clear braces

Invisible Braces: Types, How They Work & Cost

What could be better than straightening your teeth in a way that prevented other people from knowing you were wearing braces? That’s exactly what experts have in mind when they recommend invisible braces.

Invisible braces are perfect for adults and working professionals, especially if you’re not fond of the idea of other people seeing you in orthodontic appliances.

At Braces Haven in Barrhaven, Ottawa, Ontario, invisible braces are just one of the different treatment options that we offer. After all, no one’s smile is just like the next. We believe that our patients deserve tailored orthodontic treatment options that fit their tooth alignment needs and their lifestyle!

Types of Invisible Braces

Depending on who you talk to, invisible braces can be categorized as clear / tooth colored braces (that use ceramic brackets to blend in with your teeth), “hidden” braces, or removable translucent aligners.

When it comes to the hidden design, lingual systems are bonded on the backside of teeth, hiding them from plain sight when you’re talking or smiling. These braces look more like traditional metal brackets and wires, only they’re smaller and hidden because of their location in your mouth.

For the sake of clarity, we’ll focus on clear / invisible “braces” that involve ceramic appliances and low-profile wires to blend in with your smile.

Click on Invisalign or removable aligners to learn more about this option.

How Do Invisible Braces Work?

Invisible braces work exactly the same way as traditional metal orthodontics. The only difference is that they’re not as visible!

Because invisible braces are made from tooth-colored ceramics, they tend to blend in much better with the overall appearance of your smile. Although you can see them up close, people tend to overlook them during casual conversations such as at work or in other social situations.

By placing strategically mapped out brackets onto the teeth and using low-profile ligatures or trap-door designs to hold the alignment wire into place, your teeth are systematically aligned across your overall bite at the same time.

Every 6-8 weeks, the archwire is adjusted so that the teeth continue to move.

Non-litigating braces have arch wires that tend to “float” more between the teeth instead of being directly attached to it with a clear rubber band or ligature. This characteristic reduces pressure on specific teeth and can make the treatment more comfortable for some of our Barrhaven orthodontic patients.

Length of Treatment 

One of the most common questions that our invisible braces patients have is “how long is my treatment going to take?”

For invisible braces patients, you can generally expect the treatment time to last about the same amount length as if you were wearing traditional metal orthodontics. Average patients typically wear them for 12-18 months, depending on the severity of their bite.

Cosmetic cases that focus on aligning the front teeth tend to be even quicker; treatments may be as short as 4-6 months.

Complex cases with crossbites, overbites, underbites, etc. may take longer than a traditional case. Implementing other therapeutic orthodontic methods can help braces work more effectively, especially for severe bite discrepancies.

The only way to get the closest estimate possible on how long your individual case will take is to have our Barrhaven orthodontist evaluate your specific bite. At the time of your consultation in Ottawa, you’ll have a good idea as to whether you’ll need to wear your clear braces for 9 months or 20!

Remember, the more closely you follow your home care instructions and orthodontist’s recommendations, the faster you should see results. Don’t try to speed the process along on your own (it can be dangerous for your teeth!)

Do Invisible Braces Work?

Absolutely. Invisible braces for adults are one of the most effective and predictable orthodontic options available. Thanks to computer generated treatment planning, our Ottawa patients can enjoy a streamlined experience with as few trips to our office as possible.

The key to getting clear invisible braces to work is to follow your treatment recommendations as close as possible. This includes changing out bands or taking your aligners out during meals, wearing appliances for a minimum number of hours per day, and switching out orthodontic aids as prescribed.

Not wearing them as designed can cause a delay in results or even relapse!

You should also be sure to make your scheduled orthodontic appointments, as skipping visits could cause treatment to get off schedule.

Cost of Invisible Braces

The cost of invisible braces varies; however, most cases are around $6,000.

At Braces Haven, we provide our orthodontic clients with a cost estimate before treatment even starts. You’ll have an outlined treatment plan to take home after your consultation so that you’ll know exactly how much it costs to get invisible braces in Ottawa.

The total cost of invisible braces will depend on factors like:

  • The types of braces or invisible braces that you get
  • How long your treatment is estimated to last
  • If other types of orthodontic therapy are necessary
  • Additional extractions or growth modification

Fortunately, getting invisible / metal braces is usually covered by dental insurance or health funds, especially when the patient is younger or it’s medically necessary (such as invisible braces for an overbite.) Most insurance benefits cover a set percentage or certain dollar amount on the overall treatment, leaving the remaining balance up to the patient to cover. That’s why our Ottawa orthodontic office includes custom payment options to easily fit your clear braces into your monthly budget.

A typical Braces Haven patient will usually apply their insurance benefits and then split the remaining balance up among the estimated duration of treatment. So, if you have dual insurance, you could be covered up to $5,000 and you’ll be in braces for around a year, that’s about $83 a month.

Generally, cosmetic or clear braces can cost slightly more than traditional metal ones do. But the tradeoff for a low-profile appearance is worth the modest investment for most people.

If you’re thinking about getting invisible braces for teeth problems like crowding, gaps, or crooked teeth, schedule a free consultation at Braces Haven in Barrhaven today. Dr. Charles Cohen is happy to answer any questions that you may have!