Pros of metal braces (brackets and wires)
You’ll notice that most orthodontists prefer and recommend metal braces over clear ones. This is because metal braces give dentists a lot more maneuverability and versatility over shifting your teeth. It’s much easier and quicker to establish a perfect bite when using brackets and wires than it is with clear trays. Here are some of the advantages of wearing metal brackets and braces over clear ones:
Metal braces can not be removed
Wait, but isn’t this supposed to be a disadvantage? No, not if you’re a teenager who doesn’t like to follow instructions! Removable clear braces require heavy compliance and unfortunately most teenagers don’t follow through. This is the main reason why metal braces are still preferred for youngsters. Trust us, you can’t expect your teenager child to wear his or her clear braces 22+ hours a day if they’re not worrying about paying for it themselves!
Brackets and wires are more effective and efficient
Traditional metal braces are still the king when it comes to excessive teeth movement. You can fix just about any bite discrepancy with metal braces. They give your dentist more control over the movements and yield much faster results. They work for most cases where clear braces fails to produce satisfactory results, such as:
- Moderate to severe overbites and underbites
- Fixing overbites resulting from thumb-sucking or tongue-thrusting
- Fixing posterior crossbites
- Forcefully pulling out impacted teeth (trapped)
Only very simple and minor teeth movements qualify for clear braces. In fact, clear braces really only work well when closing minor gaps in between your teeth or fixing minor relapses. For everything else you must resort back to metal braces. Having more control and yielding better outcomes is often worth the metal look and inconvenience associated with wearing brackets and bands.
Clear braces cost much more than metal ones do
Clear braces trays are a patented design. This means that they’re made by only a select few manufacturers which typically charge between $500 to $1,500 per case. Obviously, this will be reflected as an additional expense onto your bill. So generally speaking, clear braces cost $2,000 to $3,000 more than metal braces do.
Keep in mind that most of the difference in price doesn’t go to your dentist or orthodontist but rather the tray manufacturer. Thus don’t expect that you will be able to bargain too much on the price here!
On the other hand, metal bracket and wire braces have minimal overhead for your dentist or orthodontist. Cost of bands and brackets are negligible, which is why metal braces cost so much less than clear braces do. Metal braces are almost always the more affordable treatment option, and typically cost a few bucks thousand less than clear braces.