Traditional Braces Vs. InvisalignBarotz Dental | July 17, 2018
A great smile is something that is now more desirable than ever before. People with bright, white, perfectly aligned smiles are perceived to have it all – health, happiness and success in both their professional and personal lives. While this may not be entirely accurate, many patients are now turning to cosmetic dentistry to help them achieve the smile that they have always dreamed of.
Problems with the alignment of teeth are extremely common, since very few of us are born with perfectly straight teeth that meet exactly when we bite down. However, it is not just the appearance of our teeth that should be cause for concern when we experience alignment problems. Angled teeth can create small gaps to open, and these are havens for bacteria and decay since they are so hard to reach. Therefore, it is unsurprising that the majority of patients with crooked teeth are also more likely to suffer from dental health problems.
Happily, teeth are able to move position over time and as such, there are solutions that can address the alignment of your teeth and make your smile both healthier and more attractive.
Also known as orthodontic braces, this type of dental alignment solution has been successfully used for many years. Traditional braces come in a range of forms, but all can be used to address teeth that are overlapping and gapped as well as correcting problems with your bite. Fortunately, the design of braces has evolved and modernized over the years and they are now much more lightweight and fashionable than in the past.
How do traditional braces work?
Traditional braces are attached securely to the teeth and adjusted using wires and bands so that they gently force them into the preferred location. Each adjustment requires a visit to our dentist or orthodontist, and in many cases, adjustments need to be made on a monthly basis. Over the course of the following months and potentially years, your teeth will shift position so that they sit straighter, closer together and in better alignment. Your bite position may also shift so that your teeth now meet when you bite your teeth together.
Most patients will find that they need to wear their braces for between 12 and 24 months before the desired final position is reached, but this depends on how well your body responds to the treatment. Even after your teeth have shifted to the new position, you will need to wear a retainer to prevent them from trying to move back.
Limitations of traditional braces
While orthodontic braces are highly successful, their design does mean that there are some limitations and considerations that patients need to be aware of when choosing this solution.
Firstly, although they are largely more attractive than before thanks to the creation of different styles and colors, braces are highly visible. This means that there is literally no way of hiding them during the course of your treatment. Some patients do not like the appearance of their teeth with braces.
Secondly, the design of braces is quite complex. There will be a number of brackets, wires and elastics in your mouth. Not only can this be uncomfortable, but it also limits the foods that you can enjoy. Anything sticky, chewy or that breaks into small bits can get trapped in your brace and cause damage or decay.
Invisalign is an innovative new solution for crooked, twisted or otherwise misaligned teeth. The principle of gently forcing teeth into the new desired position is the same. However, rather than using brackets and wires that are attached to the teeth to move them, Invisalign uses a series of custom-created clear plastic aligners that are worn over the teeth. Each aligner must be worn in the prescribed order and for the recommended period of time (approximately 3 weeks for each) before moving on to the next one in the series. Aligners must be worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day for them to be effective, only being removed for meals and cleaning.
The advantages of Invisalign
When worn as directed, Invisalign can be just as successful as conventional braces. However, there are number of distinct advantages to opting for this innovative new solution instead.
- Discretion. Invisalign aligners are transparent, so it is far less obvious that you are wearing them.
- Comfort. Many patients report than they find Invisalign aligners much more comfortable than conventional braces.
- Convenient. You can eat whatever you like since you just need to pop your aligner out and store it in its case at mealtimes.
- Greater predictability of results. Invisalign technology maps the path that your teeth will take to their final position, enabling you to better see the final outcome for your smile.
Neither traditional braces nor Invisalign are automatically the best solution for every patient. Therefore, it is essential that you attend a consultation with our orthodontist who will be able to make a recommendation for you based on your personal circumstances.
If you would like to learn more about either traditional braces or Invisalign, our discreet and experienced team would be happy to assist. Please contact our offices today and take the first step towards a healthier and more attractive smile.