Traditional Braces vs. Clear Aligner Treatment

Clear Aligners Colts Neck, NJ

If you are considering orthodontic treatment, whether with traditional braces or clear aligner treatment, read on to learn more. Traditional braces and clear aligners are the two most popular forms of teeth straightening. It can be difficult to determine which option is right for you. The end result is essentially the same: straighter teeth and a more beautiful smile. However, there are instances when one may be a better treatment option than another.

An overview of braces vs. clear aligner treatment

The following is a complete overview of braces and clear aligners, including detailed information on how to make the right decision about which option is the right one for a patient.

What are traditional braces?

Traditional braces are a form of orthodontic treatment in which brackets and metal wire are placed over the visible surface of teeth in an effort to move the teeth into a straighter position. There are many advantages to braces treatment. It is an effective solution for moderate to severe misalignments. The length of treatment varies from six months to more than two years, and braces patients typically have a longer process than those who choose clear aligners.

What are clear aligners?

There are different types of clear aligners. Clear aligners work in a similar fashion as traditional braces, although there are some notable differences. Unlike traditional braces, which involve wearing highly visible metal wires, clear aligners are essentially invisible to people other than the patient. This allows patients to straighten their smiles discreetly. The clear aligners are transparent trays made of strong plastic material. These can also be removed by the patient at any time, which is convenient during an oral care routine and while eating.

How do I choose the right option?

Both traditional braces and clear aligners are good options, and they are successful when the patient takes good care of their teeth and device during treatment. However, clear aligners are in general less accessible than traditional braces, and they may not be a viable option when correcting more severe malocclusions. In the event both traditional braces and clear aligners are options, the choice is often left to the patient. Some choose traditional braces as it decreases the responsibility of the patient to keep up with the device and wear them often, whereas many others like the freedom that clear aligners offer.

How does the orthodontic treatment process work?

The treatment process for each option varies slightly, and clear aligners typically require more frequent visits to the orthodontist than braces. However, both traditional braces and clear aligners involve an oral examination and dental impression before treatment. Also, both require wearing a retainer and follow-up visits after treatment is complete.

Oral examination and dental impression

The first step is an oral examination, which takes place during the consultation visit. The dental professional can also order dental impressions as well (along with dental x-rays) to gain a clearer understanding of the patient’s teeth and jaw alignment.

Preparing the mouth for orthodontic treatment

Many patients require certain preparation procedures to ensure a successful orthodontic experience. This most commonly includes creating more space in the mouth so that teeth can shift properly. This may include the use of spacers and/or tooth extraction. Once the mouth is ready, orthodontic treatment can begin.

The orthodontic treatment process

The process varies here based upon whether you ultimately choose clear aligners or braces. As mentioned, clear aligners may involve more frequent visits to change the aligners. The aligners must be worn for at least 20 hours each day, but they are removable while eating and brushing teeth. Braces are not able to be removed by the patient. The treatment times are relatively similar, although the average time is slightly longer with traditional braces.

Retainer wear and aftercare

Regardless of whether you choose braces or clear aligners, retainers must be worn after the treatment is complete. Retainers help prevent teeth from shifting back to their original position, which they are prone to do until the jaw becomes more stable around the new position of the teeth. Aftercare procedures such as teeth cleaning may be recommended, as well.

Talk to an orthodontist today about treatment

If you are interested in learning more about how teeth straightening options such as traditional braces and clear aligners can benefit you, reach out to your orthodontic clinic today to schedule your first visit. The orthodontist assists patients throughout the entire treatment process, answering any questions and addressing any concerns they have along the way.

Request an appointment here: or call Colts Neck Center for Orthodontics & Invisalign at (732) 761-9700 for an appointment in our Colts Neck office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Clear Aligner in Colts Neck, NJ.

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