When thinking about teeth straightening, most people envision bulky metal braces. There’s a simple reason why – metal braces have been around for decades. Only recently have medical and technological advances enabled the use of invisible aligners (called Invisalign).
But how do these two options compare?
Can you get the exact same results with metal braces and Invisalign? Is one choice better than the other?
Obviously, the best way to find out would be to talk to your orthodontist about the options. At Orchard Scotts Dental, we have quite a lot of experience with aligners and here’s what we would like to share with you about the various possibilities.
Everything You Need to Know about Metal Braces
The modern metal braces appeared in the 19th century. Needless to say, they looked quite different back then. Each metal plate wrapped entirely around the tooth. In addition, braces were often made of precious metals like gold and silver. It’s difficult to imagine what the cost of treatment would have been at the time!
Today, metal braces are much more streamlined and less intrusive. Usually, the metal brackets are glued to the enamel of the tooth and wires are used to tighten the entire contraption and help for the gradual proper alignment of the teeth.
Metal braces are irremovable. They stay in place for the entire duration of the treatment with regular adjustments carried out by the orthodontist. And since they are irremovable, metal braces typically deliver a fairly short treatment time.
A few benefits of the metal braces include affordability, a high level of effectiveness and fairly short after-care period. On the downside, metal braces are highly visible and they could affect self-conscious individuals in profound ways. In addition, they can be difficult to clean due to the fact they’re affixed to the teeth and connected by wires.
People who play contact sports are not advised to get metal braces because these could lead to injuries.
Invisalign: Clearly Better?
The invisible retainers called Invisalign appeared for the first time in the late 1990s. A Stanford student called Zia Chishti partnered up with another student called Kelsey Wirth and the duo focused on transforming traditional braces. The idea came after Chisthi required orthodontic treatment but was unhappy with the specifics of old-school retainers.
In 1997, the Align technology came in existence and it’s been changing the world of orthodontic care ever since.
Invisalign braces are made of a clear material and they can be taken out of the mouth when consuming food or brushing teeth. Aligner trays are crafted personally for each patient from a BPA-free plastic material. In time, the trays are changed to continue promoting the proper alignment of the teeth.
The benefits of Invisalign are numerous, including:
- The appearance is the most obvious one – being almost invisible is a gamechanger
- The fact that the retainers are easily removable and replaced appeals to many.
- Invisalign braces are comfortable
- The treatment time varies from six to 18 months
- Maintenance of the braces is very easy.
The disadvantages are just a few:
- Invisalign braces tend to be more expensive than other varieties of retainers.
- Frequent tray changes will also necessitate regular visits to the orthodontist.
- Finally, some patients may not be good candidates for invisible braces. Some such patients include those who have had bridgework done and people who may be in need of canine or premolar adjustment/rotation.
Which Type of Braces Is Right for You?
Comparing the two treatment options on your own can be very difficult. This is why you need to see your dentist. The first and the most important factor that will determine the right kind of treatment is the problem that will have to be addressed.
Your budget and the amount of time you can dedicate to dental clinic visits will also have to be taken into account.
Every patient’s needs are specifics, regardless of the fact that the final outcome is the same – straighter teeth. For many people, Invisalign can be a great option. This includes individuals who may want to opt for alignment later on in life.
For others, however, metal braces may be the recommended choice. Metal braces are still optimal for people who want an affordable option. They will also be prioritised for individuals who don’t have the discipline to keep retainers in their mouth for a recommended period of time.
To sum things up – which option is better?
There isn’t a concrete answer, just like there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to teeth straightening. An experienced dentist will examine your teeth and learn more about goals before recommending one choice or another. Hence, if you’re looking forward to a more attractive smile, the time may be right to schedule a first appointment.
At Orchard Scotts Dental, we can easily recommend the right procedure and answer your questions about its specifics. Contact us now or go through our online booking system to get the process started. We also offer a virtual enquiry option to save you time and offer convenience/safety at this challenging moment.