Braces or Clear Aligners: Which One is Right for Me? — Oct 5, 2015
When considering improving your smile, you may be wondering if you should go with braces or clear
aligners. In this article, I've put together a series of factors that you should strongly consider before
making this decision.
Choosing an Orthodontist
If you want to have the best treatment options to improve your smile, you must choose your
orthodontist wisely. You may be surprised to know that not all orthodontists use clear aligners, and even
the ones that do, vary greatly in the amount of experience they have treating patients with clear
aligners. Also, keep in mind that only 1 out 3 orthodontists are certified by the American Board of
Orthodontics (ABO). So if you want your smile to be in good hands, see an ABO-certified orthodontist
who is an expert in treating patients with braces and clear aligners. Most importantly, remember that
braces and clear aligners are only tools, and achievement of ideal orthodontic results are in the hands
and eyes of the operator. So, just because someone "does" braces or clear aligners, does not mean that
they can treat to the highest standard of quality.
Knowing all of your options
At the consultation appointment, if you are found to be a good candidate for orthodontic treatment,
your orthodontist will present to you the options for braces and clear aligners, and a tentative treatment
plan. While presenting you with options, however, a good doctor will let you know which option will
work best for you and why. A skilled doctor with knowledge and experience, will be able to get a good
feel for your needs and concerns within the first few minutes of meeting you, and will guide you toward
the right treatment option. An expert orthodontist will treat YOU and not just your teeth.
Being honest with yourself
How motivated are you to improve your smile? How disciplined are you? Do you stick to a routine
schedule? Do you have scheduled meals or do you snack throughout the day? Do you meet with clients
frequently who may judge you on your appearance? Do you see yourself wearing removable aligners in
your mouth for 20 hours a day? Do you drink multiple cups of coffee a day? Did you have braces in the
past? Do you wear contact lenses?
If you are a responsible adult who cares about his/her oral health, is highly motivated to improve his/her
smile, sticks to a pretty routine schedule, and is esthetically-conscious, chances are that clear aligners
are a good option for you.
In summary, when it comes to improving your smile, the decision to have braces or clear aligners is one
made by you and your orthodontist together. The best method for treating your teeth, may not be the
best method for treating you as a whole person. The decision to go with braces or clear aligners is partly
dependent on the complexity of your case, but it's largely a personal choice.