Clear Braces Cost UK vs Metal Braces – All You Need To Know

Published Date:
October 25, 2021
Updated Date:
October 25, 2021
Reading Time: 7:min
Published Date:
October 25, 2021
Updated Date:
October 25, 2021
Reading Time: 7:min

Table of Content

  1. Clear Braces Cost UK vs Metal Braces – All You Need To Know
  2. Are Clear Aligners More Expensive Than Braces?
  3. What’s The Cost For Metal Braces?
  4. Firstly, The Visual Aspect
  5. Secondly, Comfort Matters
  6. Thirdly, Straightening Ability
  7. Final Thoughts


Everyone wants a great set of perfectly aligned teeth, yet two things tend to put people off from undergoing orthodontic (teeth straightening) treatment.

  • The visual aspect of wearing braces and…
  • The cost

In this post we aim to cover these two points in greater detail when comparing clear braces cost UK vs metal braces and hopefully, by the end of it, you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Before we dive into the finer details of comparisons and costs we need to clear something up…

If you do a Google search for the term ‘clear braces’ you might come across information that refers to fixed ceramic braces. This is because they are also commonly known as clear braces. However, what we’re talking about in this article are clear removable aligners which are also often referred to as ‘clear braces’. So, for the article – and to avoid any confusion – the term ‘clear braces’ equates to removable clear aligners – Got it?

Okay, so back to the task in hand…

Are Clear Aligners More Expensive Than Braces?

Yes… and no!

Now that may seem like a confusing answer but let us explain…

Just like regular fixed braces, there are many different clear aligners on the market. Some like the market leader Invisalign (you may have heard of them) don’t come cheap. The average cost of Invisalign treatment, for example, is somewhere between £1500 and £5000. Whereas other brands like Caspersmile offer the same removable braces technology for as little as £625.

So why such a price difference?

Quite simply, until the end of 2018, Align Technology (the company behind Invisalign) had a whole bunch of watertight patents in place which allowed them to monopolise the removable braces market for nearly two decades. As such, they could in effect, charge what they liked.

Move forward to the end of 2018 and many of these patents expired allowing other brands to enter the market – brands who couldn’t compete on longevity but could certainly compete on price. So, we’re now in a situation where the clear aligner market is extremely competitive and why the clear braces cost in the UK is so varied.

What’s The Cost For Metal Braces?

Well, according to, patients can expect to pay somewhere between £1500 and £3000 in a private dental clinic for adult metal braces but are they better than clear aligner style braces? Let’s make a comparison…

Firstly, The Visual Aspect

When we refer to metal braces, we mean fixed bracket and wire style appliances that we’re all pretty familiar with. While modern design means that they’re less noticeable than ever before, it remains apparent that someone is undergoing orthodontic treatment when the wearer smiles or talks.

Clear braces for adults, on the other hand, do away with metal brackets and wiring altogether in favour of a series of custom-made, barely visible, BPA-free plastic aligners which are worn over the teeth like a mouthguard. People like them because they’re incredibly discreet and can be removed at any time. In fact in most cases, unless you tell someone you’re wearing them, they will probably never know.

Naturally, this visual aspect (or rather, the lack of it) makes clear removable braces a popular choice amongst adults looking to undergo teeth straightening treatment who don’t want the world to know about it.

Secondly, Comfort Matters

As you may already know, fixed metal braces remain permanently attached in the mouth for the duration of treatment. This causes many patients to have a hate relationship with their braces. In the early days especially, brackets and wiring can feel uncomfortable in the mouth until a patient gets used to them and in some cases, sharp edges can play havoc with the tongue.

With removable clear braces, on the other hand, there are no sharp edges or pieces of metal to worry about so for the vast majority of patients at least, they remain comfortable in the mouth from the start.

Okay, so patients may feel slight discomfort for the first few days as the teeth move but like fixed metal braces, this is a sign that the process is actually working.

Thirdly, Straightening Ability

Fixed orthodontic braces have been around in one form or another for thousands of years. Crude orthodontic designs were first discovered on ancient mummified skeletons. Over the next 3,000 years or so, metal braces have been honed to tackle a wide array of bite and misalignment problems and are now the trusted treatment for many bite adjustments.

However, just because clear braces are a 20th century invention doesn’t mean that they aren’t equally as capable. In fact, clear aligners can also correct a wide variety of misalignment and bite problems including over/underbites, and crossbites, as well as crowded teeth, gaped teeth and of course crooked teeth. Moreover, in many cases, clear removable braces can achieve results faster than traditional fixed braces.

As you can see, although both fixed metal braces and clear braces for adults do a great job of straightening teeth, they are in effect completely different entities. So in terms of price, the cost a person is willing to pay is essentially down to what the individual wants to achieve from their treatment and…more importantly, how they want to go about it.

Final Thoughts

In the UK, if you're looking at at-home clear aligners, they often come out cheaper than traditional metal braces at a clinic. This makes them a budget-friendly option if you're looking to straighten your teeth. They can offer a convenient and less expensive way to get a straighter smile.


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