Meaning of Straight Teeth

People with a misalignment wonder whether straight teeth are possible without braces. Fortunately, there are a few methods that can be used to straighten an imperfect row of teeth.

  • The best-known alternatives to braces include aligners, lingual braces, palatal expansions and retainers.
  • Only a specialist can show which methods are suitable for straightening the teeth in an individual case.
  • Statutory health insurance companies only guarantee standard care. Supplementary dental insurance can therefore be worthwhile.

Straight teeth: alternatives to braces

To find out which alternative treatments are available for straightening teeth, an examination by an orthodontist is essential. If you are interested in one of the alternatives, you should think in advance what exactly is bothering you or which blemishes should be fixed. After learning what the treatment should be aimed at, the doctor will get a complete picture of the patient’s teeth and jaw. To do this, he creates an impression and an X-ray image.

The orthodontist recognizes which alternative treatment approaches are possible. However, it does not always make sense to straighten your teeth without braces. Patients should definitely listen to the treating doctor, but they can get a second opinion. In principle, there are numerous options available as alternatives. The most common treatments performed include:

  • Aligners
  • Lingual braces
  • Palatal expansion
  • Retainer


Aligners are splints that are placed on the rows of teeth and gently straighten the teeth. Usually the doctor uses software to create an individual treatment plan for his patient. This wears each splint for a certain period of time (usually two weeks). Since aligners are removable, they are very easy to clean and do not restrict oral hygiene. In addition, the transparent rails are relatively inconspicuous. Treatment usually lasts 10 to 24 months.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces are similar to classic braces. Here, too, wires correct the position of the teeth. The difference, however, is that lingual braces are placed on the inside of the teeth. One of the greatest advantages of braces is that they are not visible. However, it usually takes some time for patients to cope with the foreign body in their mouth. For example, some of them have speech disorders such as lisp at the beginning. The treatment period is 6 to 24 months, depending on the severity of the deformity.

Palatal expansion

A palatal expansion or a forced palatal rupture serves to widen the upper jaw and is particularly suitable for young people under 15 years of age. This treatment method is a screw device with bands on the teeth. They ensure that the jaw gradually expands.


The so-called retainers are another option for straight teeth without braces. They are suitable for every age group, but are recommended for minimally misaligned teeth. There are both fixed and removable retainers. In terms of their appearance, they are similar to ordinary braces. A retainer is also often used to stabilize the new position of the teeth after orthodontic treatment.

Straight teeth without braces: costs

The costs for the patient depend on several factors. The decisive factor is whether the health insurance or private dental insurance pays something. In general, orthodontists bill costs to be borne privately in accordance with the fee schedule for dentists (GOZ), which provides a binding cost framework for each service. Essentially, both the type of treatment and the duration of the therapy determine how expensive it is to straighten the teeth. Orthodontists are bound by the fee schedule, but they have a certain amount of leeway. Therefore, the price differences can be relatively large. It is worthwhile to compare the different treatment methods in terms of their costs:

  • Aligner: around 2,000 to 6,000 euros
  • Lingual brace: around 3,000 to 8,000 euros
  • Palatal expansion: around 500 to 1,000 euros (children), up to 5,000 euros for surgery (adults)
  • Retainer: around 200 to 500 euros

What proportion does the health insurance company pay?

The statutory health insurance (GKV) comes only to the standard care. The health insurance company only pays on the condition that treatment is necessary from a medical point of view. There are five degrees of severity in the area of ​​misaligned teeth. In order for the statutory health insurance to cover the costs, a patient must be classified by the doctor at least in orthodontic indication group 3 (KIG 3), which corresponds to a pronounced malalignment. In addition, the insurance only bears the costs for children and young people under the age of 18.

The costs for aligners and lingual braces are usually not covered by statutory health insurance companies. Finally, there is usually no medical need to resort to such an alternative treatment method. On the other hand, the cash registers take on the expansion of the palate, as do retainers for the lower jaw. However , all of these alternatives can often be found in the scope of services of private health insurance companies .

Are the alternatives to braces worthwhile?

Compared to removable or fixed braces, the benefits of alternative treatment methods are limited from a medical point of view . For example, aligners are only suitable for mild to moderate tooth misalignments. Lingual braces are often used primarily for aesthetic correction and retainers are used to stabilize rather than straighten misalignments. Those who want straight teeth without braces must also expect higher costs.

In the end, only the advice of an orthodontist can show which treatment method is most suitable . After examining your dental apparatus, the doctor will discuss which therapeutic approaches are possible and which methods seem most sensible.