Clear Aligners vs Metal Braces- Which Are Best for You

Clear Aligners vs Metal Braces: Which Are Best for You?

Team Braces

When it comes to orthodontic treatment, you have some options. In the past, traditional braces were one of the only methods for straightening teeth. Now clear aligners offer an alternative with some significant differences. 

Which treatment is best for you, clear aligners or braces? Here’s what you need to consider when it comes to making your decision. 

What Are Metal Braces? 

Metal braces are the traditional orthodontic treatment. They consist of small square-shaped metal pieces that attach to the front of each tooth called brackets. An archwire connects the brackets and exerts force on the teeth to shift them into proper alignment. Sometimes elastics (rubber bands) are used to assist with bite alignment. 

What Are Clear Aligners? 

Clear aligners are a newer orthodontic treatment. They consist of plastic trays that fit over the teeth and shift them into proper alignment. The aligners are clear and essentially invisible on the teeth. They are also removable for eating and cleaning your teeth. Clear aligner treatment will involve a series of aligners, each of which you wear for about 2 weeks in the specified order. Once you have worn the entire set, your treatment should be complete. 

Choosing Your Treatment 

When it comes time to choose which orthodontic treatment would be best for you or your child, there are some important things to consider. 

  • Are you a candidate for clear aligners? There are some things clear aligners can’t do that will require braces. You’ll need an orthodontic evaluation to determine if you are a candidate for clear aligners. 
  • Can you or your child keep up with removable aligners? Clear aligners are removable, which can be convenient, but it does require a certain level of responsibility. If you or your child may have a hard time keeping up with your aligners, this treatment option may not be right for you. 
  • Can you or your child remember to wear the aligners? A key element of success when it comes to clear aligner treatment is wearing your aligners as much as possible. If you or your child may have trouble remembering to wear them enough, this treatment option may not be the best for you. 
  • Does your insurance cover both treatments? Insurance plans vary in terms of the types of orthodontic treatment they cover. Contact your insurance provider or refer to your benefits guide for more information about your plan. 
  • Are you or your child concerned about your appearance? Clear aligners are a discreet way to straighten your teeth without the metallic look of braces.

Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontic Treatment


Which costs more, clear aligners or braces? 

The cost of clear aligners is comparable to the cost of braces in most cases. We can provide you with an estimate for both treatment options so that you can accurately compare the cost, with and without insurance. 

How long do clear aligners take vs braces? 

Clear aligner treatment is often shorter than braces treatment. This is partly due to the method, and partly due to the fact that clear aligners work best for mild to moderate cases. Patients with more complex cases may need braces and may have a longer treatment time in total. 

Get a Professional Recommendation 

The first step in getting started with orthodontic treatment is to have an evaluation. This will determine what treatment option would be most effective for you to achieve the desired results. Dr. Suzanne Stock provides complimentary consultations for children and adults to discuss your orthodontic needs and the best way to address them. 

Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.