When it comes to tooth alignment, there are only two main competitors in the game: traditional braces and Invisalign. Both are quick and effective ways to align teeth and are practiced all over the world. However, these two methods are different from each other in several main ways. At Invis London, we have used both treatment options to help our patients achieve their dental goal. However, before starting any sort of alignment process, we make sure that our patients are aware of the pros and cons of each method.
An introduction to the two alignment devices
In order to start discussing the differences between each orthodontic appliance, we must first look at the materials. Traditional braces use metal brackets, wires, and bands to properly align teeth over a period of months or years. These braces will stay on the patient’s teeth until a dentist removes them properly. On the other hand, Invisalign uses custom made clear plastic aligners that act as two separate trays so that an individual can put on and take it off their mouth when they want.
Where traditional braces need to be tightened every two weeks, Invisalign does not. Instead, Invisalign patients are given a new set of aligners every 1 to 2 weeks, and then will use them until a new set arrives. Each set is a little different to help move teeth slowly but steadily in the direction your dentist wants.
Another difference between metal braces and Invisalign is that you don’t have to change the way you eat and brush your teeth after eating, like you do with metal braces. Straightening teeth with invisalign means, you wear the clear aligners 22 hours a day and you only take them off when you eat. After eating, you brush your teeth or rinse your mouth well and put the trays back in place until you have access to a brush and toothpaste.
We supplement all of our Invisalign patients with a travel-size toothpaste and brush for this reason. With metal braces; you need to use bitewing brushes, dental floss netting, and special hygiene aids to be able to remove all food debris that is packed under the brackets and between the teeth and wires. There is almost always demineralization of the enamel after removal of the metal braces, which appears as chalky white lines. With Invisalign, there is no difference between brushing and flossing after eating.
Weigh the positives and negatives
Both traditional orthodontic appliances and Invisalign can achieve the results you are looking for. However, since they each have different characteristics, one service may be better for one patient than another.
Below are some of the most notable positives and negatives that a patient should consider before making a concrete decision:
- It is transparent and more discreet than braces.
- Brushing or flossing and all other daily activities is easy with Invisalign compared to braces because you can remove Invisalign every time you go.
- There is no specific diet to follow. Patients can eat whatever they want, when they want, as long as they don’t keep their aligners on while they eat.
- Invisalign only treats mild to moderate bite problems. This means that patients with more complex dental problems will not be able to use Invisalign and their only choice will be traditional braces.
- It can be more expensive.
- Since Invisalign is removable, it’s easy to lose it.
- Braces can handle all dental alignment issues, whether large or small.
- Braces are generally less expensive than Invisalign.
- Braces are semi-permanent and are secured in the patient’s mouth. It can make everyday tasks like eating and brushing / flossing more difficult.
- They are noticeable.
- A patient with braces cannot eat certain foods, such as hard candy, caramel, etc.
- Anyone with braces should go every few weeks to tighten their braces, which can be awkward and uncomfortable.
How do you decide?
If you’ve done all the research and you’re still having trouble deciding which treatment option is right for you, the best thing to do is to talk to your dentist. They can give you their professional opinion and explain why they think one option is better than the other. It can also help you feel confident in your decision, since an expert has helped you decide.
These pearly whites will be lined up in no time
At Invis London, we understand how important it is for you to choose a treatment plan that you are satisfied with. That’s why we always make sure to educate our patients and guide them on the right path.