Invisalign vs. Braces
While traditional metal braces are well-known as an effective option for straightening teeth or fixing orthodontic issues, teeth aligners are continually gaining popularity as an alternative to braces.
In this blog post, I’ll cover some of the main differences between clear aligners and braces to educate you about your options and help you make an informed choice.
Invisalign vs. Braces — Which Is Better?
Both clear aligners and traditional braces can be used to effectively treat a variety of orthodontic issues and are suitable for different circumstances. By adjusting teeth slowly and in small increments, both braces and clear aligners can give you a straighter smile with properly positioned teeth.
Correctly positioned and spaced teeth affect more than aesthetics. Proper spacing and alignment can also reduce your risk of tooth decay, enamel damage, and jaw problems.
Proper tooth spacing and alignment can also prevent issues with shifting that can lead to serious oral health problems in the future, such as tooth loss.
When it comes to orthodontic treatment, the phrase “one-size-fits-all” does not apply. Each case requires unique assessment and treatment according to your needs.
Choosing between clear aligners and braces comes down to a variety of factors. Each situation depends on your orthodontic concerns, oral health, budget, treatment goals, preference, and lifestyle.
While clear aligners offer a host of advantages compared to traditional braces, some complex orthodontic corrections do require the use of metal brackets. Traditional metal braces may also be a better option for patients who will struggle to comply with keeping the aligners in for the recommended 22 hours a day.
What Are the Advantages of Clear Aligners?
Easier to Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
One of the biggest advantages of clear aligners is how easy they make it to keep up a good oral hygiene routine. As opposed to braces that are fixed to the teeth, aligners can be taken out. This allows you to brush and floss as normal, with no tricky wires or brackets to try to brush or floss around.
This ensures you can maintain a good oral hygiene routine that prevents decay, discolouration, and oral health problems.
The ability to take the aligners out as needed for brushing and flossing or when eating creates a treatment that is as convenient and minimally disruptive as possible. Since you can take the aligners out when you brush your teeth, clear aligners are extremely convenient and easy to care for.
For these reasons, many patients report clear aligners are far easier to adjust to and maintain than traditional metal braces.
One of the biggest advantages of clear aligners vs. metal braces is aesthetic concerns. For teenagers worried about their appearance or adults who do not want to deal with concerns over how they look at work, clear aligners offer an undetectable way to straighten teeth.
The clear aligners are invisible and discrete, and eliminate the self-conscious feeling that many people experience with metal braces.
The thermoplastic material used in clear aligners is high-quality and completely transparent, allowing for an invisible yet effective treatment.
The metal brackets and wires involved with traditional braces have sharp edges that can irritate, poke, or even cut your cheeks.
The wires and brackets can also irritate by rubbing against the cheeks, tongue, or lips and lead to ulcers or sores. With smooth edges, clear aligners are less likely to irritate the delicate soft tissues of the mouth.
No Risk of Discolouration
Discolouration following the use of traditional metal braces has been reported by some individuals. This seems especially true for coffee or tea drinkers.
Metal brackets and wires are difficult to clean around, making it difficult to prevent discolouration from occurring where the metal brackets are attached to the teeth.
Since clear aligners give you the ability to thoroughly clean your teeth, it reduces the risk of discolouration.
Enjoy Your Normal Diet
With traditional braces, patients need to be extremely careful to avoid certain foods. Sticky, hard, or chewy foods can get stuck in the brackets and cause decay or discolouration.
Sticky, chewy, or hard foods can also damage the metal brackets and wires, requiring extra visits and delayed treatment.
Because of the risk of damage or decay, traditional braces require users to avoid a range of foods, including:
- Hard vegetables (carrots, celery, etc.)
- Candy canes
- Peanut brittle
- Thick chips
- Hard rolls
Since clear aligners can be taken out when eating, patients can still enjoy all of their favourite foods.
Much of the work involved with clear aligners treatment with clear aligners is tackled in the first couple of appointments. Your teeth, oral health, treatment goals, and lifestyle will be evaluated.
If you are determined to be a good fit for clear aligners, a 3D scan of your mouth will be sent to a lab. This scan will be used to create a series of aligners that adjust your teeth in subtle increments throughout your treatment.
Approximately every two to three weeks, you’ll get a new set of clear aligners at a quick visit with your dentist.
Alternatively, getting your braces adjusted at an appointment takes longer, and typically requires you to see your dentist at least once a month for adjustments and tightening.
In general, many patients report clear aligners to be more comfortable than traditional metal braces. Teeth can still become tender when adjusting to a new set of aligners, as there is still shifting involved. However, clear aligners are generally more comfortable overall since no wires or brackets are involved.
What Problems Can Clear Aligners Address?
While an appointment is the only way to find out if clear aligners can treat your orthodontic concerns, they can generally be used to treat conditions such as:
- Teeth crowding
- Crooked teeth
- Spacing issues or large gaps
- Open bite
How Long Does Treatment Take With Clear Aligners?
The length of treatment time will depend on treatment goals and compliance. Typically, clear aligners take between 6 to 18 months to achieve the desired results. Your dentist will discuss treatment goals and treatment time with you during a consultation so you’ll know what to expect.
Am I A Good Candidate for Clear Aligners?
If you want to know if clear aligners will work for you, book a consultation with our friendly team at Genesis Dental.
While clear aligners can be used to effectively treat a wide range of orthodontic concerns and conditions, the only way to know if you are a good candidate is by booking an appointment.
In general, individuals with spacing issues, especially mild or moderate instances, make great candidates for treatment with clear aligners.
What Are Clear Aligners?
Clear aligners are moulds created from a thermoplastic material. Each mould is custom-fit to your teeth.
Typically, you’ll receive a new set of aligners every two weeks. Each set of clear aligners is slightly different from the last and is designed to shift your teeth in small increments until they reach the proper position.
Read More: Are Clear Aligners Effective?
What Are Traditional Metal Braces?
Traditional braces consist of metal or porcelain brackets secured to the teeth with glue. Metal wires are connected to the brackets with rubber bands.
The metal wires are adjusted every few weeks to slowly shift the teeth into the proper position.
Deciding Between Braces and Clear Aligners?
If you are interested in clear aligners as an alternative to braces, contact our dentists in Canning Vale to learn more.
Genesis Dental wants you to have a healthy smile you are proud of. While traditional braces are certainly an effective way to straighten teeth, they do present some drawbacks.
If you have concerns about uncomfortable adjustments or the appearance of traditional braces, contact us to find out if you are a good candidate for clear aligners.
Our friendly team will answer any of your questions and determine the best treatment option for you. Schedule your consultation today to learn more.