Are Clear Braces Cheaper Than Metal Braces?

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Table of contents

  1. What Are Braces?
    1. Metal Braces
    2. Clear Braces
  2. It’s More Than a Name
    1. What You Should Know About Metal Braces
    2. What You Should Know About Clear Braces
  3. Cost of Braces
  4. How Clear Aligners Work
  5. Benefits of Straight Teeth
  6. Perfecting Your Smile

The Australian Dental Association continues to promote initiatives such as the Rebuilding Smiles Program to help victims of domestic violence. Initiatives such as these, highlight the importance of a healthy smile.

The program also revealed that poor teeth can affect a person’s ability to speak and eat. These two things can have detrimental consequences on a person’s quality of life.

Research shows that a smile can boost confidence. It is a theory that almost 60% of Australians believe. However, 55% of them are self-conscious about their teeth but they’re willing to change this. Thankfully they don’t also have to be self-conscious about the process of fixing these issues.

There are many options available when it comes to straightening your teeth. Clear braces provide a less invasive, pain-free, quick solution.

Still uncertain this is a good option for you? Read on to learn more about types of orthodontic treatments, the pros and cons of each and their cost.

What Are Braces?

Braces are orthodontic devices used to straighten or realign teeth to create a normal bite. The straightening process also reduces any gaps present between teeth.

An orthodontist can determine if you have a normal bite during an oral examination. If your upper teeth are slightly over your lower teeth when you bite down your bite is normal.

Otherwise, you may have a crossbite, overbite, or underbite. They may recommend the option of metal or clear braces.

Metal Braces

Metal braces were the first type of braces used to straighten teeth. They consist of stainless steel brackets affixed to each tooth. A wire connects each bracket. Rubber bands placed over each bracket hold the wire in place.

An orthodontist usually changes these rubber bands during visits. This gives you the choice of choosing a new colour to customize your look.

Clear Braces

There have been many changes to the look and functionality of braces since their invention. This includes the move from stainless steel brackets to clear ones. Newer options called clear aligners no longer include brackets and wires.

These clear trays are moulded to fit over your teeth. Unlike metal and clear braces, they are removable. There are several refittings throughout the course of your treatment as your teeth shift into place.
You may also hear them referred to as:

  • Invisible aligners
  • Invisible braces
  • Orthodontic aligners.

Some people also refer to them as clear braces. Be sure your orthodontist knows what you’re referring to if you’re interested in learning more about clear aligners.

It’s More Than a Name

There are definitely a lot of different terminologies used when it comes to braces. It’s important to know them. But it’s just as important that you do your research on the various options available.

What You Should Know About Metal Braces

Metal braces have been in existence since the early 1900s. Some may even argue that the concept existed even before this. Because of this, there is a lot of data available about their use.

Some other advantages include:

  • They work fairly quickly
  • They are particularly beneficial for more challenging cases
  • Treatment is constant
  • They’re durable


  • They’re extremely noticeable
  • They can be uncomfortable and even painful
  • Brackets can cause abrasions and mouth sores
  • They’re certain food items you can’t consume while wearing them
  • It’s possible for the parts to get damaged resulting in additional costs to replace them

You should consider these when deciding on the best treatment for you.

What You Should Know About Clear Braces

Ironically, many of the benefits of clear braces are a direct result of metal ones. Arguably, many of the disadvantages of metal braces propelled the creation of alternatives. These include the beneficial features of clear ones.

Some of the benefits include:

  • They’re removable and comfortable
  • They improve your oral health
  • They straighten teeth in half the usual time
  • Treatment doesn’t necessarily require dental visits

Their versatility may be unsuitable for more severe misalignments or extremely crooked teeth. You’ll also need to brush and floss more regularly. In some cases, you may need buttons to hold the aligners in place.

Braces are not only a treatment used during childhood. There are clear braces for adults as well. Adults also have the option of metal braces. But many may find clear ones especially aligners more practical for their lifestyle.

Cost of Braces

Still uncertain about the option that’s best for you? That’s probably because the list above is missing a crucial comparison. The cost of each.

Over time, it’s natural for certain items to become more affordable or cheaper. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with metal braces. Metal or traditional braces can cost from $6,000 to $9,000 for a treatment period of about 15 to 18 months.

When accounting for inflation, the cost is similar to what it was in the 1980s. Clear braces cost less. This isn’t only evident in Australia.

Clear braces cost UK residents £1,500 and £5,500 depending on the length of the treatment. In the US, they range from $3,800 to $8,000 without insurance.

Clear aligners are cheaper because they involve a shorter treatment period. This is usually four to six months but may vary based on your specific dental issues.

Many companies such as SmilePath provide home treatments. Clients can also pay in monthly instalments. You can consider one of the following plans available at SmilePath:

  • SmileFlex – 18 instalments of $81 per month
  • SmileFlexEasy – $295 downpayment and 12 instalments of $117 per month
  • SmileAdvantage – onetime payment of $1,449

You can also choose a treatment that only requires you to wear your removable braces at night. This option at SmilePath allows you to straighten your teeth in six to eight months while wearing your aligners for eight to ten hours at night.

How Clear Aligners Work

The process of straightening your teeth at home with clear aligners is as simple as it sounds. It’s a three-step process that starts once you order your impression kit. This will allow you to take an impression of your teeth and send it back for the specialized orthodontic team to review.

Once reviewed, the team of experts will create customized aligners that will provide a perfect fit for your teeth. Continual and proper use of the aligners will result in the alignment of your teeth over the course of your treatment.

The great thing about clear aligners is that there are many people whose smiles reflect their effectiveness. Before you decide if this treatment is for you. Do your research, get reviews and compare prices.

Benefits of Straight Teeth

As mentioned, you can get braces at any age, so it’s never too late to have your teeth straightened. You don’t have to feel self-conscious about your smile as you now have more options. Having straight teeth is also better for your oral health.

However, your treatment might be more complicated based on your age due to missing teeth, fillings, or other dental issues you may have. Speak to your dentist or orthodontist about any concerns you may have. They will more than likely be able to provide a solution even though your situation may be a unique one.

Having straight teeth is less about vanity and more about better oral health. There is no doubt straight teeth look good, make you feel great and give you renewed confidence. But they also:

  • Are easier to clean
  • Help you to keep your teeth healthier
  • Help prevent periodontal disease
  • Are stronger and minimize shaking and/or moving in the long run
  • Reduce the chance of jaw issues
  • Improve speech
  • Protect your general health

Many oral health issues can affect your overall health. Gaps in your teeth or misaligned teeth can cause movement and shifting. This makes it easier for bacteria to enter your gums which can cause infections and additional health problems.

Perfecting Your Smile

Your smile is your badge of honour. It leaves a positive first impression when you meet someone new. It also projects a clear sense of confidence.

You should never be afraid to show your smile proudly. If you’re not happy with your teeth because they’re crooked or misaligned, there are many options available to help you smile confidently again. Clear braces or invisible aligners are particularly suitable for adults.

They are less of a hassle, are removable and work faster than traditional braces. You won’t even need to visit the dentist for your treatment.

SmilePath can provide you with at-home treatment options with favourably payment plans. You’re one step away from perfecting your smile. Take a free assessment to get started today!