There is a saying that beautiful teeth make one half of your good looks. Dental health and aesthetics are very important for the overall wellbeing: physical, mental and emotional. That is where cosmetic dentistry plays a big part in helping patients, with many available procedures including teeth whitening, veneers and crowns, fillings and braces.
Braces are used in the treatment of misaligned teeth and irregular bite to give them the best possible position and function, as well as improve their look. Nowadays, we can choose between traditional braces and Invisalign braces.
Traditional braces are metal brackets connected together by wire and glued to your teeth. They come in various colours and you can customize them to match your natural teeth colour best. They are worn on the outer surface of your teeth. There are also labial braces which are the same only bonded to the inner surface of your teeth and thus hidden from view.
Invisalign braces are a set of clear, comfortable, computer-generated plastic trays that are worn over your teeth and are almost invisible. They are a removable series of custom-made, clear aligners created and changed every two to four weeks in order to advance you to the next stage of your treatment.
So how do we decide between traditional braces and Invisalign?
When it comes to Invisalign vs. traditional braces, orthodontists point out that the invisible braces treat malocclusions with the accuracy of traditional braces but without the unattractive appearance that traditional braces are notorious for. Invisalign braces are virtually invisible whereas braces are typically silver or coloured.
As far as treatment time, braces are usually worn 24/7 for an average of 2 years and cannot be taken out, whereas Invisalign are worn depending on patient’s needs for 6- 18 months, around 22 hours a day. They do require more self discipline as they can be taken out. Aligner trays are changed every 2 weeks and follow up visits to the dentist are every 4-6 weeks, while with braces they are once a month.
Invisalign maintenance is less complicated, with simple brushing and rinsing of the trays in water so there is no difficulty eating and issues with food getting caught as is the case with braces brackets and wires that require regular thorough brushing and flossing. However, Invisalign trays must be removed before taking any food or drink except water and teeth brushed after each meal.
Braces may cause sores and pain from wires, as well as tooth damage and difficulty eating hard foods so with Invisalign you definitely have more options with food, don’t have to be careful and there is no discomfort while eating.
When it comes to the costs, Invisalign are slightly more expensive but they are in the range of more expensive traditional braces and there are plans that offer up to six free replacement aligners if lost or broken.
While both brace and Invisalign straighten your teeth and deal with crowding, spacing and irregular bites, dental braces are better for complex cases since they can turn the roots of teeth and work faster at teeth alignment.
In conclusion, we would say it is best to schedule a consultation with your dentist, identify your dental needs and goals, and create a customized treatment plan that will work best for you.