What are the best alternative options to braces?

01 December · 8 minutes

Are you looking into straightening your teeth but don’t want metal braces? You’re not alone. More than 9 million people get orthodontic treatment a year in the US alone, and many of them opt out of braces. Luckily, there are several different alternatives to traditional braces, so that you can find the best option for you.

Orthodontics is a specialized field in dentistry that helps to improve oral health, aesthetics, and bite functionality. Good oral health has numerous positive benefits that include improved sleeping habits, better digestion, a decrease in headaches and migraines, as well as improved overall comfort due to less strain on the jaw muscles.

In recent years, more innovative ways of correcting teeth alignment have become available for those who wish to straighten their teeth with an alternative to braces. These alternatives are just as effective and have many advantages like being cheaper and less visible, making them a great option for adults, among others.

Alternative options to traditional braces

Traditional metal braces are the most commontype of orthodontic treatment. They are made out of metal, usually stainless steel, and are composed of brackets that are adhered to each individual tooth.

Although metal braces have been traditionally used for years and have proven to be highly effective in treating certain issues, like crowding, bite problems, gaps, etc., they also come with some drawbacks that should be taken into consideration. For example, due to their design it can be difficult for regular flossing and brushing to reach all the areas in between teeth and around the brackets. This can lead to more plaque buildup and an increased risk of developing cavities and other problems such as gum disease. In addition, due to their constant tightness caused by regular adjustments, they can cause some discomfort, especially when first applied or after further tightening sessions. And of course, there’s the aesthetics of braces. Metal braces are visible. A lot of orthodontic patients report feeling self-conscious about their smile before starting treatment, so adding a highly noticeable device doesn’t exactly make them feel more confident.

Fortunately, besides traditional braces there are now other options with similar effectiveness that allow patients to avoid some of these drawbacks. Let’s check out this list of alternative ways to straighten your teeth that don’t include metal braces:

Dental molds showcasing the alternatives to metal braces

Clear braces

Clear braces, which are often made with materials such as sapphire and ceramic, are a popular choice for orthodontic treatment. The materials used are a similar color to the tooth’s enamel, making them less visible. However, these braces are not completely invisible since there is still a metal wire that can be seen on the front of the teeth.

Like traditional braces, due to their positioning on the front of the teeth, daily hygiene and care can be challenging. Because of this, it's important that individuals practice proper oral hygiene and ensure their teeth stay clean during treatment. Clear braces can also cause the same discomfort and pressure as metal braces.

The cost is another factor that should be taken into account when considering this alternative to metal braces - they’re not cheaper. In fact, clear braces typically cost more than traditional ones because of the materials used.

Self-ligating braces

Self-ligating braces, unlike traditional and clear braces, don’t require rubber bands to attach the arch wire to the brackets. They allow the wire to be woven directly through them on each tooth. They’re also smaller than traditional braces, making them less visible, but they’re still made of metal. This means that they’re not a great braces alternative for adults or people looking to be discreet.

However, like all types of fixed orthodontics, self-ligating braces come with the same drawbacks as mentioned above.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces, while similar to traditional braces in many ways, provide a unique feature: they are fitted on the inside of teeth, making them entirely invisible when viewed from the front. This has made them an increasingly popular choice for those seeking to straighten their teeth without anyone ever knowing.

But inevitably, like most teeth straightening braces alternatives, there are still many downsides. For one, they can be quite uncomfortable due to the fact that the metal wires and brackets can often irritate soft tissues in the mouth such as the tongue. This can lead to sores or cuts that can take time to heal properly and cause further discomfort during treatment. Additionally, due to their positioning on the back of teeth, cleaning around them can be more difficult than with other forms of orthodontic treatment.

Clear aligners

Clear aligners are an excellent orthodontic alternative to traditional braces, offering a convenient and discreet solution. Invisible aligners are made from rigid polyurethane, a special type of plastic that is both lightweight and durable. These aligners are custom-made for the individual wearer, able to move their teeth efficiently and effectively. You can actually achieve the same results as braces in even less time!

Another perk of aligners is that they’re removable. So they can be taken out at any time making dental hygiene easier and eliminating restrictions on eating habits associated with fixed braces. The biggest advantage of invisible aligners is that they are virtually invisible: no one will notice you wearing them! That's especially great news for adults in search of a braces alternative that remains unnoticeable. Also, since they don't use metal brackets or wires like traditional braces do, they are more comfortable and cause fewer irritations in the mouth area.

Hand holding Impres invisible aligner

What makes clear aligners the best alternative to braces?

We’ve started to name a few, but there are countless advantages of using invisible aligners over the other alternative braces options. And, they can be used in both standard and complex cases, making them an option for most people. Let’s take a deeper look at just how many benefits there are to choosing invisible aligners:

They're more aesthetically pleasing

Made from a medically approved, transparent plastic material, invisible aligners are virtually unnoticeable when worn; making them the ideal choice for professionals such as actors or actresses who need to maintain a professional image.

