Invisalign vs Traditional Braces
Orthodontic treatment can be used for more than just straightening your teeth. While straightening teeth will give you a beautiful smile, there is much more that goes on during treatment that will benefit your overall health. Straighter teeth are often easier to clean which helps keep cavities at bay while also correcting your bite.
What makes traditional braces and Invisalign different?
While both work towards the same goal, the difference lies in how they work to straighten your teeth.
Traditional braces are what most people picture when they think of getting braces. Metal brackets are attached to each tooth and metal wires are inserted between them to move your teeth over time. Invisalign aligner trays are made of clear plastic that need to be switched out as teeth are gradually moved.
How they compare –
About Traditional Braces
- Removability: Since braces are affixed to your teeth, they cannot be removed during treatment. This is good for patients that worry about losing their tray or don’t want to change trays frequently.
- Treatment Time: Braces are very efficient in moving teeth and closing gaps. Depending on the complexity of your case, treatment time can range from 18 months to 2 years.
- Cleaning: Patients with traditional braces will need to follow a regular oral hygiene routine including brushing and flossing, making sure to get rid of all debris that might be caught, as well as avoiding sticky or hard foods.
- Cost: Cost of traditional orthodontic treatment can differ depending on your specific treatment.
- After Care: Once treatment is completed, a retainer will need to be worn to prevent teeth from shifting back.
- Complexity: Traditional braces are able to fix complex dental issues as well as minor ones. After examination, your dentist or orthodontist will tell you whether traditional braces are best for your specific treatment.
- Removability: Aligners need to be changed out frequently to keep your treatment on track. Many patients like that aligners can be removed to brush and floss as well as to eat or for short periods of time for work or social occasions. However, for your treatment plan to be successful, aligners must be worn as prescribed (about 22 hours a day). Unlike traditional braces, aligners can get lost or accidentally thrown away.
- Cleaning: Since aligners are removable, patients need to stick to their regular oral hygiene routine. There is no need to avoid certain foods, however aligners must be removed during eating & drinking.
- Cost: Costs depend on the complexity and length of your treatment.
- After Care: Just like traditional braces, a retainer will need to be worn to prevent teeth from shifting back to their previous position.
- Complexity: Though Invisalign can correct bite and straighten teeth, it is usually not recommended for very complex orthodontic cases.
What about clear aligners that I can order online?
While a new treatment option has entered the orthodontia arena, there is a big catch! At-home teeth straightening has grown in popularity and while this option may be less expensive than traditional braces or Invisalign it holds big risks.
When performing your examination, your dentist or orthodontist looks at more than just which teeth need straightening. A comprehensive exam will also assess the health of your gums and bones. Any level of periodontal disease cannot be detected through photos or impressions taken at home for teeth straightening kits. Attempting to move teeth may cause increased inflammation in patients that already have periodontal disease present. This can lead to accelerated periodontal breakdown and eventually, complete loss of teeth. Trays that are not adjusted by a professional and do not fit correctly can rub or push up against your gums causing gum recession. It is important to see a specialist that knows how to correctly and safely straighten your teeth.
If you have been considering seeking orthodontic treatment or Invisalign treatment, call Elmhurst Dental at (630) 833-5110 for a free consultation with our orthodontist, Dr. Amer Shammaa or visit us at elmhurstdental.com