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. Most people are not born with perfect hair, and the same goes for teeth.
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.
What Are The Pros and Cons of Braces vs Invisalign?
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, are 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.
If you grind your teeth during sleep (bruxism), it will have more forces 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.
If any part of your braces or wire breaks or dislodges, you will need to return to your dentist to repair it, and which may mean an additional unscheduled appointment, taking more time.
Braces are visible on the teeth, 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 comfortable 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 (top-up for this option). Although it may cost more, the main reason is 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 maintenance 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 the step treatment plan, allowing them to be clear about which stage your teeth are moving towards to shaping your desired smile.
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 20 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.
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.
A beautiful and natural smile can improve confidence. Studies have shown that people with straight teeth are perceived to be more successful in life. Crooked teeth trap food and promote bacteria growth that normal flossing and brushing cannot reach. Crowded teeth also prevent proper brushing and flossing and are harder to keep clean. Poor alignment of the upper and lower teeth can also cause issues with speech, lisping and increased pressure on the back teeth, such as in open bite cases. Correcting bite alignment may improve chewing, speech, or teeth grinding habits.
At Dental Designs Clinic, we offer all options of metal braces, Damon Self Ligating braces, ceramic braces, and Invisalign.
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 advise you on 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.
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- Systematic review of self-ligating brackets
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Nigel Harradine - (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1034/j.1600-0544.2001.40406.x)
- Discomfort associated with Invisalign and traditional brackets: A randomized, prospective trial