Fixed Braces or Removable Braces

Fixed Braces or Aligners? What’s Best in Terms of Costs, Effectiveness & Treatment Length

If you want to realign or straighten your teeth, then there’s no doubt you’ve considered removable braces (clear aligners). You’ll prefer that they’re faster, more comfortable, require fewer dental visits and are more discreet.

Still, if you’re serious about straightening your teeth, you might also wonder if removable braces will be worth the time, effort and money.

Fixed braces have long been hailed as the go-to orthodontic device to straighten and realign teeth, but that’s mostly because there’s been a lack of other forms of orthodontic treatment that do not involve metal wires, brackets or tracks. 

In today’s orthodontic landscape, there’s a wide array of discreet, removable options available, such as Invisalign and other clear aligner brands. The popularity of these alternatives is evident, with over 15 million patients worldwide choosing removable braces over fixed ones. 

But let’s compare them below to discover which type of orthodontic device is best for your teeth, bite condition, budget, and lifestyle. 

invisible braces

Comparing the cost

  • Removable braces from £1,500
  • Fixed braces from £2,000

Typically, fixed braces tend to cost more than removable braces, but this is mostly seen in mild and moderate cases, which require fewer aligners and straightening teeth over a shorter period.

Fixed braces are cheaper for patients with severe or more complex bite problems like overbites and underbites, as Invisalign, in these cases, can cost upwards of £4,000.

That said, depending on the practice you choose for treatment, fixed braces can be equally as expensive.

If you have mild crowding, crooked teeth or gaps between teeth, then Invisalign or other removable braces might be more affordable. Still, prices vary, and any treatment costing upwards of £250 is financeable. 

Comparing the treatment length

Removable braces like Invisalign can straighten teeth faster, realigning smiles in as little as three months in mild cases and up to 12 months in more complex bite realignments.

Fixed braces typically take between 12 and 18 months to straighten teeth and longer in certain cases. 

However, the success of your removable aligner treatment will depend on you following the rules. Removable aligners will only work faster if you wear them for the allotted time per day; otherwise, you risk delaying your results.

Fixed braces, in this regard, force you to comply as you cannot take them off.

image of fixed braces

Comparing the effectiveness

Following on from the last point, fixed braces, unlike removable braces, operate full-time, which typically results in more effective treatments.

However, it’s difficult to measure the effectiveness of each orthodontic device as they’re very case-dependent. 

Fixed braces will be most effective in more difficult and complex scenarios that removable braces cannot fix, such as tooth rotation or gaps larger than 0.5mm.

Ceramic braces, a type of fixed brace, have been known to provide more effective results than clear aligners in a shorter time, but only in minor cosmetic alignments. 

Both types of braces are effective, and certain types will be recommended in certain scenarios over others. It’s always best to seek the advice of an orthodontist, who will be able to show you which type of braces will be the best to straighten your teeth as effectively and quickly as possible.

Book a consultation here, to explore options that are discreet and twice as fast.