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Braces Vs Invisalign?

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Historically the only method of correcting ones crowding, cross bite, deep bite, or underbite would require traditional orthodontic braces. They were the metal bars that you commonly saw on kids’ teeth at school during their teenage years. Fast forward to the present and the advancements of technology and understanding of tooth movements have introduced a new era of orthodontic correction, Invisalign – a popular option for patients that wish to correct their smile without the metal look on their teeth. Invisalign has fast become a popular treatment choice as it provides a great solution for both adults and teens without the cumbersome appearance of conventional braces.

Braces have long been used by general dentists and specialist orthodontists to correct smiles. They have corrected millions of smiles and still have a rightful place in Orthodontics. One of the biggest nuisances of conventional braces is that they are stuck onto your teeth, which can lead to various issues that many patients need to consider. We’ve listed a few issues that may arise from conventional braces:

 

  • Appearance
    • – Not everyone will happily want metal braces on their teeth that will stay with them for the duration of their treatment, on average 18-24 months.
    • – For this reason, adult braces are not a popular option amongst growing teens and adults.
  • Difficulties with oral hygiene
    • – With braces, the metal brackets are adhered to the tooth. This means our oral hygiene needs to be at its best. Conventional flossing can become challenging. Therefore, you may need to use alternative cleaning tools such as superfloss or piksters to help remove plaque and food debris from in-between your teeth.
    • – All the metal appliances fixed to your teeth unfortunately increases the risk of food trapping. This results in more effort when it comes to brushing and flossing, and sequentially, an increased in the amount of time you have to spend in the bathroom cleaning your teeth.
  • Risk of decay and periodontal disease
    • – Without the right oral hygiene protocols in place, there is a higher risk of dental decay and periodontal disease associated with braces. Fortunately, this does not occur frequently, but it is something to consider before embarking on your orthodontic journey. A careful assessment of your teeth is highly recommended to identify any issues early on so we can address them immediately.
  • Mouth ulcerations
    • – Metal braces and wires fixated on your teeth can rub against your cheek and in some instances, may cut them when they are first put on. This can lead to mouth ulcerations and difficulties in eating and talking for a couple of weeks. Fortunately, this resolves quickly, and the use of orthodontic wax during treatment can aid in the prevention oral ulcerations.

 

It may seem that the above reasons are good enough to avoid conventional braces. Thankfully, the concerns listed above can be easily managed. One of the issues, the metal colour, have been solved by the introduction of ceramic braces. Ceramic braces are like your conventional metal braces, but instead of metal, the brackets are ceramic in colour. Ceramic brackets blend in with your teeth shade better and can improve the overall look when you smile during orthodontic treatment. Likewise with metal braces, they still result in difficulties with oral hygiene and increased risks of decay and periodontal disease.

For patients that wish to have braces but not have anything show when they smile, technology has created ‘lingual braces’. These are also known as ‘inside braces’, which are popular with patients that don’t want anything to appear on the front surface of their teeth. Although they are more subtle in appearance, they are just like braces and so one should maintain the strictest of oral hygiene regime during treatment. Lingual braces may be quite appealing due to their discreet nature, but they can affect your speech more so than conventional braces. As the lingual braces sit on the inside of your teeth, they are in direct contact with your tongue. This can lead to changes in speech, which will eventually improve with time. Tongue trauma is also common with lingual braces.

The introduction of Invisalign has allowed patients the opportunity to correct their smile and improve their bite without the need of metal braces affixed to your teeth. This has become increasing popular as teens and adults seek an improved smile without the look of metal braces. Invisalign’s discreet aligners gradually correct your teeth with reduced risks associated with conventional braces. Some of the benefits of choosing Invisalign include:

  • Discreet appeal
    • – Invisalign are ‘clear’ aligners which are ideal for patients that don’t want the metal look on their teeth. This is increasingly popular for both teens and adults.
    • – Invisalign aligners can be quite difficult to recognise when they are in your mouth. In comparison to metal braces, this is one of the main reasons people choose Invisalign.
  • Ability to remove them for meals and oral hygiene
    • – An incredible advantage of Invisalign is the ability to remove them for meals and oral hygiene. This allows patients to eat freely without the risk of food trapping, thus, reducing their risk of decay and periodontal disease. Furthermore, patients can brush and floss with no challenges.
  • Less impact on speech
    • – Invisalign aren’t as bulky as conventional braces, and so your speech won’t be as affected. Naturally, when something new is placed in your mouth, your speech may change in the short term. Thankfully, your speech adjusts quite quickly with Invisalign due to their slimmer nature.

Some things to consider with Invisalign include:

  • – Although it is seen as an advantage, there is the associated disadvantage of being able to remove your Invisalign aligners. The ability to freely remove them at the patient’s discretion, leaves much of the treatment success up to the patients’ compliance. Orthodontic correction requires constant pressure for movements to successfully be achieved. Removing your aligners removes these pressures and will undoubtedly delay treatment or in some cases, lead to failure due to lack of wear. We recommend patients wear their aligners 20 to 22 hours a day for the best results. Each aligner gradually shifts your teeth into place, and it is imperative that patients follow the strict protocols when it comes to wearing their aligners. It is always best to follow your dentist’s advice. Failure to do so may lead to unsuccessful orthodontic treatment and subsequently a costly lesson if treatment needs to start again due to lack of compliance. Conventional braces do not have this issue as they are affixed to your teeth, so whether we like it or not, they are there to stay until your orthodontic journey is complete. It isn’t uncommon for patients to remove their aligners when starting due to ‘discomfort’ or ‘pain’, such experiences are common at the early stages of treatment, and quickly subside within the first week or two.
  • – Increased risk of staining of teeth can occur during treatment. Coloured food and drinks can lead to an increased attraction of staining of your teeth, aligner and attachments. This is often very difficult to remove and can become quite noticeable. It is best to avoid certain food and drinks whilst receiving Invisalign treatment to prevent this from occurring. Tea, coffee, red wine and saucey meals are the biggest culprits when it comes to staining. If you love any of the above list, then we recommend an increased water intake shortly after consumption.

 

No one treatment is better than the other. Depending on the amount of crowding, spacing, or bite, the treatment recommendations may differ. Technology has allowed us to correct smiles through a variety of means, and in some cases, a combination may be implemented. Once all options have been carefully explained and discussed, we can help you achieve that perfect smile. Whether your teeth are best suited for conventional braces or Invisalign, our goal is to ensure the best result for you and your teeth. Every case is different and treatment goals should consider your needs as the patient, and careful consideration of what treatment modality would be most successful. In some cases, a referral to an Orthodontist may be required due to the complexities involved. The team at True Smiles Dental assess your teeth regularly during your routine checkups. This allows us to identify possible issues, and suggest a timeframe for intervention. This is particularly important for growing children as orthodontic intervention can start in their early mixed dentition.

 

We’ve listed several reasons where conventional braces and Invisalign may benefit you to help give patients a better understanding of both treatment modalities. At True Smiles Dental, we strive to accurately assess your teeth and aid in guiding you to the best treatment option. Results are important and so both options should always be considered when it comes to achieving that perfect smile. The team at True Smiles Dental can help assist you on your teeth straightening journey. Call us on 02 7228 7272 or book online at http://www.truesmilesdental.com.au