But they’re not just for professionals, this alternative to braces is a fantastic option for anyone who wants to straighten their teeth without people noticing.

The treatment time is shorter

A lot of people are surprised to discover that treatment with aligners can actually straighten your teeth faster than with traditional braces and aesthetic alternatives. Aligners typically require 6 and 12 months depending on the difficulty of the case to align the patient’s smile whereas most forms of braces usually take about 18 months.

They’re more practical and comfortable

Unlike braces, invisible aligners are removable, making it much easier to eat and clean your teeth which is a huge benefit so that food particles don't get stuck in them like they do with traditional braces. However, in order to work effectively, invisible aligners must be worn for at least 22 hours per day, otherwise the desired results may not be achieved. They should only be taken out when brushing and eating. But even at 22 hours a day, that’s still a better alternative to the 24/7 braces require.

They don’t change your lifestyle

With this type of treatment, you can easily remove the device when needed and enjoy all your favorite foods, sports and activities. Unlike braces and other options, aligners don't require any dietary restrictions or lifestyle changes, allowing you to maintain your usual routine. This makes them a great solution for those who want straighter teeth without having to make drastic changes like with traditional braces and the other alternatives.

Patient putting in her Impress invisible aligners

They’re less painful

Unlike metal braces, which can be painful and cause irritation to the inside of the mouth, aligners are less likely to cause pain or discomfort due to their lack of attachment to the tooth's surface. This makes them a desirable choice for many seeking an alternative to traditional braces.

The process of wearing clear aligners is also much smoother than that of traditional braces. Not only do they not require any kind of attachment to the teeth, but they are also made from smooth plastic that fits comfortably over the teeth without causing any abrasions or irritation.

They’re more hygenic

Due to the fact that they are removable, invisible aligners are the most hygienic option. All the tough to reach corners of the mouth are reachable, and cleanable, with the aligners taken out. Patients are free to brush and floss like normal.

Comparison of alternatives to braces

Reap all the benefits of invisible aligners with Impress invisible orthodontics

If it wasn’t a clear choice before, now you can see all the benefits of choosing aligners. But which aligners should you choose? With Impress, you can enjoy all the previously mentioned benefits, and more.

Industry leading orthodontists

The Impress medical team is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care in the field of removable invisible orthodontics. Our team of professionals undergoes extensive ongoing training to stay up-to-date on the latest advancements in orthodontic treatment. Patients have access to our knowledgeable and experienced orthodontic experts who are ready to address any concerns they may have throughout their treatment via the Impress app. Our top-notch professionals monitor each patient's treatment carefully, ensuring perfect results.

Specialist checking patients teeth in the clinic

Precises diagnosis and cutting-edge technology

Impress is dedicated to revolutionizing orthodontic care with state-of-the-art digital technology. During your first visit, our team of experienced professionals will perform a full 3D scan of your oral cavity, giving us an accurate report of your teeth and gums. This data is then used to create a personalized treatment plan that will give you the most effective results.

Our advanced video simulation system will show you a realistic preview of what your smile will look like after completing treatment.

The most advanced aligners

At Impress, we use the most advanced tool in the field of orthodontics, not only in your treatment, but also in the manufacturing of your aligners. We use 3D printing technology to create each personalized aligner, which are made from robust, top-quality medical-grade rigid plastic, and other safe and sanitary materials.

Fixed prices and payment plans

Our prices are fixed, so there are no surprises. We offer two distinct treatment plans: Impress and Impress Plus for more complex cases, both of which are closed prices. It’s normal to have concerns before starting orthodontic treatment, but the cost shouldn’t be one of them. We also offer payment plans so you can choose if you’d rather pay all at once or in installments.

Start treatment in one place and finish in another

Putting off starting treatment because you’re not sure you’ll be in the same place for the duration of treatment? No worries. With Impress, you can start your treatment at any of our locations, and finish it in another. We have clinics all over the US and in Europe.

Impress Kit

At the start of your treatment, you’ll receive your very own Impress kit. It’ll include everything you’ll need throughout treatment. This way you’re set up for success from day one.

Impress kits in pink boxes on a red table

24/7 patient care

Our goal is to make sure you have access to the support you need, 24/7. Our care team is available to answer your questions whenever they arise. You can get in touch with us by email, phone, or via the Impress app.

Minimal in-person appointments

Our app not only allows you to contact us with questions, but it also means you don’t have to come into the office as much. You’ll be able to take care of the majority of your check-ups from the comfort of your home, or wherever you are. You can use the app to follow along with your treatment progress from anywhere in the world.

It’s time to take advantage of Impress invisible orthodontics!

Now you know that aligners are the best alternative to braces, and that Impress offers countless advantages over other orthodontic treatments. So, let’s get started!

Come see us at Impress and discover what we can do for you. Get in contact with us by calling 888.490.1421 or by booking your initial consultation online. Discover what Impress can do for you at your nearest clinic.

We’re excited to see you smile!

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