Straightening the teeth (known as orthodontics) can be carried out using a variety of methods. The treatments of choice these days, however, are traditional fixed ‘bracket and wire’ style braces and removable clear aligners such as Invisalign – both of which have their pros and cons.
Deciding between Invisalign vs braces can prove to be tricky, so allow us to help you to make that choice as we delve into the advantages and disadvantages of each. In doing so, by the end of this post, you should have sufficient information to be able to make a more informed and rounded orthodontic decision.
Firstly, What Makes Fixed Braces A Good Choice?
A Good Option For Problematic Tooth Alignment
When you have mild to medium teeth alignment issues, the world is your oyster. You can choose from pretty much any type of fixed brace or clear aligner. However, if you suffer from severely rotated teeth, particularly when they’re your premolar (bicuspid) teeth, then any Invisalign trays are likely to have a hard time gripping the tooth to move it. Because traditional fixed braces are securely fastened to the teeth, they will have no such problem and should, therefore, be the only choice.
Full Patient Compliance
One of the main differences between Invisalign vs braces is that Invisalign treatment involves the easy removal of the aligner, giving the patient carte-blanche to decide when to wear them. The problem with placing the onus on the patient is the fact that you can’t always guarantee full compliance. Invisalign trays need to be worn for around 22 hours a day for full effect and any deviation from this can impact the length of treatment time.
Conversely, fixed braces remain in the mouth permanently for the duration of your treatment and therefore full patient compliance is always guaranteed. As a result, fixed dental braces remain a good choice from children or adults who can’t commit to wearing Invisalign trays 22 hours a day.
Braces vs Invisalign – Addressing The Root of the Problem
While Invisalign trays are designed to put pressure on the visible part of the tooth, fixed braces move the whole tooth including the tooth root, meaning that more precise adjustments can often be made.
Braces are Proven Over Years of Evolution
There’s no getting away from the fact that orthodontic braces are as old as time itself – well, not quite but they have been around for several centuries. With this in mind, you might be asking the question that with all the dental innovation and technology present, why are we still using such as antiquated system? The answer is that on their day, there is nothing better.
Contemporary fixed braces are a million miles away from the heavy metal appliances of yesteryear and are sleek, comfortable, and dare we say it, less obvious than their predecessors. So as dentists, we’d be crazy not to make use of a proven technique that has been credited for restoring so many beautiful smiles.
Invisalign vs Braces – Reasons Why People Choose Invisalign
In the braces vs Invisalign debate, there is always another side of the coin. Here are some of the reasons that people choose Invisalign over conventional fixed braces.
Let’s face it, however much you try and pretty up a fixed metal brace, you’re still going to have a mouth full of metal that’s visible when you smile. On the contrary, Invisalign aligners – as the name alludes to – are nearly invisible. Each custom-tray is made from a clear BPA-free plastic which is worn over the teeth like an invisible mouthguard. This is perfect for self-conscious people who really can’t face the thought of having a mouth full of metal.
Invisalign Trays are Designed to be Removable
As already stated, Invisalign trays are designed to be removed whenever you choose, particularly when eating and drinking. This is in contrast to fixed braces where food particles can easily become trapped in between brackets and wires, making teeth difficult to keep clean. Of course, remove your aligner trays for too long and you will jeopardise your treatment – That’s the compromise!
You Can Eat Anything
When it comes to food choices with braces vs Invisalign, you will need to be careful about what you eat when you wear fixed braces. Things such as sticky toffee, popcorn and nuts are a bit of a ‘no go’ area for orthodontic patients with fixed braces. Invisalign patients, on the other hand, have no such restrictions because they won’t be wearing them when they eat. If you can’t live with a list of food restrictions for a year or more, then Invisalign aligners should be the choice for you.
Braces vs Invisalign – Comfort
While Invisalign and braces patients can expect some slight discomfort when moving teeth, Invisalign trays tend to exert gentler pressure on the teeth than fixed braces. There is also no risk of cutting or pinching your gums when you wear Invisalign trays because there are no sharp metal wires or edges to contend with.
Ultimately, it will be your orthodontist who has the final say on whether you would be better off with Invisalign or braces and which is better. But for now, at least, you hopefully have a better understanding of your Invisalign vs braces options.
Have you had any other questions about your Invisalign treatment? Call us at (02) 8073 9338 today.