Aligners vs. Braces: Which Method is Faster?

Updated on April 12, 2023

Most people with crowded, crooked, or misaligned teeth want to fix them as fast as possible. They have two options: braces or aligners. Unfortunately, braces can take years to correct these problems. Aligners could potentially be a faster and more convenient solution. This article will explain some key differences between aligners and braces, then dive into how long aligners vs. braces take to fix your teeth.

What are aligners?

Aligners are transparent, form-fitting devices you wear on your teeth to correct jaw or tooth misalignment. They’re removable, making eating more comfortable and helping to minimize the foreign material you need to clean off your aligners. So, this tends to make cleaning the aligners and your teeth easier. Since aligners are invisible, you can correct your teeth and continue smiling without worrying about everyone seeing them.

What are braces?

Braces are a device installed on your teeth that pulls them into place to correct jaw or tooth misalignment. They consist of brackets attached to your teeth and wires that hold these brackets together. This combination ends up pulling your teeth slowly into the correct position.

Although braces are cheaper than aligners, they’re generally harder to clean since you can’t remove them. Plus, they can be less comfortable, and people can see them when you smile.

Are aligners or braces faster?

In general, aligners treat misaligned teeth or jaws faster than braces. Depending on the patient, aligner treatments can take around one year, assuming they are diligent about wearing the aligners.

On the other hand, braces tend to take around two years to complete treatment. For some, treatment can last even longer. This is because clear aligners apply pressure to all teeth together to pull them into place. Braces only do so for each individual tooth.

Because of this, aligners tend to allow more time between appointments as well. Aligner appointments may only be needed every six weeks or even longer. Each appointment can be faster, too, since your dentist only needs to check your progress. Braces often require appointments every four weeks to adjust. Those appointments can also take a little longer than aligner appointments.

The bottom line

Aligners can fix your teeth and jaws faster than braces. At the same time, they’re more comfortable, convenient, and discreet. So, you can fix your teeth faster with minimal disruption to your normal life.

Remember that aligners can cost more than braces, but the benefits are numerous. Make sure you consider your desired treatment speed and your budget when deciding if aligners are right for you.

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