Depending on your unique situation, both Invisalign and traditional metal braces may be good orthodontic treatment options. Today, our Manitoba dentists explain the differences between these two options and offer some advice for determining which is right for you.
Both Invisalign clear aligners and traditional metal braces are orthodontic treatment options that work to achieve the same goal: straight teeth and better oral health. The fundamental difference between them is in the way they straighten your teeth. Which is preferable for you will be determined by your needs and preferences.
Metal brackets are attached to the enamel of each tooth to form braces. Metal wires are then positioned between the brackets and held in place by elastics to gradually shape and reshape your teeth. The wires may occasionally be fashioned to match the colour of your teeth, which can make them less obvious. Patients can usually also select from a variety of elastic colours to have some fun with their braces.
It can be difficult to know whether or not metal braces are the best option for you, so we've put together a list of what may make metal braces a good option:
Not Removable: Metal braces will stay in place. This is beneficial for individuals who are concerned about losing their clear aligner trays or who do not want to change their trays regularly.
Cleaning: Brushing your teeth is generally less of a hassle with braces. Though you have to be careful to brush and floss around the wires, you can follow an oral hygiene routine that is similar to what you were doing before.
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 clear 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. Invisalign is a more discreet option and often not noticeable to the casual passerby.
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.
Invisalign may not be a good option for people with bridgework, rear tooth biting difficulties, or who need to rotate canines or premolars.