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Are Clear Aligners Worth the Cost? We Answer Your Questions About Clear Aligners
Clear aligners are transparent aligner trays that move your teeth in the desired direction, thus helping you achieve straight teeth. In recent decades, clear aligners have completely transformed the orthodontic industry, allowing patients to achieve straight teeth without relying on ugly metallic braces. But clear aligners cost more than traditional braces, and they’re not always covered by insurance plans.
Considering the higher cost of clear aligners, patients often wonder, “are clear aligners worth the cost?” To determine if clear aligners are worth the cost, you must determine what you expect from clear aligner therapy, your current budget constraints, and other factors. This article provides all the information you need about clear aligners and how they compare to traditional braces, helping you make an informed decision.
What Are Clear Aligners?
Clear aligners are transparent dental aligners or trays that apply gentle pressure on your teeth to move them in the desired direction. If you have uneven teeth, clear aligners will gradually push your teeth towards the optimal position. Unlike traditional braces, clear aligners don’t have to be tightened by dentists once every couple of weeks. Instead, you have to wear a new set of clear aligners corresponding to the next stage of your treatment — each aligner tray pushes your teeth just a little more, helping you achieve complete alignment.
Invisalign is the leading brand of clear aligners. Invisalign clear aligners gained popularity in the early 2000s when many celebrities started crediting Invisalign for their orthodontic treatments. The primary attraction of clear aligner therapy is that it allows you to achieve completely straight and even teeth without relying on ugly metallic braces. You can also take your clear aligners off while eating so you don’t get stains on your aligners. Clear aligners allow you to complete the treatment without crippling social anxiety.
What Are the Benefits of Clear Aligners?
- Invisible: Clear aligners are invisible and transparent. Once you wear clear aligners, they can’t be seen by other people, at least not unless they come really close. Because of the invisible nature of clear aligners, they don’t cause social anxiety and self-consciousness.
- Removable: Clear aligners can be removed whenever you want. If you’re about to eat something, you can take your clear aligners off, eat whatever you want, rinse your mouth, and then wear them again. However, you must wear clear aligners for at least 20 hours per day.
- No Dietary Restrictions: Clear aligners allow you to achieve straight teeth without dietary restrictions. People with traditional braces often avoid foods that may stain the aligners, but clear aligners don’t carry that same problem. Eat whatever you want.
- Optimal Oral Hygiene: Clear aligners allow you to maintain optimal oral hygiene because you can brush and floss your teeth without obstruction. You can take your aligners off, brush and floss your teeth, and then wear your aligners again.
- Comfortable: Clear aligners are completely comfortable. You might notice mild pressure on your teeth and gums when you first wear clear aligners, but the discomfort gradually fades within a day or two. After the initial discomfort, you barely feel the aligners.
- Highly Effective: Clear aligners are extremely effective. They can treat a wide range of orthodontic problems, including misalignment, crooked teeth, uneven teeth, protruding teeth, crowded teeth, and other orthodontic issues.
- Quick & Efficient: Clear aligners are extremely quick and efficient. Most people can complete the entire treatment in 6 to 18 months, so the entire treatment duration is less than traditional braces.
Difference Between Traditional Braces & Clear Aligners
If you’re wondering if clear aligners are worth the cost, you need to compare them to traditional braces. Below, we highlight the differences between traditional braces and clear aligners across the following categories — appearance, convenience, comfort, effectiveness, and treatment time.
Traditional braces look like ugly metallic brackets or wires on your teeth. Even ceramic braces are highly visible, especially as they become stained. Clear aligners are completely transparent, and you don’t wear each set long enough for them to get yellowed. Clear aligners look much better, allowing you to achieve straight teeth without self-consciousness.
Traditional braces have to be worn all the time. You can’t take them off during meals or while brushing. Clear aligners can be removed whenever you want, provided you wear them for at least 20 hours per day. You can eat whatever you want and brush your teeth without obstructions, making them more convenient than traditional braces.
Traditional braces consist of wires and brackets that can cause irritation and discomfort. Some patients also experience a little bleeding or bruising if the wire scratches the gums. However, ceramic aligners are completely comfortable, and there’s no risk of getting scratched by wires. They’re safer and more comfortable than traditional braces.
Until recently, clear aligners were considered less effective than traditional braces. But that’s not true anymore. Modern clear aligners come with attachments that can treat all orthodontic problems that traditional braces can treat, making them equally effective.
Traditional braces have to be worn for 3 to 4 years at a stretch for them to work. However, the overall treatment time for clear aligners ranges from 6 months to 18 months, making them more suitable for those seeking quick results.
How Much Do Clear Aligners Cost Compare to Traditional Braces?
Clear aligners are usually more expensive than traditional braces, and they’re not always covered by insurance plans. Some insurance providers cover clear aligners if the treatment is deemed medically necessary, but only up to the point that they would cover traditional braces. Please contact your dentist to determine the cost of clear aligners for your specific requirements.
Schedule Your Clear Aligner Therapy in Houston
URBN Dental is one of the leading dental clinics for orthodontic treatments and clear aligner therapy in Houston. Our dentists examine your teeth, discuss your goals, use imaging tests to curate 3D plans for your orthodontic treatment, and guide you through the entire clear aligner therapy plan. We have offices in Midtown Houston, Uptown Houston, and Montrose. Please schedule an appointment to explore your clear aligner therapy candidacy in Houston.