What Is The Difference Between Clear Braces and Invisalign (Clear Aligners)?

clear aligners invisalign at dubuque orthodontics

What Is The Difference Between Clear Braces and Invisalign (Clear Aligners)?

If you are looking to straighten your teeth without wearing metal braces there are a few cosmetic alternatives to consider — clear braces or clear aligners (such as Invisalign or Spark). 

Although both options will move your teeth, they differ considerably. Each option has its pros and cons and it’s important to understand them when deciding the best treatment modality for you. We will go through a brief summary of each.

Clear (Cosmetic) Braces

clear cosmetic braces

These come in the same form as metal braces, however, they are made of a plastic or porcelain that matches the shade of your teeth. Since they are the same form they will have a similar ‘feel’ as metal braces with a more esthetic appearance. They will also have a wire that will passes through them as they do with metal braces, so the mechanics of the tooth movement are the same. 

Not all patients aregreat candidates for Invisalign and would prefer a more esthetic option. These cosmetic braces allow us to have the same control of tooth movement that we don’t always have with Invisalign in complex cases.

The process with clear cosmetic braces is the same as with metal braces, meaning we can still treat the most challenging cases and get great results.

Clear Aligners (Invisalign, Spark, DO Aligners, etc.)

invisalign clear alignersThis is an umbrella term for the clear, removable trays that move teeth. These are essentially made from high quality plastic material — meaning no wires and no braces involved!

As the ‘invisible’ aligners are made of a clear material they are virtually unnoticeable to the average person. This makes clear aligners, such as Invisalign or Spark aligners, to be the most esthetic.

The aligners are custom-made to precisely fit your teeth. We program a small amount of tooth movement into each tray to move your teeth little-by-little as you move through the sequence of trays—switching every one to two weeks.

Unfortunately, due to the features of Invisalign we don’t always have the best control of tooth movements. This reduces the predictability when treating more challenging cases.

On occasion, to increase the predictability of moving teeth, we add tooth colored bumps that act as handles for the plastic to move your teeth. These also allow the trays to ‘click’ nicely onto your teeth.

If you are looking for a cosmetic, esthetic alternative to metal braces contact our office to evaluate your options!

-Dr. E