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Clear Braces Guide: Cost, Clear Braces vs. Metal, 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 all your questions like:

  • What does ‘clear braces’ actually mean?
  • How much do they cost?
  • Clear braces vs. metal braces
  • How long does treatment take?
  • How do they compare to Invisalign and clear aligners?

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.

What having clear braces really means is that some of the brackets will be clear. We say some because, usually, doctors will only use clear brackets on your teeth that are visible when you talk. That’s what we do at Dickerson Orthodontics. And we’ll get into why down below.

So, it’s important for you to know that all the 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.

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 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. The cost of braces is very much dependent on the complexity of your individual case, and they leave the 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 correlate to lower quality treatment one way or another.

The reality is that the typical cost of quality braces treatment in the United States for a standard case is usually somewhere around $6,000 – $8,000. 

For clear braces, it can cost a few hundred dollars more for you than traditional 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.

In general, though, expect to pay maybe a few hundred dollars more for clear braces vs. metal braces and you probably won’t be surprised.

Clear Braces

What Are The Benefits Of Clear Braces?

Here is where it’s important for you to know the advantages and disadvantages of 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 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: clear is more discreet than metal braces. 

To see how clear 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

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.

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 is a more reliable option.
  • We don’t normally put clear brackets on lower teeth because the enamel on your bottom teeth is a lot thinner, which can lead to teeth chipping and losing enamel.

How Long Do Clear Braces Take?

This is a great question and one that you’ll definitely want to ask your orthodontist during your initial consultation. 

The average time in treatment for orthodontic patients in the United States right now is about 24-27 months. That’s very consistent with the average treatment time in the Phoenix area, too (unless you are a patient at Dickerson Orthodontics!). 

Depending on your exact case, you’ll want to add on a month or two to that estimate for clear braces – so you’re looking at closer to 26-30 months probably. 

Here’s the really good news: at Dickerson Orthodontics, most of our patients finish treatment in closer to 12 months.

Going with clear would add a little time to that, but instead of 26-30 months, you’d be looking at closer to one year. So 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.

Clear Braces for Adults

Are clear braces for adults? Yes, absolutely! 

They are definitely available and work for adult smiles just as well as they do for 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. Clear braces are one good example of that.

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

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 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. 

At Dickerson Orthodontics, standard cases for most of our patients cost around $6,000 – $7,000 whether they go with Invisalign 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.

Clear 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 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.