A complete guide to invisible orthodontics: types, treatments, and prices

28 July · 4 minutes

Orthodontics has come a long way since its origin back in ancient Greece. Now with modern day technology, children, teens and adults can align their smiles with more discreet and aesthetically pleasing orthodontic treatments that are clear or “invisible” to the naked eye.

In this article we’re going to go over the different types of invisible orthodontic treatment options that many prefer over traditional metal braces. Let’s get started by taking a look at what exactly invisible or clear orthodontics means.

What is invisible orthodontics?

Just as the name suggests, invisible orthodontic treatments are those that are so discreet they’re nearly invisible. These clear orthodontic solutions offer an aesthetically appealing alternative to metal braces. Patients with invisible orthodontic appliances are free to feel more comfortable and confident in their smile throughout their treatment.

That’s why invisible orthodontics now tends to be the preferred treatment over braces, especially for adults.

How does invisible orthodontic treatment work?

Invisible orthodontics works similarly if not the same as traditional braces, the main difference being the ability to do so discreetly. The purpose of clear orthodontic solutions is to move and straighten the teeth without being noticed by others, since these invisible appliances are usually the color of the tooth’s enamel or transparent, like with clear orthodontic aligners.

Like traditional braces, clear orthodontics exert pressure on the teeth, progressively pushing them to their correct position. Invisible orthodontic appliances can create this pressure in a number of ways depending on the type of device.

Types of clear orthodontic solutions

Clear orthodontic solutions come in a variety of devices. The best option for each patient differs depending on their specific dental problems. To find out which type of invisible orthodontic treatment best suits your needs, it's important to consult an orthodontist. At the end of the day, all the invisible orthodontic appliances can be divided into two categories: fixed and removable.

  • Fixed invisible orthodontics: fixed devices are essentially just braces. They can be made of ceramic or sapphire braces and placed on the front of the teeth. These orthodontic materials are clear, making the braces less noticeable. Then there are lingual braces which are placed on the back of the teeth, toward the inside of the mouth.
  • Removable clear orthodontics: clear aligners are considered a more practical alternative to fixed orthodontic devices, offering countless advantages, on top of being removable. This clear wireless orthodontic device is the least visible of the treatment options.
Close up of a patient’s mouth with clear braces at the orthodontist

Clear orthodontics with ceramic braces

Ceramic braces function exactly the same as metal ones, but they are produced from a material that is close to the color of the tooth's enamel, making them nearly invisible from the outside. Ceramic braces, like metal braces, require frequent check-ups and monthly visits to the clinic to adjust the wire.

Clear orthodontics with sapphire braces

Sapphire braces are extremely similar to ceramic braces, the only real difference is their material. The sapphire crystal is transparent, so it adapts perfectly to the natural color of the tooth. Sapphire brackets are also highly resistant and offer great adherence to the tooth. They too require regular face-to-face check-ups with the orthodontist to have them adjusted.

Invisible orthodontics with lingual braces

Lingual braces are the only type of invisible braces made of metal. They can be categorized as "clear orthodontics" since these are placed on the back of the teeth, and are imperceptible when the patient smiles. Again, this type of device requires frequent in-person follow-ups in the clinic for adjustments.

Clear orthodontics with aligners

As great as invisible orthodontic braces are, the real revolution began a little over 20 years ago with clear orthodontic aligners. They are two transparent and removable splints that adapt perfectly to the patient's teeth. Like braces, aligners exert pressure to progressively move the teeth until they are perfectly straight.

Thanks to clear aligners in orthodontic treatment, the patient can maintain better dental hygiene, as they can brush their teeth without the device preventing access to any part of the mouth. Orthodontic clear aligners are very tough and are unlikely to break like some of the other options.

Close up of patient cleaning her clear orthodontic aligner

How to clean invisible orthodontic appliances

Before getting into the cleaning procedures, it’s important to note what type of invisible orthodontics we're talking about.

With braces you’ll need to be extra careful, since the brackets are non-removable. This means greater difficulty when flossing, since the wire doesn't allow easy access to the spaces between the teeth. Additionally, since braces are attached to the tooth’s surface, it means that you have to brush more thoroughly to get a good clean.

On the other hand, with orthodontic clear aligners, brushing is simple. When you want to brush your teeth you simply have to take out the aligners and proceed to brush as normal. To clean the devices themselves, all you need is a soft toothbrush and neutral soap to eliminate the dirt or plaque that may have gotten stuck to them during use.

Invisible orthodontic treatment duration

Typically, most invisible orthodontic treatments can last anywhere between 6 and 36 months, although there are cases that can be resolved in less time and others that may need a few more months. The duration time is established on a case to case basis. In order to know exactly how long your invisible orthodontic treatment should last, you’ll need to see a specialist to assess your case. The time you’ll need your device may vary slightly depending on the type of clear orthodontic solution you’ve chosen and the difficulty of your case.

Invisible orthodontics cost

The cost of invisible orthodontics varies mainly depending on the type of treatment you get, the complexity of your case, and the specialist performing the procedure. In fact, orthodontists are free to apply the rates of their choice, and prices may vary depending on the geographical area and the prestige of the clinic. Other factors also come into play when calculating the invisible orthodontics price, such as the brands and techniques used.

Lastly you’ll also need to consider the impact that insurance will have on the price of your invisible orthodontic treatment: those who are insured will see lower costs while those without insurance will have to pay more.

However, the average prices of invisible orthodontics in the U.S. before insurance are as follows:

  • Ceramic braces: $2,000 to $8,500
  • Sapphire braces: $2,500 to $5,000
  • Lingual braces: $6,000 to $10,000
  • Clear aligners: $1,800 to $10,000
Hand holding a clear case with Impress aligners

Impress clear orthodontic aligners

If you’re looking for a team of specialists that are committed to clear wireless orthodontics, you’re in the right place. Impress offers a 100% digitized treatment, backed by the latest technology, all with the top orthodontists in the field.

We specialize in treatment with invisible orthodontics, specifically clear wireless aligners. To get started, we invite the patient to a free face-to-face consultation, where our orthodontists will perform an oral study to determine if the patient is able to begin treatment.

Once the diagnosis comes back, if the patient is eligible, they’ll be assigned one of two types of treatments, depending on the complexity of their case. Our invisible orthodontics prices are fixed and include everything you'll need during the treatment, including all sets of aligners, appointments and consultations, as well as 24/7 medical support through our app.

If you're considering orthodontic treatment with clear aligners and want to learn more, get a hold of us by calling (888) 490 1421 or via WhatsApp, email support.us@smile2impress.com or book your initial consultation online.

Get in touch to evaluate your case without any obligation. Come visit us to discover what Impress aligners can do for you!

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Frequently asked questions about invisible orthodontics

Who can undergo invisible orthodontic treatment?

Good news, anyone can get invisible orthodontic treatment. Kids, teens and adults can choose any of the four options listed above.

How do invisible braces last in comparison to traditional braces?

Whichever invisible orthodontic system you wind up choosing can influence the duration of the treatment. But in reality, the complexity of the case is what really determines the duration, not the color or location of the brackets.

What is the best invisible orthodontic appliance?

There isn’t a specific invisible orthodontics device that is necessarily better than the others, it’s just what’s best for you. The specialist will recommend the best treatment based on your needs and what you’re looking for.


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