Clear Aligner Therapy vs Braces: Which one is best for me?

In a previous blog, we answered the question “What is Clear Aligner Therapy?” outlining how they differ from traditional braces and how an aligner treatment journey works at our clinic.

This post will delve deeper into the differences between these two tooth straightening treatments, including how to find out which option best suits your case.

Clear Aligner Therapy patient holding aligners

Clear Aligner Therapy & Braces: A Quick Rundown

Clear aligner therapy and fixed braces are both forms of orthodontic treatment – a field of dentistry that focuses on aligning your teeth in the best position possible. These two dental tools are used to correct crowded, misaligned or crooked teeth.

When your teeth are well aligned, it creates harmony in your mouth, allowing your teeth and jaw muscles to work together without harming each other.

What is Clear Aligner Therapy?

Clear Aligner Therapy is an orthodontic treatment that moves your teeth without the use of braces. This treatment straightens teeth using transparent plastic shells called aligners that fit over your teeth.

What are Braces?

Fixed orthodontics, brackets or braces are considered the more traditional way to straighten teeth. Most people are familiar with traditional metal braces; however, braces can also come in ceramic varieties. 

Clear Aligners vs Braces: Which Option is Best for You?

Presently, many dental clinics use both of these treatments to straighten patients’ teeth. However, when compared side by side, each treatment option offers distinct advantages and disadvantages.

Clear Aligner Therapy patient removing aligners

Clear Aligner Therapy: Pros & Cons

Aligners, when compared to braces, come with various advantages that include :

  • They are almost invisible – Unlike metal braces, for example, clear aligners are see-through. This feature makes them less noticeable than braces, resulting in a more natural aesthetic most patients find appealing.
  • They are more comfortable – Aligners are smoother than metallic or ceramic braces and cause minor irritation on the cheeks, lips and teeth.
  • They allow for a more flexible diet – Being easy to remove, aligners enable patients to eat most of the foods they like without worrying about breaking them.

Since patients can remove aligners without an appointment, brushing and flossing teeth is easier to manage than the case with braces.

Clear aligners, however, come with their unique challenges. Because they are easy to remove, they can be easily forgotten or lost. As a result, patients have to be extra careful about wearing them for 22 hours every day to produce optimal results. If you are forgetful by nature, this will require you to be more attentive about where you place your aligners when you eat or brush your teeth.

Woman smiling with braces

Braces : Pros & Cons

Although slightly more noticeable than clear aligners, braces are still a very necessary and popular option. Adult orthodontics, for example, is currently one of the fastest-growing areas in dentistry. As a result, the demand for this service has experienced a marked increase lately, especially since people began wearing masks daily.

Fixed braces offer the following advantages:

  • Braces apply to all orthodontic treatment cases.
  • Braces come in various types and colours. Patients who like adding their personal preferences to treatments can appreciate this feature.
  • A patient cannot forget or misplace braces. They are a fixed solution; hence, you always know where they are.

On the other hand, braces come with a few challenges that include:

  • Hygiene – Cleaning teeth is more challenging to do with braces than with aligners. When improperly cleaned, braces can damage your teeth which undermines the quality of the treatment. We recommend seeing the hygienist very regularly whilst wearing braces.
  • Discomfort –  Patients initially experience some discomfort when they first get their braces. In time, however, they become accustomed to the braces, and the discomfort becomes minimal.

Despite these disadvantages, braces continue to be the most widely applicable orthodontic treatment. Moreover, in cases involving comprehensive treatment, they often prove an effective and affordable option. 

At Enamel Clinic, we only use ceramic braces and ceramic wires, which are barely noticeable on patients as they go about everyday life.

So how can I tell which option is best for me?

Deciding the best solution between aligner treatment and braces is determined by the nature of your case. This means, despite the aesthetic convenience of aligners, they are not always the most suitable treatment for every patient.

To make the best decision for your case, you will need an orthodontist’s expert assessment and advice. Fortunately, Enamel Clinic is one of the few dental clinics in South Africa that have an orthodontist in practice for your convenience.

Our clinic’s orthodontist, Dr Petra Van der Merwe, has more than 24 years of private practice experience. Over time, she has proven that her dedication to her work, combined with her ability to build relationships, forges lasting connections with patients.

Let’s Discuss the Best Option for Your Unique Lifestyle & Needs Today.

 You can call us on 021 418 2048 or fill our contact form here to book your appointment.