Comparing Braces to Invisalign® When Considering Orthodontic Treatment
Braces consist of brackets being glued to your teeth and tied together by wires and tiny rubber bands. Brackets can be made of metal or clear plastic, making them more discrete. At Fort McMurray Dental in Fort McMurray we offer braces that are miniaturized, reducing the amount of irritation to your mouth and cheeks during treatment.
Treatment with Invisalign® involves wearing a series of clear aligner trays made of a smooth, comfortable, BPA-free, clear plastic. The near invisible aligners are worn over your teeth to subtly and gently move your teeth to their desired position. Our Invisalign® specialist will use X-rays, pictures, and digital impressions to create a precise 3-D image of your teeth to configure and customize your aligner trays.
|Braces (not removable)||Invisalign® (removable)|
|Color||Metal or Clear brackets||Clear/ Near Invisible|
|Estimated Treatment Time||24/7 for an average of 2 years, depending on level of correction needed||22-24 hrs/day for 6 to 18 months, depending on level of correction needed|
|Maintenance||Brush and floss around brackets and wires when brushing teeth; a water pick and floss threader may be helpful||Use the Invisalign® cleaning system, or brushing and rinsing trays in luke-warm water|
|Follow Up Visits||Monthly visits||Visits every 4 to 6 weeks; change aligner trays every 2 weeks|
|Follow Up to Treatment||Retainer likely needed ongoing, maybe only at night||Retainer likely needed ongoing, maybe only at night|
|Pros||· More effective for complex issues, i.e. overcrowded teeth, severely angled teeth, severe over/underbite
· Not removable so less self-discipline is needed for success
· No extra cleaning steps required besides regular brushing and flossing
· Removable, no issues with food getting caught
· No difficulty eating
· No discomfort from sharp brackets or broken wires
|Cons||· May have mild to moderate pain, sores, or discomfort from wires, brackets or tooth movement
· May have tooth discoloration due to challenge of cleaning well around hardware, bracket breakage or tooth wear
· Necessary to avoid eating sticky and hard foods for the duration of treatment
|· May have mild to moderate discomfort from tooth movement
· Must remove before eating or drinking anything but water
· Must brush after each meal to avoid staining
|NOT Ideal For||Patients playing rough contact sports regularly||Patients with:
· back tooth bite issues
· the need to rotate canines or premolars
· the need to move teeth vertically
· lack of discipline to keep trays in for at least 22 hours daily
Comparing braces and Invisalign® is a tight race. If you’re an adult or have a teen, who tends to be self-conscious, Invisalign® is virtually invisible and may appeal to you. And, the fact that it’s removable so you can eat, drink, brush and floss more naturally, may be desirable. But, if the idea of having to remove your aligners for meals or while drinking anything but water-and then remember to put them back in again-seems inconvenient, Invisalign® may not be the best solution for you. Also, to avoid staining, remember you’ll want to brush before putting your trays back in each time you’ve eaten something. Is that a daily practice you can incorporate into your lifestyle for the treatment period?
Finally, if you or one of your children need to address issues with the back teeth, or need to rotate teeth or move teeth vertically, Invisalign® may not even be an option. Enlist a provider like Fort McMurray’s Fort McMurray Dental, experienced with both braces and Invisalign, we can recommend the most effective solution to perfect your smile and teeth. The decision to straighten your teeth to improve your smile and overall oral health should not be taken lightly. If you need help deciding whether braces or Invisalign® makes more sense for you or a family member, consult our experienced staff today!