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Clear Ceramic Braces 2023 Guide: Clear Braces vs. Metal, Costs, And More

Clear Braces Guide - Dickerson Orthodontics

Investigating clear braces? Here is your guide to everything you need to know about them. 

Get answers to questions like:

And a whole lot more.

Plus, we’ll show you how to see results for your smile 2x faster at Dickerson Orthodontics than you’d see somewhere else – with fewer appointments. And your initial consultation is completely free.

So, keep reading to see if clear braces are a fit for you.

What Are Clear Braces?

First, it’s important to know what getting ‘clear braces’ actually means. 

Some patients hear ‘clear’ and they think that means their braces won’t be visible to people. It’s certainly understandable given the name clear braces, but it’s not entirely accurate. It can be surprising to find out that not all the components of the braces are clear.

Clear braces are clear or tooth-colored brackets with a traditional metal wire. They’re usually ceramic braces or porcelain but are sometimes also made with plastic material.

They straighten your teeth using the same methods as metal braces, but the major difference is they are more discreet because of the clear bracket material.

What Clear Braces Treatment Really Means

You should know that having clear braces usually means that some of the brackets will be ceramic brackets and clear.

We say some because most expert doctors will only use clear brackets on your upper teeth that are visible and use regular braces for the less visible areas of your mouth. That’s what we do at Dickerson Orthodontics. And we’ll tell you why down below.

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In reality, clear braces does not mean ‘invisible’. It simply means your braces will be more discreet than traditional metal braces. (The term invisible braces would actually be better used in reference to Invisalign aligners and other clear aligner brands.)

What Is The Cost Of Clear Braces?

When you research the price of braces online, many websites will give you a very big range of costs. Your clear or ceramic braces cost is very much dependent on the complexity of your particular case.

Most doctors leave the ceramic braces cost estimates very broad to cover the full range of complexity. But that’s not usually very helpful to you. 

Your price range may also vary based on the provider. Like anything in life, you usually get what you pay for – so a lower price may mean a lower quality of treatment.

The reality is that the typical cost of clear braces to complete treatment in the United States is usually somewhere between $6,000 – $9,000. For clear braces, it can cost a few hundred dollars more for you than traditional metal braces – but it depends on where you go.

For instance, we don’t charge our patients the couple hundred dollars difference for clear braces at Dickerson Orthodontics.

And if you have orthodontic insurance that covers traditional braces treatment, that will also cover a clear braces case.

Girl with Clear Braces Smiling

What Are The Benefits Of Clear Braces?

Here is where it’s important for you to know about the advantages and disadvantages of ceramic or clear braces vs. metal braces.

Disadvantages: Clear Braces vs. Metal Braces

Clear braces have bigger brackets – The brackets for clear braces are bigger than traditional braces because they have to be – they are made of weaker material and so they are bigger to make up for their reduced strength.

Clear braces make your treatment a little longer – Not a whole lot, maybe a month or two in most cases, but it is consistently a little bit longer for clear braces vs. metal braces.

The clear ceramic brackets are more prone to fracture – Because their material is weaker than metal braces, there is an increased chance of fracturing with clear braces. 

It can be quite uncomfortable to take off clear braces if they chip – The bonding for clear braces is chemical instead of mechanical and that can make it noticeably more uncomfortable to remove clear brackets in certain cases when one chips.

Advantages: Clear Braces vs. Metal Braces

Clear braces are more discreet – The big advantage is the obvious one: ceramic or clear braces are more discreet than metal braces, which are extremely noticeable. 

To see how clear or ceramic braces would work for you and to find out if there are any other advantages for your specific case, sign up for a free consultation at one of our offices in Phoenix/Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Chandler, or Peoria/Arrowhead today.

How They Work Straightening Teeth

At Dickerson Orthodontics, we’ll match you with the treatment option that works best for your specific case – your treatment plan is personalized to you. 

That said, we do have some patients who request particular treatment options – like Damon Braces – and we do work to accommodate requests whenever it makes sense for your needs. 

Come in for a free consultation and we’ll match you with the braces treatment that’s right for you.

