Metal Braces VS Invisalign to Straighten Teeth

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Metal Braces VS Invisalign to Straighten Teeth

Metal Braces VS Invisalign – What is my best Option?

 

Have you decided to get your teeth straightened? Indeed, an excellent decision. A perfectly aligned set of teeth will not only give you a beautiful smile and personality, but straightened teeth also restore optimal chewing and speech efficiency. Most importantly, optimally aligned teeth are easier to clean, thereby minimizing the chances of teeth cavities and gum problems.

When we talk about orthodontic treatment, there are two main options to choose from; traditional metal braces and Invisalign aligners. Naturally, you might be wondering which option would be best for you, or which one among them is most affordable? You may also question the treatment duration and how they would affect your appearance.
Therefore, to make an informed decision and to play an active role in your orthodontic treatment, it is essential that you know about different orthodontic treatment options.

This article tells you everything you need to know about the difference between metal braces and Invisalign braces, and which option is best for you.

 

Starting with the Basics – What are braces?

Before we proceed, it’s best to understand what braces and Invisalign aligners are.

  1. Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces, also known as brackets or in slang “rails”, are fixed metal appliances which have been conventionally used for straightening teeth for many decades. Metal braces is an old technique that is still used with good results even today.

Each bracket contains a slot at the front surface through which a metal wire passes through. The wire is attached to the brackets by using rubber ties. The material and diameter of the orthodontic wire determine the force which is exerted on the teeth to move them into position. Once the teeth have advanced into the desired occlusion and position, your dentist will give you retainers to consolidate the treatment.

  1. Invisalign – Invisible Aligners

The Invisalign aligners, on the other hand, are removable appliances which resemble mouthguards. These aligners are made from a flexible and transparent acrylic material. With advancements in technology and 3D-printing these invisible braces have been proven to be just as effective and more pleasing to use than the old metal braces.

Your orthodontist will give you a set of numbered aligners, which you will need to wear sequentially for about 22 hours each day for best results. After wearing each set of aligners for two weeks, you will switch to the next set of aligners. This process will continue until your teeth have become perfectly aligned. At this point, your dentist will give you retainers to prevent the teeth from moving back.

 

Therefore, to make an informed decision and to play an active role in your orthodontic treatment, it is essential that you know about different orthodontic treatment options.

 

Metal Braces VS Invisalign Braces; The Pros and Cons

While both braces and Invisalign in Cambridge are useful in treating virtually all types of orthodontic problems, they have their merits and demerits. The following tables summarize the pros and cons of both the orthodontic treatment options.

 

The Pros:
Invisalign – Invisible Aligners Metal Braces
Clear/Invisible Useful for treatment of complex bite cases
Can be removed while eating or brushing less risk of loss of brackets
No problem in eating. Enjoy your favourite foods Lesser dependent on patient compliance
No discomfort or risk of injury
 Suitable for sport

 

The Cons:
Invisalign – Invisalign Aligners Metal Braces
Risk of loss or forgetting to wear Metal appearance
Approx. 22 hour wear time in a day Risk of injury of oral soft tissues
May cause teeth cavities, white spots or gum problems due to difficult oral hygiene maintenance
Difficulty in eating and speaking
Cannot eat hard and sticky foods

 

Braces or Invisalign; What’s the Difference?

Now, let’ make a comparison between the Braces and Invisalign aligners:

  • Aesthetics

When we talk about aesthetics, the Invisalign aligners have the edge over the conventional metal braces. This is because the metal appearance of the braces is a cosmetic concern for many patients. On the other hand, the Invisalign aligners are made from a clear polymer, which makes them transparent. As a result, they are barely visible when you wear them. This is the reason why many patients prefer Invisalign over metal braces.

 

  • Cost of Invisalign and braces 

One of the most important things to consider while selecting an orthodontic treatment option is the expected cost of treatment. In the case of metal braces, the treatment cost generally varies between £2000 to £5000. Treatment with Invisalign here at Regent Dental Cambridge can cost between £2500 to £5000. However, the actual cost of treatment will be determined at the consultation visit and depends on the severity of your orthodontic problem.

 

  • Oral Hygiene Maintenance

With metal braces, oral hygiene maintenance is not very easy, this is because food particles tend to get trapped around the brackets and the orthodontic wires. This can lead to various issues such as teeth cavities and periodontal problems. Dentists recommend using interdental brushes for optimal oral hygiene maintenance with braces.

On the other hand, the Invisalign aligners are removable appliances. You can simply remove them whenever you need brush your teeth, or floss. As a result, patients who are treated with Invisalign aligners tend to have better oral hygiene status[1].

 

The Invisalign braces, on the other hand, do not cause any discomfort or injury.

 

  • Comfort and Convenience

Patients who wear braces often complain of injury to their cheeks due to the sharp edges of the brackets, and sometimes, because of the wires if they contain sharp edges.  The Invisalign aligners cause minimal if any discomfort at all. They also allow you to speak clearly and without any difficulty.

 

  • Dietary Limitations

When you have metal braces, you need to try and avoid hard and sticky foods as they can dislodge the braces from the teeth. Also, you must limit the intake of fizzy drinks, since the acid in these drinks can dissolve the bond between the bracket and the tooth.

There is no such limitation with Invisalign. All you need to do is to remove your aligners before eating, and you’re good to go! Please make sure your brush your teeth and rinse your aligner in warm water before wearing it back again.

 

  • Follow-up Visits

If you have metal braces for your orthodontic treatment, you will most likely need to visit your orthodontist for a check-up every month. On the other hand, fewer visits are required with Invisalign. This is because you will already have all the sets of aligners available with you, and you just need to switch to the next set of aligners after every one or two weeks. With Invisalign, you may need to see your dentists after 6-8 weeks.

 

  • Duration of Treatment

Since braces are fixed appliances, they need to be worn 24 hours each day. The length of treatment with braces varies according to the severity of the problem. Although mild cases can be treated within a year, treatment of moderate to severe cases takes about 18-24 months with braces. When it comes to Invisalign aligners, you need to wear them for at least 22 hours each day. Treatment duration generally varies between 6-18 months.

 

  • Treatment Consolidation

Both braces and Invisalign require retainers following completion of treatment. When your treatment with braces has been completed, your orthodontist will give you removable or fixed retainers for 3-6 months. On the other hand, Invisalign provides its Vivera retainers, which have specifically been designed to work with Invisalign aligners. Depending on the severity of your case, you may need to wear the retainers 24/7, or you may only wear them during the night.

We understand that choosing the right orthodontic treatment option may not be easy. We hope that with this article we have armed you with knowledge about both the treatment options so that this choice will become easier for you. Also, you don’t have to make this decision alone. You should consult your dentist, who will recommend a treatment option which best suits your dental and cosmetic needs as well as your budgetary constraints. Contact us here at Regent Dental Practice so we together can find out whats the best treatment option for straightening your teeth!

 

Regent Dental Practice in Cambridge are officially certified in Invisalign treatments

 


References;

[1] Azaripour, A., et al. “Braces versus Invisalign®: gingival parameters and patients’ satisfaction during treatment: a cross-sectional study.” BMC Oral Health 15.1 (2015): 69.

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