Is there really such a thing as invisible braces?

Having a confident smile not only helps you to make a great first impression, but can also make you appear more confident socially – in the workplace, out with friends or on a date. For many adults, the barrier between them and their perfect smile is the desire to avoid the look of traditional metal braces. This has led to thousands of searches for invisible braces, as more and more adults aim to get the smile they’ve always dreamed about.

For those who have made their smile a priority this year, we look at the different orthodontic treatment options available and rank them based on how ‘invisible’ they are:

Ceramic braces

The subtle sister to traditional metal braces, ceramic braces work in the same way and generally offer similar results to their metal counterpart. The point of difference is that instead of brightly coloured bands and metal brackets, your orthodontist will use special tooth-coloured brackets, aesthetic wires and bands (modules) to blend in with the appearance of your teeth. This helps you to achieve the same types of movements as metal braces, but in a less obvious way.

The verdict:

While they’re definitely subtler, ceramic braces are not fully invisible. However, due to their ability to successfully perform complex tooth movements, they’re the perfect middle ground for those in need of extensive treatment who want to avoid the look of metal braces. Generally, ceramic braces will be the most cost effective of the ‘invisible’ alternatives.

Clear aligner treatment

In recent years, the popularity of clear aligner treatments such as ClearCorrect, OrthoCaps and Invisalign® has led to an increase in the number of adults seeking corrective orthodontic treatment. Using a series of removable clear plastic trays to gently guide the teeth into their new position, your treatment can be hard to spot with the added bonus of being able to take them out for any crucial photo opportunities.

The verdict:

When clear aligners are properly cleaned and cared for they can be practically invisible when worn. However, due to the fact that the aligners are not fixed to the teeth, their success relies on the patient consistently wearing them. As a result, this form of treatment may not be suitable for all cases, particularly if complex tooth movements are required or if the patient doesn’t feel they will be able to comply with the usage instructions.

Despite being removable, this type of treatment still carries risks if administered incorrectly or by somebody with inadequate training. It’s important to still see a registered specialist orthodontist for clear aligner treatment as they have the expertise to ensure safe and proper care throughout the course of your treatment.

Lingual braces

Some types of lingual braces are completely custom-made, and this orthodontic treatment option is fitted along the inside of your teeth. Their close proximity to your tongue means that speech may be more difficult initially than other forms of appliances, but as with any orthodontic treatment it just takes a little bit of time to adjust.

The verdict:

If you’re thinking about invisible braces, the main test will be your smile. Thanks to the fact that they’re fitted along the inside of your teeth, lingual braces are completely invisible when you smile. However, you may be able to catch a glimpse of them when your mouth is open.

So which type of invisible braces are right for you?

Ultimately, the best orthodontic option for your smile will depend on a number of factors including your budget and the types of movements that need to be achieved. Depending on your individual case, your orthodontist may strongly recommend one particular course of treatment or may present you with a variety of options to choose between.

Your orthodontist’s main concern will be the health of your teeth and will recommend the option that will offer the best results in the safest manner. To truly understand the best treatment option for your smile, it is best to make an appointment with your specialist orthodontist. Use our tool to find an orthodontist near you – no referral is needed.


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