Invisible Aligners Guide: Cost, How Do They Work & Top Brands Ranking

Wouldn’t be nice if everything unsightly in our lives could be made invisible?

Well, your braces can be one thing to make less noticeable.

As we’ll talk about below, invisible braces are a transparent and convenient alternative to traditional or clear braces.

What Are Invisible Braces?

Invisible braces, not to be confused with clear braces, are actually removable transparent teeth aligners, similar to retainers. When using invisible braces, you would get a new aligner about every two weeks that’s shaped slightly differently. The idea is to gradually shift your teeth using these aligners.

Three well-known companies who provide clear aligners are Smile Direct Club, ClearCorrect, and Invisalign, which we’ll talk more about below.

Invisible vs Metal Braces

You’ve heard the term “metal mouth,” right? This is when someone has a mouth full of traditional (or metal) braces.

The biggest reasons to go with invisible braces is to avoid the uncomfortable and often unsightly option. Plus, with invisible braces, it’s much easier to eat, drink, and clean your teeth because the clear aligners can (and should) be removed during those activities. This means it will be easier to maintain good oral health during the alignment process.

Invisible braces are clear removable aligners, not clear braces, which are traditional braces with transparent brackets.

How Do Invisible Aligners Work?

Generally speaking, you get a series of aligners every couple of weeks that gradually shift your teeth. You’re usually expected to wear them at all times unless your eating or drinking (no less than 22 hours per day).

The whole process — including all of the aligners — typically runs between nine months and a year. This, of course, depends on the severity of your case.

Invisible aligners aren’t usually meant for extreme cases but performs better with mild to moderate cases. This can include crooked or gapped teeth, overbite, and underbite.

But in situations involving crossbites, malocclusions, or just generally severe alignment issues, invisible aligners may not do the trick.

Another thing to consider is the office visits required when using invisible braces (like Invisalign). Because you’ll need to get a new aligner every couple of weeks or so, that means more frequent visits to your orthodontist or dentist. Traditional braces don’t require as many in-office visits for adjustments.

But on the upside, clear aligners allow you to take better care of your teeth and have less of a chance of staining than traditional braces do. Because invisible aligners are removable, you can properly brush and floss.

Using a series of aligners that are switched out about every two weeks, invisible braces gradually shift your teeth into the desired alignment.

How Much Are Invisible Braces?

One huge benefit of invisible braces is that their price is comparable to traditional braces yet can still be more convenient.

Usually, a full treatment can cost $3,500-8,500, compared to traditional braces, which can cost between $3,000-7,500 total.

Obviously, the price can vary depending on the severity of the case, whether it involves top and bottom teeth or just one or the other, and which company you go through.

The cost of invisible braces are comparable to traditional braces, ranging between $3,500 and $8,500.

Best Invisible Braces

By “best” invisible braces, we mean the best option for you. So let’s take a look at the options and you can decide on the one that stands out.

Invisalign is the most famous provider of clear teeth aligners, but there are a few other companies that are comparable and worth talking about.

Invisalign

Invisalign is by far the most well-known and trusted company in this market. Their name is almost synonymous with the general term “invisible braces.” They may be the most trusted because the only place to get Invisalign is through a certified orthodontist or dentist

They even have a helpful calculator on their website that can give you a better idea of what your whole treatment could cost.

SmileDirectClub

SmileDirectClub provides you with an at-home impression kit to make a mold of your teeth. SDC then takes this mold and makes custom clear aligners, mapping out your teeth alignment journey.

ClearCorrect

With ClearCorrect, you would go through a four-phase alignment treatment. Each phase lasts three weeks and involves a new set of teeth aligners and regular checkups with your dentist. You would be expected to wear them 24 hours a day unless your eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth.

SnapCorrect

After you speak with your dentist and get their approval, you can start the SnapCorrect process. Like other companies, you would get an at-home impression kit to make a mold of your teeth and you’d upload photos of your smile for the SC team to examine.

One thing that makes SnapCorrect apparently stand out is their transparency. They are said to be more transparent than all of the other companies in this industry.

There are several good options when it comes to invisible braces, so it may best to speak with your dentist or orthodontist to find the right type for your situation.

Invisible Aligners FAQ

Now let’s cover the most commonly asked questions about invisible braces.

Who Is The Candidate For Invisible Braces?

If you have any of the following issues, you may be a candidate for invisible braces:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Only serious malocclusion (incorrect teeth position when your mouth is closed)
  • Mild overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites
  • Teeth gaps
  • Crowded teeth
  • Severe overjets (middle teeth overlapping)

How Long Does Treatment Last?

Generally speaking, it can take nine months to a year or more. This depends on the complexity of the treatment at hand. The dentist or orthodontist who you see will better be able to estimate this.

Can You Eat With Invisible Braces?

You won’t be able to eat while wearing your invisible braces. But you can easily remove invisible braces, so you should take them out before eating and drinking. Then you can clean your teeth before putting the aligner back in. As far as dietary restrictions, there are none.

How To Keep Invisible Aligners Clean?

The best way to clean your invisible aligners is to brush and rinse them under water. To help keep the aligners clean, you should also keep up with your regular oral hygiene.

Conclusion

  • Invisible braces are simply clear removable aligners (clear braces, on the other hand, are just traditional braces with transparent brackets)
  • Invisible braces straighten your teeth by using a series of aligners that you switch out for new ones about every two weeks
  • To find the best option for you when it comes to invisible braces, you may want to speak with your dentist or orthodontist