Girl in Orthodontic Treatment with Clear and Traditional Metal Braces
At Dickerson Orthodontics, your treatment is designed to get you the very best results

Orthodontic Treatment with Clear and Traditional Metal Braces

Going into treatment, know that all braces – even the clear ones – are going to be bonded or glued to your teeth. The wire is also going to be metal and visible just like when you wear braces with metal brackets.

A few things that you might care to know about how clear braces treatment works at Dickerson Orthodontics:

  • Normally we only put clear brackets on teeth that are visible.
  • We do this mostly because traditional metal braces are stronger and less likely to chip, so on teeth that won’t be seen, metal brackets are more reliable.
  • We don’t normally put clear brackets on lower teeth because the enamel on your bottom teeth is a lot thinner – it can lead to teeth chipping and loss of enamel.

How Long Do Clear Braces Take?

You’ll definitely want to ask your orthodontist this question during your initial consultation. 

On average in the United States right now, traditional braces take about 24-27 months. Depending on your exact case, clear braces take about a month or two longer – so you’re looking at about 26-30 months, probably. 

It’s similar in the Phoenix area too – unless you are a patient at Dickerson Orthodontics! At Dickerson Orthodontics, most of our patients finish treatment in about half the time it takes average patients at other orthodontists.

Going with clear or ceramic braces would add a little time to that, but instead of 26-30 months, you’d be looking at closer to half that. Still about 12 months faster than it takes the average patient to finish traditional treatment somewhere else – or more. 

Avoid all the extra appointments and hassle somewhere else, and get your winning smile faster with fewer appointments at Dickerson Orthodontics.

Adult with Clear Ceramic Braces Smiling
Clear Braces straighten teeth for adults, too

Clear Braces for Adults

Are clear braces for adults? Yes, absolutely! 

Adult smiles can achieve straight teeth with ceramic braces just as well as kids and teens.

Here’s what we would ask you when you come in interested in clear braces: what is your motivation for wanting them?

What we’ve found to be true for many patients is that sometimes there is an even better treatment solution for their goals and budget than the one they’re thinking of. Ceramic braces are one good example of that.

Invisalign Clear Aligners vs. Clear Ceramic Braces

If you’re an adult looking for a discreet way to improve your smile, Invisalign treatment is another great option to straighten teeth. 

Often when we say that, people follow up asking, “Isn’t Invisalign a lot more expensive than braces?” And our answer is, “Not anymore!” 

For most cases, the price difference between Invisalign clear aligners and traditional metal braces is very minor. The costs are comparable today. When you add in the increased cost of clear braces vs. metal braces, there really isn’t that much of a difference between the cost of them and the price of Invisalign

Girl with Invisalign Clear Aligners

At Dickerson Orthodontics, standard cases for most of our patients generally cost them around $6,000 – $7,000 whether they go with Invisalign aligners or braces. The same is true for clear braces.

They are still a great option for some people, but if a discreet solution at a good value is your top priority, Invisalign might be an option to explore.

Now, if budget really is your main concern and the discreet solution is more of an added bonus, you may want to also explore metal braces.

Come in for a free initial consultation at Dickerson Orthodontics and we’ll get you set up with the treatment solution that is best for you.

Ceramic Braces with Colored Bands

Many young patients these days actually see braces as being cool. You might know, or parent, one of them. 

Lots of these style-minded patients ask if they can get clear braces with colored bands so that the bands stand out more. The answer is totally yes.

Whenever there is something we can do to make your treatment better or more enjoyable without reducing your great results, we do our very best to accommodate.


Clear Braces are far more discreet than standard metal braces, but that does come with some trade-offs that you ought to be aware of. 

With the information is this post, you’ll have what you need to ask the right questions, evaluation your options, and make a treatment decision you can feel confident in. 

If you’re considering clear braces or want to know more about alternative treatment types, get a completely free consultation with us today and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know. 

We’ll look at your smile together, and advise you as to which treatment method is best for you and why. You’ll be able to walk away confidently with a personalized plan to own your winning smile – free of charge.