Invisible vs Metal Braces: Which Are Right for You?

Portrait of a happy smiling teenage girl with dental braces and glasses


Trying to decide between invisible and metal braces? Here are some drawbacks and benefits.

When you think about dental braces, chances are you’re picturing a mouth full of metal — the traditional kind of braces many teenagers typically have and would probably much rather not. Today, modern dentistry can offer orthodontic treatments that go beyond metal braces, which some people think look somewhat unsightly. You can now also get invisible braces and no one but you will know you’re wearing them.

But if you’re due to have braces fitted, you might wonder which is for you. Let’s weigh up invisible braces vs metal braces and see what the benefits of each are, and which one might be the best fit. As always, it’s best to consult with your dentist or orthodontist, so you have the most effective treatment plan that’s right for individual cases.

Invisible Braces vs Metal Braces: The Pros and Cons

One of the biggest considerations when choosing invisible braces vs metal braces is the condition of the teeth and the severity of the problem the orthodontist is attempting to remedy — and the time it takes to do it. As braces straighten and align teeth and close any large gaps between them, improving their look and the overall bite, it depends on how bad the problem is. If it’s particularly severe, with many teeth misaligned and there’s an overbite or underbite, metal braces might be the only answer.

This is because, given their robust nature — they’re made from strong metal, after all — metal braces have the advantage of being able to correct even the most difficult orthodontic issues. Invisible braces — which are typically made from plastic — are just not strong enough to deal with situations where teeth need literally to be pushed into their proper place, so they’re straight and look and work properly.

There’s also the benefit of the force of metal braces against teeth working faster, so you may end up wearing them for far less time than invisible braces. Neither is particularly cheap, however, and cost a few thousand euros, but metal braces are usually less expensive than invisible ones, making them more affordable for families. The James Clinic offers interest-free financing to help spread the cost of expensive treatments — like having braces fitted — with a deposit and monthly payments spread over a year or more.

The Secret of Invisible Braces

Invisible braces are also known as lingual braces and are placed behind the teeth — not on the front, like metal ones. This is an important consideration for many people, as it means no one will have any idea you’re wearing braces and having your teeth corrected. It’s not just teens who are worried about their appearance and whose confidence might dip if they had to wear clunky metal braces. Adults are wearing them too, as they don’t want business and other meetings, as well as any speaking engagements and public appearances, negatively impacted by visible metal on their teeth.

It’s not surprising there’s a large and growing interest in invisible orthodontics, and the market is projected to grow to more than $7 billion by 2026, compared to just over $2 billion a few years ago.

Whichever solution your dentist decides is best suited for you, it’s important to note that dental braces are vital for your oral health, so your teeth are aligned and no longer crooked or have big gaps between them that could be problematic. Investing time and some money in dental braces — whether invisible or metal — will go a long way towards ensuring you have great oral and overall health — and look great.

The friendly dentists and orthodontists at The James Clinic are available to consult with you about your dental braces needs. Contact us today and find out more.