Clear Braces vs Metal Braces: Which is Better for You?

Despite all the new and different orthodontic treatment options available, braces still remain the best and most effective option for correcting teeth alignment and bite problems. Traditional braces come in both traditional metal and clear ceramic brackets. There are definite advantages and disadvantages to both. Choosing the right option for you will be determined by what you (and possibly also your parents if you’re a minor) see as the biggest priorities when it comes to your orthodontic treatment.

Here’s a comparison to help you determine which type of braces will work best for you.

Advantages of Metal Braces

Metal braces have certain advantages over other teeth alignment systems, which is why they have stood the test of time and still remain the most popular orthodontic treatment.

  • Effective. Metal braces have the power to shift teeth as much or as little as needed. They are the most effective orthodontic treatment available. 
  • Refined design. Metal braces have been around longer than any other type of braces, which has allowed time for technological advancements. The current design of metal braces has made them more comfortable, less noticeable, and even more effective. 
  • Durable. Metal braces are strong and less likely to break during treatment than clear brackets. 
  • Can treat complex issues. Some orthodontic issues are too complex for clear aligner systems, but braces can solve even the most difficult and tricky orthodontic problems. 
  • Affordable. Metal braces typically cost less than all other types of teeth alignment systems. 
  • Customizable. The archwire that connects the metal brackets are sometimes attached with colorful ties, allowing the patient to customize their look.

Disadvantages of Metal Braces

When compared to clear braces, there’s just one major difference:

  • Visibility. The only real disadvantage of metal brackets when compared to clear brackets is that they are more visible, which bothers some patients who are more concerned about their appearance.

Advantages of Clear Braces

When compared to metal braces and also clear aligner systems, clear braces have a few advantages.

  • Less visible. The biggest advantage of clear braces over metal is that they are less noticeable. The metal archwire is still there and visible, but the brackets themselves are more subtle. 
  • As effective as metal braces. Clear ceramic braces are able to achieve the same results as metal braces in the same amount of time in most cases. 
  • More effective than clear aligner systems. When compared to clear plastic aligner systems like Invisalign, clear ceramic brackets can be more effective at shifting teeth to the desired positions. 
  • Can treat complex issues. Clear braces can treat complex issues just as metal braces can, whereas some patients require extensive corrections that clear aligner systems can’t achieve. 
  • Stain resistant. In the past, one of the disadvantages of clear ceramic brackets is that they became discolored easily. However, now clear brackets are stain resistant and will maintain their clear appearance for the duration of your treatment.

Disadvantages of Clear Braces 

Clear braces have a few disadvantages when compared to metal braces.

  • Less durable than metal brackets. The clear ceramic brackets are more prone to breaking than metal brackets, requiring more frequent repairs and replacements.
  • More expensive than metal braces. Clear braces cost more than metal braces, which is often a deterrent for parents.

The Deciding Factor

Ultimately, the biggest difference between metal braces and clear braces is the appearance. If you want your braces to be less visible, you should choose the clear option. You just need to be willing to pay more for it.

Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics Provides Both Metal and Clear Braces

If you’re still not sure which option would be best for you or your child, consult with an orthodontist who offers both. Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics fits patients with either metal braces or clear braces based on their personal preference as well as what is best for their treatment. We have used both types with many patients and can easily discuss with you the pros and cons to help you make the right choice for you.

Call to schedule a complimentary consultation at any of our convenient locations:

Minnetonka: 952-938-1443

Excelsior: 952-474-0288

Wayzata: 952-473-1993

Or start your virtual appointment now. We look forward to helping you achieve your best smile through the most effective treatment option.