Think of the first time you are introduced to someone. It is said that we judge people within the first 3 seconds based on their appearance, style and grooming. We want to send a strong positive image so that the first impression is a good one. A genuine and warm smile is part of what makes a great impression, and socially, straight white teeth connote health, youthfulness and energy.
Luckily, having straight teeth is not an impossible goal. Advances in dentistry have made it possible to straighten and whiten teeth, in order to give you a great smile that people will remember and know you by.
Are metal braces the only option?
Traditionally, metal braces have been used to straighten teeth. We are all familiar with the sight of metal and colourful rubber bands on the teeth, and of course, the horror stories of the braces being so painful that you could eat only soft porridge, and having food such as leafy vegetables stuck on the braces. We may have experienced having metal braces on ourselves, or seen our friends in school undergo braces, which usually was a tedious process that took many years to finish.
It is not surprising that given such images about braces, that we would rather not subject ourselves to what has been described as ‘torture’. Also, as we move out of school and into the workforce, metal braces may appear less appropriate.
Metal braces are still being used, but today, it is not the only option we have. Advances in dentistry through the past decade have made more aesthetic and comfortable options available to us. We now have ceramic braces, which are white and less obvious on the teeth, as well as totally metal-free options such as Invisalign, which lets you straighten your teeth without affecting your appearance.
Understanding Invisalign and Braces for Orthodontic Treatment
When it comes to straightening teeth and achieving a perfect smile, patients often weigh the benefits of Invisalign treatment against traditional braces. Both Invisalign clear aligners and traditional braces, including ceramic braces, metal braces, lingual braces, and invisible braces offer effective solutions for finalising tooth positions and addressing various orthodontic issues. Understanding the differences between these treatment options is crucial for patients undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Traditional Braces: Time-Tested Methods for Complex Orthodontic Cases
While Invisalign is suitable for many orthodontic cases, including mild to moderate crowding or spacing issues, traditional braces remain the go-to option for more complex orthodontic cases. Metal braces, ceramic braces, and self-ligating braces provide powerful treatment methods for addressing deep bites, excessive overjet, or complex crowding.
Unlike Invisalign, which relies on removable aligners, braces are fixed appliances consisting of metal brackets and wires that gradually move teeth into the desired positions over time. With proper care and regular adjustments, braces can effectively correct tooth positions and achieve optimal results.
What are the pros and cons of Braces vs Invisalign?
Fixed on teeth and more difficult to clean: Braces come in two main types, metal braces, and ceramic braces. Both are fixed permanently on the teeth until the end of the treatment and cannot be removed by yourself. This means that you need to be careful when eating, as hard or sticky foods will cause parts of the braces to dislodge or break. Being fixed on the teeth, the braces also will trap more food and bacteria, which means brushing with a special orthodontic toothbrush, as well as a smaller interdental brush, is necessary to remove all the food debris. If cleaning is not done properly, it is more likely for the teeth to decay, have cavities, and swollen bleeding gums.
Brackets might dislodge: If you grind your teeth during sleep (bruxism), it will have more force on the teeth, causing them to wear out and get shorter. This also affects your braces as you will be exerting more pressure on the braces, causing them to dislodge.
Can be repaired if broken: If any part of your braces or wire breaks or dislodges, you will need to return to your dentist to repair it, which may mean an additional unscheduled appointment, taking more time.
Less aesthetic: Braces are visible on the upper teeth only, which may look out of place in a professional setting. They are usually associated with children or teenagers.
What are the pros and cons of Invisalign vs Braces?
Invisalign is popular with adults who find they prefer the close to invisible Invisalign, as you may not want people to know that you are straightening your teeth.
Comfort: Invisalign is more comfortable1 as it uses a patented thermoplastic material called SmartTrack which does not impinge on the gums, compared to the traditional braces with metal brackets and wires which rubs against the inner cheeks and gums causing irritation.
Aesthetics: Invisalign, like its name indicates, is almost invisible and suitable for adults who want to realign their teeth discreetly for a natural smile, while metal braces are silver or ceramic coloured. Although it may cost more, the main reason is that it is aesthetically pleasing as they are virtually invisible.
Less compromise on your lifestyle: You can eat or drink anything you like, without any restriction, as Invisalign is removed before you eat or drink. You also do not need to worry about having food stuck on the wires or brackets like in metal braces.
