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Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces

July 29, 2021

“When you smile, the whole world smiles with you.” If you’ve often heard this old song exclaim these lyrics with delight, you might want to pause and think. There’s some truth to it. Your smile may not be able to make the whole world smile, but a simple show of teeth can be a powerful sign of communication and expression. A study backed by the Academy of General Dentistry reports that as much as 96 percent of survey respondents believe that a smile is important to a person’s general appearance.

Why Alignment Is Important

Research has also shown that a confident and properly aligned smile can have a significant impact on your professional and social life, as well as stimulates your mental and emotional well-being. However, as most of us would be able to concur, a straight and stunning-looking smile isn’t always as easy to achieve. When you’re affronted by undesirable aesthetics, such as crooked, crowding, or misaligned teeth, you may be forced to accept your unfortunate fate, right?

No! If you truly believe that you have drawn the short stick when it comes to dental perfection, there are various treatment options in the market today to help you tackle this pesky problem! Conventional metal braces have been around for years, being used as one of the most reliable methods of straightening teeth. However, newer innovations like the Invisalign clear aligners have been building up a storm in the dental industry with their brilliant features and faster treatment period. 

While both treatment procedures have their fair share of pros and cons, Dr. Baker from Dental Innovations Winslow will be able to accurately assign the best treatment option that fits your unique needs. We dissect the differences between these incredible teeth straightening procedures to help you understand the right choice for you!

Traditional Braces vs. Invisalign

Both traditional braces and Invisalign were designed to straighten teeth in an orthodontic treatment while improving your smile and oral health. Patients find that one of these choices may benefit them better than the other. While both of them are similar in their purpose, they differ greatly in terms of their attributes. Here are a few differences:

Treatment basics

Traditional braces are made up of metal brackets that span across the surfaces of the teeth and are tied together using tiny rubber bands and archwires. These brackets are glued to the teeth using special cement and can be customized to closely match your enamel color to give you a more discrete look. 

On the other hand, Invisalign is a relatively new and highly popular brand of clear aligners. During your consultation at Dental Innovations Winslow, impressions and scans of your teeth are taken and sent to a fabrication plant where CAD/CAM technology is used to manufacture series of Invisalign clear aligners out of specialized plastic. 

Dr. Baker will confirm the fit of each set of dental aligner trays during checkups, and you’ll receive a new set every two to three weeks with the newly positioned teeth movements. These series of dental trays are essentially invisible and are most sought after by young adults and teens. 

How they work

Metal braces work by asserting pressure on your teeth over an extended period to slowly shift them into their desired positions, following a specific direction. Traditional braces contain three major components: brackets, archwire, and elastics. Since the brackets are bonded to each tooth, they maximize the archwire’s ability to move the tooth to its prescribed position. Elastics or bands are secured around each tooth to provide anchors for the brackets. 

While the traditional brace makes use of fixed wires to “pull” the teeth into alignment, Invisalign aligns the teeth by using a series of trays that force the teeth into their new positions over the next couple of months. 

What they correct

Invisalign clear aligners also offer relief from a wide array of dental problems. Conventional metal braces can correct a wide range of dental deformities such as protrusions, crowding, alignment issues, crookedness, and/or irregular spacing. However, they specialize in treating minor dental problems such as widely spaced teeth, crowded teeth, overbite, crossbite, mild relapse, and other simple bite irregularities. 

Appearance

One of the most critical differences between braces and Invisalign is appearance. Suffice to say, Invisalign clear aligners win this round by a landslide. These clear aligners are made from a clear plastic material, making them virtually invisible and almost completely undetectable, while metal braces are more readily noticeable. 

If you’re someone who likes to be discrete about your appearance, braces of mottled colors may not be the right choice for you. However, that being said, some kids would prefer picking out the different colored bands for metal braces as a fun way to add to their bright personalities. 

Comfort

The process of straightening teeth isn’t always comfortable. Whether you have traditional braces or Invisalign, the tedious process of shifting your teeth’ alignment can often be painful. However, compared to conventional braces, Invisalign tends to be more comfortable as it applies less pressure to the teeth overall. 

In addition, braces can also have sharp edges that can severely cut the inner lips and tongue, especially during contact sports or eating. Invisalign tackles this problem with ease. 

Effectiveness

The compliance rate is generally high with traditional braces as they are fixed onto the patient’s teeth. By using them for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you have a higher chance of treatment success than their invisible counterparts. Dr. Baker recommends all patients wear their Invisalign clear aligners for at least 22 hours a day without fail to maximize the rate of success of the procedure. 

However, with these powers come responsibility, some patients tend to misuse their duties and wear the trays less than recommended. This can lengthen the total time it takes to complete the treatment and cause more damage to the alignment of your teeth. 

Convenience and oral health

Both braces and Invisalign have their own sets of pros and cons in terms of convenience. While traditional braces are convenient because you don’t have to take them off, they can also prevent you from eating certain foods, which can be slightly annoying. Sticky, sugary, and hard foods are a complete no-no when wearing braces. Also, cleaning your braced teeth can be an exceptionally difficult feat, often giving rise to poor oral health and gum disease. 

Invisalign is more convenient when eating your favorite foods as you can take them off during meals and your regular oral hygiene routine. But you should make sure that you store them securely and wear them religiously for at least 22 hours a day for the best outcome. 

THE TAKEAWAY

So, what’s the verdict? Do traditional braces deserve the trophy, or are Invisalign clear aligners the new champions? Both braces and Invisalign aligners have been known to provide brilliant benefits to patients that suitably fit their purpose. 

At Dental Innovations Winslow, we believe that we can make the right choice depending on your specific needs and unique dental requirements. We recommend you book an appointment with our dental expert, Dr. Baker, to find out the right choice for you.