly suggested brands by orthodontists for clear aligners. They use a proprietary scan and invisible braces mold technology to shape the braces perfectly and fit them in the patient’s upper or lower jawline. Invisalign is simple to use and can comfortably be worn for up to 20 hours daily. It may be removed only before meals. But it is costlier, with an average price of $3,400 to $7,100, depending on the make and quality. Other brands may cost between $1,500 and $3,500 after insurance. However, these clear aligners effectively correct alignment problems, overbite, underbite, crossbite, and even straighten crooked teeth. It is also less painful, an obvious solution for those who can afford the premium treatment.
Ceramic braces are made with materials that mimic natural teeth. They are similar to traditional brackets, the only difference being the ceramic material that blends with your natural teeth color to make it less obvious. Ceramic braces are an excellent midway option; they are slightly cheaper than clear aligners and boast the functionalities of traditional braces. However, the material is more brittle and can chip off easily, just like a tooth would, thus leaving gaps in the arrangement. Ceramic braces start at just under $1,000 and can go upwards of $4,750 after insurance for the whole set. The price increases depending on the quality of the bracket.
Also called inside braces, lingual braces offer an innovative solution by affixing the brackets to the back of your teeth and tightening the entire setup using metal wires. This way, the brackets stay entirely hidden from view and are unnoticeable in close proximity. However, this option is even more expensive than ceramic or clear aligners due to the complexity of the procedure and the materials’ quality. On average, lingual braces cost between $3,500 to $9,250, even after dental insurance covers most of it.
Tips for choosing the right invisible braces
These tips help select the best braces for your teeth:
Assess the benefits and key aesthetics
Clear aligners are invisible and easy to wear, clean, and remove. This is among the biggest pros of products like Invisalign. But when working with a tight budget, ceramic brackets or traditional metal braces are cheaper.
Consider the treatment’s duration
Clear aligners are generally recommended for four to six months of use only. It is among the faster options, less painful, and easy to manage and maintain. Lingual braces with metal brackets take the longest to affix and remove with regular tightening sessions and can last up to 18 months in some severe cases.
Dental insurance coverage
Orthodontic procedures can be costly, so consider what costs are best covered by your insurance before comparing brands and options for invisible braces.