Should you see a specialist for your clear aligner treatment?
If you’re wanting to boost your confidence with your perfect smile, then clear aligner treatments like Invisalign® may be a good option. But if you’re wondering where to get the best treatment, you may be a little bit confused. There are a lot of options out there, and many different practitioners offer Invisalign® as part of their range of services. Before you proceed though, it’s important to understand what movements can be achieved and which type of treatment can help you get there.
While clear aligners like Invisalign®, ClearCorrect® or OrthoCaps® have been growing in popularity in recent years, to get the best results you need to be fully informed about how to get the best treatment and who is best placed to get you there.
The popularity of clear aligner treatments in recent years has inspired many adults to finally get the smile of their dreams. However, this form of treatment requires regular monitoring by an orthodontist to ensure treatment is progressing safely and as per the treatment plan.
Subtlety: High – The clear plastic aligners are virtually invisible when worn and cared for correctly. Aligners can also be removed for eating and special occasions as required.
Cost: Moderate/High – A full course of treatment can cost from $8,000 – $10,000, slightly more than traditional braces.
General suitability: Moderate – Due to the fact that they are not fixed to the teeth, aligners are limited in the types of movements they can complete and therefore may not be able to treat every type of orthodontic problem.
Verdict: In many cases, clear aligners are an effective and subtle way to achieve a beautiful smile.
The original and still the most effective method of straightening teeth and correcting bad bites, metal braces are a popular choice thanks to their effectiveness and reliability. Orthodontists specialise in all orthodontic treatments, with metal braces proving to be one of the most popular treatment options for all age groups.
Subtlety: Low – While modern braces are more comfortable and subtle than they were 20 years ago, they are the most conspicuous orthodontic option in this list.
Cost: Moderate – Metal braces can cost between $4,000 – $8,000 for a full course of treatment, making them one of the most cost effective options.
General suitability: High – Orthodontists are able to complete complex tooth movements and fix misaligned bites within the general (12 -18 months) treatment period with metal braces.
Verdict: They continue to be a popular choice because they are proven to be an effective option for the majority of orthodontic cases.
The subtle alternative to metal braces, ceramic braces use the same mechanics to help straighten teeth but with clear or tooth-coloured wires and brackets to make your treatment less obvious. Your orthodontist has great experience with ceramic braces and can help you learn to properly care for them to get the best results.
Subtlety: Mid – They are less obvious at a glance than metal braces, but are still visible to the keen observer.
Cost: Moderate – Costing slightly more than traditional braces, ceramic braces can set you back between $5,000 – $9,000 for a full course of treatment.
General suitability: High – Using the same mechanics as metal braces allows them to achieve all types of orthodontic movements, both simple and complex.
Verdict: Ceramic braces are a great balance between subtlety and effectiveness for adults who need orthodontic treatment.
Fixed along the inside of your teeth, lingual braces are practically invisible when worn, however their close proximity to your tongue means that they can affect your speech more significantly than other options. Your orthodontist has the training to understand what types of tooth movements are predictable with this type of treatment and will monitor your progress to help you get the best results.
Subtlety: High – As they’re along the inside of your teeth they are completely invisible when you smile.
Cost: High – Lingual braces need to be custom made and fitted to your teeth to make them practical and comfortable, which makes them more expensive than other options. They can cost between $7,500 – $12,500 for a full course of treatment.
General suitability: Moderate/High – There are some limitations in the types of movements that can be achieved, however they are a suitable option in many cases.
Verdict: Lingual braces are the closest to invisible as braces can get and are suitable for many complex movements.
What about so-called ‘fast braces’?
A number of practitioners are now offering so-called ‘fast braces’ or mail order orthodontic options in Australia. In most cases, a patient’s treatment time is only shorter because they are not receiving a full course of orthodontic treatment. This can lead to the need for additional treatment down the line due to poor stability, as well as the potential to damage the teeth or gums if administered without expert supervision.
Check you’re seeing an orthodontist
For the best and safest results, you should always see an orthodontist for any type of orthodontic treatment. Only a specialist orthodontist has completed an extra 3 years of full-time university training and has the knowledge and expertise to provide the best treatment outcomes. Check that you are seeing a specialist orthodontist or search by location for a specialist orthodontist near you here.
Note: All costs quoted above are estimates. The cost of your treatment will vary depending on the type of treatment you choose, the duration of your treatment, the number and cost of orthodontic appointments required and any additional appliances required to get your smile where it needs to be.