Metal braces, ceramic braces, clear braces, lingual braces, clear aligners – oh my! With so many options to fix your smile, the choices can be overwhelming. You may be wondering which treatment is most effective or which can straighten your teeth faster. In our experience, more than 80% of patients are treated with traditional braces – still considered the ‘gold standard’ in orthodontic treatment. And it’s estimated that more than 5 million Americans – both children and adults – wear braces. We’ve compiled four reasons why traditional braces are still (usually) the better choice.
What Are Traditional Braces?
First, what do we mean by traditional braces? Metal braces are typically what most people think of as traditional braces. Another form of traditional braces is ceramic (clear) braces. Ceramic braces are much less noticeable than metal braces with tooth-colored brackets and wires that make them nearly invisible. Lingual braces, affixed to the back of the teeth, may look like traditional braces (in some cases), but there are important differences. Here, we’ll draw the distinction between traditional braces vs. lingual and clear aligner options.
Braces Are Better for Complex Cases
The reason braces are the better choice in most cases is because braces need to do more than straighten teeth for most people. At least 70% of people have some form of malocclusion or an unaligned bite. And if you have gaps, crowding, or rotated teeth, traditional braces may be best. People often turn to aligners for simple issues.
Braces Are Always on You
This statement may seem obvious, but it’s a real benefit that braces are affixed to your teeth! You will always be 100% compliant and not have to give them much thought. For aligners to work well, manufacturers recommend that they be worn at least 22 hours a day. Taking them out several times a day to eat and drink makes them easy to forget to put them back in. And aligners can be easy to lose or break (and throw away) if you’re not careful.
Traditional Braces Are More Affordable
When comparing the cost of traditional braces to lingual braces and clear aligners, traditional braces are usually the better choice for affordability. Depending on the area, provider, and treatment, braces typically cost between $5,000-$7,000. Due to the expertise and training needed to affix lingual braces, they are typically are more expensive than traditional braces.
Braces Are Both Faster and More Effective
Both traditional and lingual braces are proven to straighten your smile efficiently. However, lingual braces tend to move teeth more gradually, and metal and ceramic braces have a shorter treatment time at 18-24 months. Treatment time for clear aligners depends on the complexity of the orthodontic issues and how much they are worn. Metal braces can exert more force on the entire tooth and can focus on several teeth at the same time. Clear aligners place pressure only on the upper part of the tooth and there are limits to the number of teeth that can be moved at one time.
Do You Want a Beautiful Smile? Braces Won’t Let You Down
Several high-tech options are available today to achieve your goal of straightening teeth. Despite all of the advancements, metal and ceramic braces are often still the better choice to improve your smile – for all ages. At ALTA SMILES Orthodontic Centers, they treat a range of orthodontic issues with traditional braces, clear aligners, and C5 Hidden OrthodonticsTM for cosmetic cases. We’re here for you to provide the best orthodontic care that results in an amazing smile! To book a no-obligation consultation, contact us today or call 484.285.4009.