Are Clear Braces As Effective As Metal Braces? - Exeter Advanced Dentistry

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Are Clear Braces As Effective As Metal Braces?

April 25, 2023

Teeth straightening has seen a surge in popularity in recent years. Research from the British Orthodontic Society (BOS) shows 80% of orthodontists have seen an increase in adult patients. Meanwhile, a poll conducted by the Oral Health Foundation found over half (51%) of British adults felt anxious about how their smile looks.  There is no doubt having healthy, straight teeth can make people feel more confident about their smiles, so it is no surprise that adults are increasingly seeking help from orthodontics, particularly with treatments such as clear aligners.  One question we are often asked is how effective clear aligners are compared to traditional metal braces. Read on to find out more.

What are metal braces? 

Metal braces, or traditional braces, consist of metal brackets fixed onto the teeth with composite resin. Orthodontic wire is attached to the brackets using elastic rings. The wires exert continual pressure to slowly move teeth and improve their alignment. Metal braces are sometimes called ‘train tracks’ and remain on teeth throughout the treatment period.

What are clear braces?

Clear aligners are made from plastic and fit snugly over the teeth. A scan of the teeth is taken and used to create a series of clear aligners that gradually move the teeth to their new position. that will comfortably fit. Clear aligners need to be worn for 22 hours per day and are removed for eating and most drinks (except water).

Which are most suitable?

Clear braces can be used to treat tooth crowding, overbites, underbites, crossbites, and spacing. However, not all cases are suitable and metal braces still remain the most effective handle more severe alignment issues. Treatment time is a crucial factor when deciding between metal braces and clear aligners, and this will depend on the severity of the alignment issues you face. Generally, clear aligners are worn from three to 12 months, while metal braces are worn from 12 to 24 months. Clear aligners can be more comfortable to wear and don’t tend to cause ulcers inside the cheeks like metal braces can. Metal braces tend to restrict our food choices too; they can be prone to breakage with hard or sticky foods. Clear aligners, on the other hand, need to be removed for eating and drinking so can allow for a more varied diet. Aesthetically, clear aligners are usually favoured for their discreet appearance. They are usually easier to keep clean compared to metal braces too, but can be prone to staining if not properly maintained.

Book Your Consultation

As you can see, clear braces are just as effective as their metal counterparts in most circumstances with bonus points from an aesthetic and lifestyle perspective. If you want to improve your smile with the help of teeth straightening, consulting a dentist is the first step. Everybody’s needs are different, and the right choice of straightening treatment will depend on the structure of the teeth.   Here at Exeter Advanced Dentistry, we offer a choice of teeth straightening treatments at our surgery. Our Specialist Orthodontist, Mr Ben Buffham, has 30 years of experience and can advise on the most effective option to help achieve your perfect smile. Simply get in touch to book your consultation today.

If you’re hoping for straighter teeth, braces are the perfect way to improve your smile. But are clear braces as effective as metal braces?