Braces or Invisalign… Which One Is Right For You?
Some of us may not be born with a perfect smile, but there are a lot of options out there that can get us on our way to straighter teeth. The alignment of teeth involves the straightening and correction of misaligned or crooked teeth most commonly caused by crowding, gaps, overlapping teeth or tooth/size discrepancies. Teeth alignment can contribute to achieving healthier teeth and gums, easier cleaning, overall health benefits which ultimately leads to a brighter, more confident smile.
Today, people of any age are fortunate to be able to take advantage of numerous methods in teeth alignment. We’ve all seen photos from the past of crazy mouth contraptions. Well we’re relieved to say that these archaic methods are well behind us and treatments in the 21st century are much sleeker and in many cases completely invisible. Some of the options are fixed onto the teeth for the duration of treatment (traditional metal braces, ceramic braces and lingual braces), while others involve the use of clear aligners (e.g. invisalign) which can be removed at certain specified times of the day.
So to get things straight about teeth alignment, we’ve gone ahead and compiled the ins and outs of today’s most popular straightening methods, right here.
What is the Invisalign system?
The invisalign system uses a series of custom-made removable aligners created for each individual patient. These aligners are made of a virtually invisible, hygienic plastic that is worn over the teeth to gradually move them to an ideal position. Most people won’t even notice you wearing them, allowing you to maintain your lifestyle during treatment. Each treatment plan is customised for you and carried out by trained dentists. More than 6 million patients worldwide have now started this treatment and the numbers of Invisalign smiles continue to grow.
What are braces?
Traditional braces are stainless steel brackets and wires that are attached to the outside of the teeth. With ceramic braces, the brackets are clear and the wires may be tooth coloured or metallic. With Lingual braces, metal brackets are attached to the back of the teeth. In all instances, the wires are adjusted throughout treatment to gradually move teeth into the desired positions. We have already seen that the invisalign system uses a series of clear, removable plastic trays (aligners) that fit over the teeth.
So, what treatment is most suitable for me?
There are several factors to consider in deciding whether your most suitable treatment will be braces or invisalign:
How effective the chosen appliance will make your teeth look once treatment is over.
Finding a dentist in Perth who is skilled and trained in your preferred treatment approach and whom you’re comfortable with.
The cost of treatment, which can be composed of the total financial cost of the consultation, diagnostic processes, alignment phase and post-treatment retention. Secondly, there is the personal cost of having a visible treatment in terms of confidence and lifestyle effects.
The duration of treatment and frequency of dentist visits, including that of the initial treatment and any retention needed afterwards.
Treatment comfort, including whether the device can irritate your gums or the inside of your mouth.
The convenience offered by devices that can be removed from the mouth to help you maintain good oral hygiene.
The need for extractions.
Braces and Invisalign – What’s the difference?
Invisalign are custom made aligners that are changed every 1-2 weeks to gradually move the teeth into the desired positions
Traditional braces are highly visible and ceramic braces less so, whereas both invisalign and lingual braces are virtually invisible
Invisalign treatment is suitable for most cases of mild to moderate complexity, with treatment outcomes dependent on the experience level of the practitioner.
Both traditional and ceramic braces are suitable for nearly all cases. Lingual braces are best suited to cases of mild to moderate complexity, however the difficulty level of this system makes it more difficult to manage when compared with other fixed braces and only certain specially trained practitioners can competently provide this form of treatment
Keeping it clean. Invisalign aligners can be removed for normal brushing and flossing, making it easier to maintain a good level of oral hygiene. Yet oral hygiene is harder to maintain with fixed braces given the brackets and wires fixed to the front of the teeth. Lingual braces pose the trickiest of appliances to maintain good cleaning around due to their placement on the backs of the teeth. This increases the chances of plaque retention and possible tooth decay
Pain? With Invisalign, short term, temporary discomfort may be experienced at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. Patients commonly describe the feeling as one of pressure rather than pain. Mouth sores/ulcers can be caused by the irritation from the components of fixed braces. Broken brackets and wires can also cause discomfort and may require urgent attention from your treating dentist. Lingual braces may also cause mouth sores/ulcers due to their position on the teeth. These appliances also have an effect on the tongue position and may affect speech throughout treatment
Compliance with invisalign aligners is high with well motivated patients and the appliance’s virtual invisibility. For best results the removable aligners should be worn for a minimum of 20-22 hours per day. As fixed braces are attached to the teeth throughout treatment, patient compliance is naturally high.
What is the difference between a general dentist and a specialist orthodontist:
You might be wondering who is able to take on this treatment. Specific training is required to provide invisalign treatment and both invisalign-trained dentists and specialist orthodontists are fully qualified. The difference is that an orthodontist is a dental specialist who has spent 3 or more years in an advanced, intensive educational program and only practices orthodontics. A general dentist who provides invisalign and other orthodontic services will also provide general dentistry in the form of but not limited to check ups, cleaning, fillings, crown and bridgework and endodontic treatment.
So braces or Invisalign… what next?
Now you have considered all the benefits each option has to offer you, your next step to a straighter smile is to make an appointment with your orthodontist in Perth at Claremont Dental. We’ll be able to dive deeper into whether braces or invisalign is best to treat your particular situation, and your plan of action moving forward.
To make an appointment call (08) 9383 1200 or book online today.
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