Less painful and more hygienic: Invisalign aligners can be removed for eating and cleaning (brushing and flossing). On the other hand, metal braces are fixed brackets and wires and are less hygienic than Invisalign as food can get stuck in the metal braces.
Saves your time and fewer doctor visits: Invisalign aligners require less maintenance2 and adjustment than metal braces which require more frequent visits to the dentist.
More efficient movement: Invisalign guides the patient through a clear step-by-step treatment plan, allowing them to be clear about which stage your teeth are moving towards to shape your desired smile.
Is Invisalign really effective?
Invisalign clear aligners have gained popularity among patients seeking a virtually invisible alternative to traditional braces. These plastic customised aligners fit snugly over the teeth and offer a discreet and comfortable option for straightening teeth. Unlike braces with metal brackets and wires, Invisalign aligners are removable, allowing for easier maintenance of good oral hygiene and fewer dietary restrictions. Invisalign treatment plans are carefully crafted by experienced dentists or orthodontists to address various tooth movements and finalise tooth positions, resulting in an incredible smile transformation.
Invisalign sounds too good to be true, what’s the catch?
Invisalign aligner trays are removable, so the patient needs to be disciplined enough to wear it to prevent the teeth from moving and losing alignment, which means wearing the Invisalign aligners for at least 22 hours a day. If the patient is unable to be disciplined enough to follow this routine, metal braces are recommended as you cannot remove them and they will continue to move the teeth.
Invisalign clear aligners have gained popularity among patients seeking a virtually invisible alternative to traditional braces. These plastic aligners, customised to fit snugly over the teeth, offer a discreet and comfortable option for straightening teeth. Unlike braces with metal brackets and wires, Invisalign aligners are removable, allowing for easier maintenance of good oral hygiene and fewer dietary restrictions. Invisalign treatment plans are carefully crafted by experienced dentists or orthodontists to address various tooth movements and finalize tooth positions, resulting in an incredible smile transformation.
Cost is also higher for Invisalign, as it is a highly customised treatment for each individual patient. We need to send a detailed 3D model of your teeth to Invisalign in order to create a CAD design of your teeth, which is then programmed to move exactly as we want it, with control of dental movement, extent, direction, and velocity. The material of the Invisalign aligners are patented, and only able to be manufactured at the Invisalign plant.
At Dental Designs Clinic, we offer all options of metal braces, Damon self-ligating braces, ceramic braces and Invisalign.
What are the considerations for treatment duration?
When choosing between Invisalign and braces, patients should consider factors such as treatment duration, effectiveness, and their preferences regarding visibility and convenience. Invisalign treatment may be more appealing to individuals who desire a discreet orthodontic solution and are committed to wearing aligners as prescribed. On the other hand, traditional braces may be recommended for patients with more complex orthodontic issues or who require longer treatment times. Ultimately, consulting with an experienced dentist or orthodontist is essential for determining the best option to achieve a perfect smile while addressing specific dental concerns and desired treatment outcomes.
The Dental Designs Difference
Dental Designs offers a customised treatment plan for each and every patient, as we believe everyone is unique.
Our philosophy is "no extraction whenever possible." 9 out of 10 patients we see have successfully straightened teeth without extractions. We will work with you to advise you on all your options, and to work towards the most suitable treatment plan for you where you are in control of how you desire your teeth to be aligned. Along the way, you will be guided by our dentist on how your teeth are aligned and adjusted along the way to achieve your final result of your choosing, even before you start your treatment with us.
- White DW, Julien KC, Jacob H, Campbell PM, Buschang PH. Discomfort associated with Invisalign and traditional brackets: A randomized, prospective trial. Angle Orthod. 2017 Nov;87(6):801-808. doi: 10.2319/091416-687.1. Epub 2017 Jul 28. PMID: 28753032; PMCID: PMC8317568.
- Gu J, Tang JS, Skulski B, Fields HW Jr, Beck FM, Firestone AR, Kim DG, Deguchi T. Evaluation of Invisalign treatment effectiveness and efficiency compared with conventional fixed appliances using the Peer Assessment Rating index. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2017 Feb;151(2):259-266. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2016.06.041. PMID: 28153154.