Problems with teeth alignment can affect people’s daily lives, including eating, speaking, and even their smiles. To fix a misaligned bite or crooked teeth, dentists use orthodontic devices commonly known as braces.
In recent years, Invisalign rose to popularity as a substitute for traditional braces. Find out if Invisalign is a better solution for teeth alignment and if you should get this instead of the conventional braces that have been used for centuries.
What are Braces?
In general, braces are dental appliances used for fixing teeth and jaw alignment. There are three types of braces used in orthodontics:
- Metal braces. These are the most commonly used variety of braces. They are made of metal wires and brackets connected to apply pressure to the teeth. The wires are adjusted regularly to continuously shift the position of the teeth and even the jaw. Metal braces can be customized with different colours, making them attractive to children.
- Ceramic braces. Similar to metal braces, ceramic braces use metal wires, but the brackets are made of porcelain to match the colour of the teeth. They blend better with natural teeth and are less visible.
- Lingual braces. This type of braces are exactly like metal braces, but their location is behind the teeth. They are virtually invisible when the patient smiles. However, because of their position, patients may find it difficult to talk and eat.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a brand of dental appliances. It is named after two words: “invisible” because of its transparent colour and “align” because of its purpose — to align the teeth. The generic name of this dental appliance is “clear aligners”. There are other brands of clear aligners, such as Clear Correct, Spark, and Clarity.
Unlike traditional braces that are installed into the teeth, clear aligners are removable. They work like mouthguards that are worn over the teeth. Each set of aligners has a specific period to be worn, usually two weeks, to achieve the desired results. After this period, a new set of aligners are created with further adjustments to improve the alignment of the patient’s teeth. The higher cost of Invisalign is primarily due to the frequent replacement of aligners.
Is Invisalign Better Than Traditional Braces?
Both options are safe, effective, and produce long-lasting results. However, they have several notable differences which may influence a patient’s decision when getting orthodontic treatment:
- Removability. Traditional braces can’t be removed, while Invisalign can be removed while eating.
- Duration of treatment. It takes about two years to complete orthodontic therapy with metal braces, while Invisalign may take as short as six months. However, this only applies to mild cases.
- Visits to the dentist. Patients need to visit the dentist every two weeks to adjust their metal braces. On the other hand, patients who use Invisalign may only need to visit the dentist every two months, as long as they follow the wearing instructions correctly.
- Effects on hygiene. Patients can remove Invisalign to brush their teeth. For metal braces, patients need more thorough cleaning because food can get stuck in the wires.
- Effects on the diet. Metal braces can make it challenging to eat for the first few weeks. There are also dietary restrictions such as very hard or crunchy foods. Invisalign does not affect the diet because patients can remove it while eating.
- Aesthetics. Some people don’t like how metal braces look on the teeth, so they prefer to use clear aligners.
- Cost. Traditional braces are less expensive than Invisalign.
- Efficiency. Invisalign is not always the best course of treatment for malocclusions because it can only be used for mild to moderate cases.
Which One Should I Get?
Before anything else, you need to undergo all the necessary diagnostic examinations first. Only an orthodontist can say if you need to wear braces and what kind of adjustment your teeth will be subjected to.
You should get traditional braces if:
- Your malocclusion is severe.
- Your jaw is affected by your alignment problems.
- You want a long-lasting solution to your alignment problems.
On the other hand, you may choose to use Invisalign if:
- You only need minor adjustments.
- You prefer a removable orthodontic appliance.
- You don’t want to be seen with metal braces.
- You want faster treatment.
Consult a Braces and Invisalign Dentist in Wahroonga
If you feel that you need orthodontic treatment, visit Wahroonga Dental Group or give us a call. Our dental team will assess your condition and develop a treatment plan that guarantees positive results. We will also help you decide which orthodontic appliance will work best for you.