Braces Vs Clear Aligners– Which is better?


We all deserve to smile with confidence, but having crooked or misaligned teeth can make it difficult. Whilst traditional braces have long been the dentists first choice for straightening teeth, there now exists a much more discrete option in the form of clear aligners. Each method has its pros and cons, and it is important to research, ask questions and arrive at an informed decision. At iSmile Dentistry, we want every patient to enjoy a picture-perfect smile. In this blog post, we will be sharing some  key differences between traditional braces and clear aligners, such as Invisalign.


What’s the difference between braces and clear aligners?

Traditional metal braces are attached to the outside of the teeth using brackets, wire and rubber bands to ensure a comfortable and secure fit. They are the best method for treating complicated orthodontic cases. Metal braces are clearly visible, however other options such as ceramic and lingual braces are now available if you prefer a less noticeable alternative. 


Aligners differ from metal braces in two distinct ways. Firstly, aligners are made from clear plastic rather than metal. Secondly, they can be removed when necessary, such as when eating. Clear aligners are customized to suit each individual, and you will need to visit your dentist every few weeks to pick up new sets of aligners. Clear aligners are created with accurate molds taken of your teeth, which will fit securely and deliver great results. Aligners in general work faster than traditional braces.


During your consultation for orthodontic treatment, your dentist will explain both options and discuss which is best suited for your case. You will also be informed on duration of treatment time, complexity of the treatment, costs and maintenance required during and after orthodontic treatment. Impressions and x-rays, including a 3D cephalometric x-ray will be taken to allow for proper assessment and diagnosis to determine the best mode of treatment suitable for each patient. 

Benefits of Clear Aligners

  • Discrete – Clear aligners are virtually invisible, which makes them a popular choice for adults seeking orthodontic treatment. This allows you to smile for photos and communicate with friends and colleagues confidently 
  • Removable – It is important to wear your aligners for at least 20-22 hours per day, but they can be removed during eating. This also allows you to brush and floss your teeth normally.
  • Comfortable – Due to their plastic construction and tailored fit, clear aligner is more comfortable than traditional braces and there is less risk of experiencing minor cuts to your cheek. 
  • Shorter treatment time – Treatment time is generally shorter, but this is dependent on the individual case. 


Disadvantage of Clear Aligners

  • Generally suitable for mild to moderate orthodontic cases
  • Compliance – Compliance might be an issue as they are removable


Benefits of Traditional Metal Braces

  • Suitable for complex cases 
  • Compliance – Being attached to your teeth means you will not forget to wear them (or lose them!) Noncompliance can result in longer treatment times.
  • Affordability – metal braces are usually cheaper than clear aligners, although this is case dependent. 


Disadvantages of Metal Braces

  • Unable to eat certain foods
  • More visible
  • Fixed brackets and wires make brushing and flossing difficult


Looking to enjoy a Straighter Smile? Contact iSmile Dentistry

Traditional braces and clear aligners both have their own advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to weigh up your options and discuss your treatment goals with your dentist. 


If you are looking to enjoy a straighter smile, we invite you to book a consultation today at our St Leonard’s dental clinic. Call now on 02 9030 4310 and our friendly dentists will take you through your options and help you make the right decision.