10 Questions to help you decide between clear or metal braces:
Having understood the advantages of clear and metal braces, it’s now time to make a decision. Here is a list of question to better help you decide whether you should go with clear or metal braces. Please answer each question with either a “yes” or “no“:
- Are you adamantly opposed to having metal show in your mouth?
- Do you have a busy work schedule and want to minimize your time at the dentist / orthodontist?
- On a scale of 1 to 10 (least to most crooked teeth) would you say you’re between a 1 to 5?
- Are your teeth very susceptible to developing cavities or tooth decay? For instance you develop a new problem every year, whether it be a new cavity, crown or root canal.
- Have you been diagnosed with advanced gum disease (periodontitis) before?
- Can you afford $5,000+ in orthodontic treatment?
- If you can’t afford $5,000 for your treatment do you at least have good enough credit to finance the work? Or dental insurance that covers a portion of your treatment costs?
- Are you at least over 20 years old?
- Are you disciplined enough to keep your trays in at all times, except when eating or brushing? This includes when you’re at work, sleeping or going out on the weekends.
- Did you have braces once before when you were younger?
Good candidate for wearing clear braces
If you answered “yes” to most of the above questions then you’re probably a good candidate for wearing clear braces, should you qualify.
Questions 1: Appearance
Many times the decision between wearing clear or metal braces comes down to looks. Obviously clear braces look much nicer and less conspicuous than metal ones do. If you can’t afford to show metal in your mouth, then clear braces are the better choice for you.
Question 2: Time commitment
If you work very hard or travel for work, clear braces are a much better option for you. Metal braces can cause serious damage to your teeth if left on your teeth for additional months or years. You may end up requiring a whole bunch of fillings or even root canals after a long hiatus. On the other, with clear braces the worse thing that can happen is you will require a few new trays. No harm will be done to your teeth and gums during your extended absence.
Question 3: Case complexity
Obviously this is something that only your dentist or orthodontist can determine for you. Just realize that only simpler cases qualify for treatment with clear braces. If your bite or teeth are extremely crooked, you must go with metal braces over clear ones.
Questions 4: Teeth problems
If you are susceptible to developing dental problems rapidly, wearing metal braces can pose a serious risk to your teeth. It’s not uncommon to remove metal brackets and find a couple of new cavities underneath them. Even worse, some patients end up developing tooth infection and require root canal treatments as a result of wearing metal braces for long periods.
This problem should not happen with clear braces. You can continue to clean your teeth, floss them, and get quality dental cleanings when wearing clear braces as opposed to metal ones.
Questions 5: Gum problems
First and foremost, if you have advanced or moderate-advanced periodontitis you shouldn’t be receiving braces to begin with. However, if you have earlier stages of gum disease you are allowed to get orthodontic treatment. Of course as long as you commit to obtaining regular dental cleanings along with keeping up good at-home oral hygiene.
If you suffer from gum disease it’s much better to go for clear braces over metal ones. Metal braces can cause much more damage to your gums and jawbones. Going with clear braces is a much better choice as it allows you to upkeep your cleanings and at-home oral hygiene routine.
Questions 6 and 7: Affording clear braces
As mentioned earlier, clear braces typically costs at least $2,000 more than metal ones do. If you can afford this then you shouldn’t have a problem. Most people however finance their orthodontic work over the course of their treatment. This could typically end up costing you around $100 to $150 per month. As usual, having dental insurance with orthodontic benefits helps make affording treatment easier.
Questions 8 and 9: Wearing your trays all the time
You must be committed to wearing your trays around the clock in order to get results. If you don’t wear them, you won’t get results. Teenagers should continue sticking with metal braces since cooperation is an issue at this age.
Question 10: Fixing relapses
Clear braces is generally a great option for fixing relapses for those that wore braces once already. Maybe you didn’t wear your retainers as much as you should have. Or possibly you didn’t remove your wisdom teeth on time and they made your remaining teeth slightly crooked. Clear braces work really well to fix teeth which have shifted just a little bit since your last treatment. Just make sure not to forget to remove your wisdom teeth and wear your retainers if you don’t want to have to repeat it again!
Good candidate for metal braces
If you answered “no” to most of the above questions then you’re probably have to go with metal braces instead, should you qualify.
Final Thought on clear or metal braces
Deciding to go with clear or metal braces can be a tough decision. If your treatment case is a simple one and you can afford it, then clear braces might be a good option for you. Otherwise go with metal braces and save some time and money in the process!
As a final note, pay attention if your case is a very simple one. If your expected treatment time is around six months or so, you might qualify for express clear braces treatment options. These are typically less expensive and their price is comparable to metal braces. Talk to your dentist or orthodontist to see if you apply for express clear braces treatment.