- No regular dentist visits required
- Straighten your teeth in as little as 6-9 months
- Removable aligners
- Nighttime-only kits available
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If you're looking to make your teeth straighter, there may be a few different treatments at your disposal to help you get the smile you crave.
Used to improve over- and under-bites, crooked teeth and a host of other dental mis-alignments, dental braces have been used to straighten teeth for decades.
While they tend to be more cost-effective than clear aligners, braces are permanent fixtures in your mouth until the treatment is done, require regular check-ins with an orthodontist and can make maintaining good dental hygiene tricky.
How do braces work? Wires, which are regularly adjusted by an orthodontist, are used to pull your teeth into better alignment.
They tend to be made from metal, ceramic, resin or composite material and are attached to your teeth using brackets, which are fixed to your teeth for the duration of the treatment and tied together by rubber bands.
Made popular in recent years by the company Invisalign, dental aligners provide a more cosmetically conscious way of straightening teeth.
Usually a bit pricier than traditional braces, these clear aligners are harder to see in your mouth and are removable, which makes eating, drinking and cleaning your teeth easier.
How do aligners work? Using a series of clear plastic shells that are worn over your teeth and can be removed at any time, aligners are custom-designed for your mouth. You'll then get a new set every few weeks that are slightly different to help shift your teeth until your treatment's course has run. They are made through a process that includes x-rays and impression casts of your teeth.
A few companies dominate the dental aligners space, but factors like prices and treatment times can help you decide which brand may be best for you.
Both options have pros and cons. Generally speaking, metal braces are seen as a trustworthy and affordable option to tackle dental alignment issues. Braces tend to be better at re-working teeth that suffer from overcrowding. Also, they tend to cost a bit less than aligners as we explain below. As braces are fixed to your teeth, you won't have to worry about misplacing them.
Aligner treatments may offer a smooth and pain-free treatment process. The average overall treatment time with aligners can be as few as four months in some cases, making them quicker than most conventional braces. Aesthetically, patients are more likely to prefer the see-through appearance of aligners. However, the typical cost of aligners is more than with braces.
There are a range of teeth straightening companies to consider, including the following:
According to Orthodontics Australia, the typical length for wearing braces is between one and three years. However, this will vary depending on how much straightening is needed. Most patients will use aligner treatments for between six and 18 months. Once again, this varies if a certain condition requires less or more time to correct.
Aligner brands like Invisalign, SmileDirectClub and EZ Smile all claim to straighten your teeth in as little as four months, depending on the state of your teeth at the beginning of treatment, but this usually does take longer.
If you're just straightening your teeth for looks rather than to fix any issues, Orthodontics Australia notes that "quick braces", which are just aimed at straightening your front six teeth rather than all of them can take between six months and one year.
According to its website, Smile Direct Club says it can deliver straighter teeth in just 4-6 months and prices for a one-time payment can start from $2749. Whereas the total cost for treatment with Invisalign ranges from around $3,500 to $8,000.
Lots of factors will affect the cost of aligner trays. The complexity and length of your treatment are just two examples. You might have to meet the cost of extra consultations with your doctor, or any additional supplementary treatments.
With regards to braces, again, the cost varies a great deal. However, they tend to be a little cheaper overall and prices might start at $1,800-$2,000.
You may want to check to see if your orthodontist offers payment plans, meaning you can pay for your treatment in a series of regular instalments. Also, see if your health insurance policy covers any treatments.
Traditional braces tend to be cheaper than clear aligner alternatives, with prices starting from about $1,800. Although the cost would change depending on what level of treatment you need and how long it will take as regular visits to an orthodontist are required.
If you're looking for a deal, sites like Groupon work with accredited dentists and orthodontists and sell vouchers for discounted treatments from brands like Invisalign and SmileFast.
Straighten your teeth with a set of 14 (seven upper and seven lower) Invisalign i7 aligners with help from dentists with more than 25 years of experience in Sydney. These aligners are meant to work quicker than visible braces and are removable for easy cleaning and eating.Learn more
Straighten crooked teeth or uneven bites with ClearCorrect's clear aligners. You'll get up to six aligners throughout the treatment process to gradually shift your teeth. Aligners can be easily removed and replaced for eating and drinking.Learn more
Yes. There are many companies that offer teeth straightening via aligners at home, including Invisalign. Beginning your new smile journey usually involves the following steps:
If you followed your smile journey correctly but still need refinements, you may be eligible for additional aligners to correct any outstanding issues once your initial treatment ends.
Yes, it's possible to get straighter teeth without using braces. In recent years, aligners – often known as clear-aligner treatment – has become increasingly popular the dental treatment market.
Aligners work like thin, clear mouthguards that can appear near-invisible. They're typically used for mild to moderate dental treatment. They are custom fit for a patient and, what's more, they may produce quicker straightening results when compared to more traditional solutions.
Invisalign is a widely popular brand that offers clear-aligner treatment. In fact, the company's name is often used interchangeably by those who are referring to the treatment itself.
According to Dr Robert Schwartz of Orthodontics Australia, it's important to consult a specialist orthodontist "no matter how simple" a treatment may seem.
Dr Schwartz explained: "Teeth straightening is a complex dental procedure and requires a proper pre-treatment assessment and ongoing supervision, just like any other healthcare procedure.
"Orthodontists have the skills and expertise to correctly diagnose orthodontic problems, assess and monitor your tooth movements and safeguard the health of your teeth."
Teeth straightening at home isn't for everyone. It is primarily intended for adults who are looking to enhance their smile by fixing crowding, gaps and crooked teeth. Teeth straightening at home isn't intended to fix tooth shape, tooth position, large gaps between teeth or large overbites that require extensive jaw work. At-home teeth straightening is not ideal for children who have growing teeth.
In many cases, older adults can have orthodontic treatment to correct the same dental alignment problems that teenagers or young adults have. But again, be sure to get a professional opinion from your orthodontist about your suitability for any teeth straightening procedure you're considering.Back to top
Get ready for straighter teeth with our comprehensive PureSmile guide.
Find out whether clear aligners suits you best with our Invisalign review.
Find out whether clear aligners live up to the hype with our WonderSmile review.
Find out whether clear aligners are right for you with our EZ SMILE review.
Straighten your teeth for a fraction of the cost of braces with Smile Direct Club.
Braces and Invisalign are both popular options to getting the perfect smile. Is one better than the other?
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