Braces vs. Aligners - Which Is the Right Choice?

By Guest Blog Contributor Dr. Michael Kamatovic is an orthodontist with two locations: Niagara Falls and St. Catharines, Ontario Canada.

Most patients seeking orthodontic treatment have one burning question to ask their orthodontist: which orthodontic appliance is best for them? With so many options, there’s no clear-cut answer, and the main decision is between choosing fixed vs. removable appliances or visible vs. clear.

It’s not an easy decision to make, and you shouldn’t make it alone. Dr. Kamatovic is a certified orthodontic specialist (orthodontist) who is there to address your concerns, guide you every step of the way, and explain the limitations of different treatment methods.

Before choosing between traditional braces and clear aligners, you must understand how they both work and what to consider during treatment.

Conventional braces work to straighten teeth through a series of archwires tied into the bonded braces. These wires, along with elastics, coils, and other accessories, exert light pressure, gently moving the teeth into the correct position. Dr. Kamatovic’s role is to apply adequate force and carefully monitor the entire process.

Clear aligners are a relatively new and innovative method of straightening teeth. Based on a virtual setup of the patient’s teeth and bite, Dr. Kamatovic creates a treatment projection and provides a series of clear aligners that will move the teeth in small increments. The fact that they’re removable and nearly invisible makes them an appealing option.

Treatment efficiency

Conventional braces have been around for nearly two centuries, and have evolved into the state-of-the-art appliances they are today. Traditional braces are still used to this day because they’re reliable and predictable.

Clear aligners were first used in simple to moderate cases, but these days, can address even the most challenging tooth movements. The digital approach to treatment planning makes clear aligners precise and effective.


Clear aligners are made of BPA-free plastic and molded to fit your teeth. The aligners themselves are transparent, but they often require resin attachments bonded on the teeth, making them a little more visible. Improper hygiene could cause clear aligners to turn yellow, but that’s typically not an issue since they need replacing every 1-2 weeks.

Conventional braces are noticeable, particularly the metal ones, but they are much smaller than in the past. With fixed braces, you can choose between colorful metal and clear ones.

Comfort and pain

Orthodontic treatment is often associated with pain and discomfort. Your teeth may be slightly tender, whichever option you decide to go with.

Loose braces or poking wires can cut or irritate the cheeks, and gums can swell from poor hygiene. To assist you, Kamatovic Orthodontics provides in-office and online information.

Clear aligners are smooth and comfortable, although some soreness with every new aligner is to be expected.