Occasionally a patient may require orthodontic treatment options such as metal braces and Invisalign clear aligners. Our Southwood Dental Studio - Fanshawe dentists discuss the differences between metal braces and Invisalign and what some aspects of each option are.
Both Invisalign® and traditional metal braces are used with the same outcome in mind: straighter teeth and an overall improvement in oral health. When it comes to metal braces and Invisalign, the main difference between them is in the way they straighten your teeth. The option that is chosen is usually based on personal preference.
When you have metal braces it involves metal brackets being attached to the enamel on the front of each tooth to form braces. Metal wires are then positioned between the brackets and are used to slowly reshape your teeth. These wires have the option of being tooth coloured to help them blend in more, as well as providing coloured options that are a popular choice amongst young patients.
Because there are many aspects when it comes to braces it may be difficult to decide on which type. Here are some of the main things to think about:
Not Removable: Metal braces will stay in place. This is beneficial for individuals who are concerned about losing their trays (which is what Invisalign comes with) or who do not want to change their trays regularly.
Cleaning: Brushing your teeth is generally less of a hassle with braces. All it should require is regular brushing and flossing (twice a day brushing and once a day flossing is the recommendation), the same as if you didn't have them.
Used for Complex Issues: Generally speaking, traditional braces are more likely to succeed in treating patients with more complex dental issues.
One of the main reasons traditional metal braces may not be an option for some people is that they are generally not ideal for a person who plays contact sports as the metal from the braces can potentially damage tissue if you are hit in the mouth.
Invisalign aligner trays are composed of BPA-free plastic and are designed to gradually shift your teeth. Because this sort of plastic should be smooth and pleasant, wearing the trays shouldn't be too much of a hassle. Rather than a mould, Invisalign creates trays with a custom fit using a 3-D picture of your teeth.
Like with metal braces, you might not know if Invisalign clear aligners are the best option for you, so we've put together a list of the benefits of using Invisalign:
Removable: Unlike braces, Invisalign clear aligners are removable. In fact, you're allowed to remove them for two hours a day, usually. This is generally during meal times so you don't get food stuck inside the aligners.
Near-Invisible: Adults who have wanted to straighten their teeth for a long time but have been put off by the appearance of metal braces may consider Invisalign. Many individuals may not even notice that a patient is wearing Invisalign. Your treatment is a closely guarded secret, and you can share the results later.
Treatment Time: Patients should be wearing their clear aligners for about 20-22 hours per day for 6 to 18 months. Of course, this will vary with each individual patient.
One of the main reasons Invisalign clear aligners may not be a good option for some patients, such as those with bridgework, rear tooth biting difficulties, or the need to rotate canines or premolars might not be good candidates.