When you go for orthodontics treatment, you often find yourself at crossroads about what to choose – should you go for Aligners or stick to teeth Braces?

Let’s take this decision off your plate by telling you that your orthodontist will be the one deciding this for you depending on the severity of your case.

braces vs aligners

What are Aligners?

Aligners are transparent and customized plastic trays that are tightly fitted on your teeth to shift them to achieve the desired teeth position.

Aligners are also popularly called Invisible Braces or Invisalign. However, these are medical-grade plastic trays devoid of metallic wires and brackets.

When you undergo an aligner treatment for teeth correction, you receive multiple aligner sets that need to be changed every two weeks. This is because your teeth are being corrected and adjusted to achieve the correct alignment with your jaw.

What are Braces?

Dental Braces are traditional orthodontic devices that are used to correct misaligned teeth and close the gaps between them. 

Teeth braces involve the usage of metal brackets, archwire and tiny elastic bands to hold them in place.

Traditionally these were metallic but, now you have the option to choose ceramic braces and lingual braces

These traditional braces can correct your bite & close your teeth gaps and improve overall dental health. Post braces treatment, retainers are worn to prevent the chances of a relapse.

When does one require conventional orthodontic treatment?

Severe Crowding:

In such cases, the orthodontist may advise the patient to undergo extraction of teeth, usually the premolars, to create space and accommodate the other remaining teeth.

Blocked-out maxillary canine:

Children around 12 years or early teens show the phenomenon of a “blocked-out canine”. In this case, the canine is the longest tooth in the mouth that erupts and does not have enough space to occupy its position in the upper arch. 

For this scenario, conventional orthodontic treatment is necessary to provide appropriate forces. So that the tooth can be brought down and into its normal position in the upper arch.

Severe jaw discrepancies:

In this case, a skeletal malalignment between the upper and lower jawbone will be there that needs teeth braces with some functional devices. So dentists can correct this case with camouflage treatment to restore function and smile without surgical intervention.

Crossbite Teeth:

In a crossbite case, your upper teeth close ahead of your lower teeth, and both rows of teeth do not line up correctly when you close your mouth.

Anterior crossbite is when this condition occurs in the front teeth, and posterior crossbite is when this condition occurs in the back teeth. In such cases, dentists usually suggest conventional orthodontic treatment.

The crossbite condition is sometimes similar to an underbite condition. The main difference between these two dental conditions is that crossbite impacts only groups of teeth whereas an underbite affects them all.

Open bite teeth:

Open bite occurs when the upper teeth and lower teeth slant outwards and do not touch when you close your jaw. This condition occurs due to tongue-thrusting or thumb-sucking habits. These cases should be treated at an early stage to avoid any surgical intervention.

Severe Rotation:

In this case, teeth are completely rotated out of position. For such major correction, conventional orthodontic treatment is necessary.

Severe Teeth Spacing:

This condition occurs when the space between teeth is more than 6mm per arch. The dentist will suggest conventional braces treatment.

When does one require aligners?

The following cases can be corrected with the help of clear aligners to restore both function and aesthetics:

Mild Crowded Teeth:

In cases of insufficient space in either of the arches, usually between 0.5mm to 3mm, aligners can be used for correction.

Mild Teeth spacing:

If the teeth spaces in each arch are between 3mm - 6mm then aligners are ideal for treatment.


It is typically the apical movement of teeth into the bone. Anterior teeth require up to 2mm of intrusion & posterior teeth require up to 1mm of intrusion, and they can be treatable with clear aligners.


About 30 degrees of rotation in incisors, 20 degrees in canines and 15 degrees in premolars can be treated with clear aligners.

Deep bite cases:

In this phenomenon, the upper anterior teeth usually overlap the lower anterior teeth to a great extent. As a result, the lower anterior teeth may touch the back side of the upper front teeth and damage the enamel.

What would an orthodontist recommend to you?

While searching for an ‘orthodontist near me’ on Google, one anxiously anticipates the future of their teeth. An orthodontist would keep two things in mind - the limitations of each case and the patient's requirements before and aesthetics. 

Accordingly, the dentist may advise conventional orthodontics to formulate the final treatment plan. The goal is to achieve harmony between function treatment or clear aligners to achieve satisfactory results.