Harley Street Dental Clinic – our FAQs about clear braces

In modern dentistry there are many orthodontic tools being developed in order to allow the straightening and reorganisation of teeth with the minimum impact on our daily lives, like clear braces W1. The antiquated headgear of the past is now very rarely seen in clinical practices and even traditional braces are becoming less common, with alternatives like clear aligners or ceramic braces becoming more seen and used in clinical practice.


In the development of orthodontic treatments, there has always been a desire to create a highly convenient yet effective treatment. The early designs of ceramic braces are almost as old as traditional metal ones, but these early glass designs were brittle and had an unfortunate habit of shattering under tension. Material science has made ceramic braces a more practical solution; made from glass polymers or sapphire crystal glass, this provides the toughness you would expect from a brace while maintaining translucency and subtlety for everyday wear. These clear or ceramic braces also allow for greater control over treatment by the dental professional, as they can be manipulated to a fine degree using clear or tooth coloured brackets and wires, and they are fixed.

As another alternative, clear aligner designers have tried to find a different way around visual problems, by doing away with the arch wire and brackets and simply using a plastic form to apply pressure to the teeth in order to rearrange them. Clear aligners are worn for a very short period of time, two weeks at a time, which allows them to be thin and lightweight. They are not expected to last the entire duration of regular orthodontic treatment, which could be anywhere between 6 to 12 months, as they are constantly being changed. But clear aligners are normally for minor to moderate misalignments of the teeth.

Many patients are unfamiliar with these newer treatment options and it can lead to general confusion about clear orthodontics. Here are our top FAQs about clear braces W1.

Could I get a clear brace?

It is very likely that you could use some form of clear aligner if you have already used standard metal braces or if your dental condition is not too complicated. It is also likely that a fixed ceramic brace could meet your requirements if your orthodontic misalignment is considered more complex. But, as always, you would have to speak to our dentist to receive a definitive answer.

Does treatment with clear braces hurt?

The nature of orthodontics is to move teeth over time through the consistent application of pressure. Teeth naturally move on their own but these motions occurred too slowly for us to notice on a normal timescales. Treatments will cause a degree of discomfort due to this pressure on the teeth. In the case of ceramic braces, the sensations you will experience as part of the treatment will be extremely similar to that of a standard brace, but on the other hand the adjustments performed using clear aligners like Invisalign are far smaller than that with a brace, making the treatment more tolerable.

How long is the total treatment time?

Treatment time in general is highly variable as it depends on how misaligned your teeth are when we begin. Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide an accurate prediction of total treatment time without performing a thorough assessment, as it will be heavily affected by your own orthodontic needs.

As a rough guide, 4 months to 2 years would be considered a normal treatment span of clear braces W1.

Are clear braces actually invisible?

No, but they are very subtle: both the ceramic braces and clear aligners are translucent. At any reasonable distance and in most situations, they will go unnoticed especially compared to more traditional orthodontics.