At Southland Dental, we understand the important role that orthodontics can play in creating a healthy and beautiful smile. If you or your teen has crooked teeth, overly crowded teeth, an underbite or an overbite, correcting these challenges can prolong the lifespan of natural teeth by helping them to remain in good condition. Both Invisalign® and braces can do so by applying pressure to the teeth or by working in combination with other orthodontic measures like spacers. When determining which is better, Invisalign® or braces, you must really evaluate your lifestyle and determine which solution will work within it. From a day-to-day perspective, patients prefer Invisalign® due to the flexibility that it provides. If you live in the Regina area, we encourage you to schedule an examination so that we can determine the best way to proceed with straightening your teeth.
It’s fair to say that over the years, orthodontic treatments have improved leaps and bounds. The stigma that once applied to clunky metal braces has ultimately been erased by revolutionary high-end appliances. Nowadays people are more accepting of orthodontic treatments to straighten their teeth; but with a multitude of options available, which one is right for you? In this post, we’re going to take a look at modern day fixed braces and compare them to removable Invisalign aligners.
Traditional fixed braces
Made from metal, ceramic, composite, or even a hybrid of one or more of the above, traditional fixed braces are designed to fix a whole host of orthodontic problems. These include tooth crowding, protruding, alignment issues, crookedness, and irregular spacing or gapping. Permanently fixed to the front of the teeth (or in the case of lingual braces, to the back) they move the teeth by using flexible archwires to apply gentle sustained pressure over a period of time. Fixed full-term braces are usually recommended for moderate or more serious orthodontic cases and treatment times can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Typically though, patients can expect to wear their braces for 9-18 months. That said, in some cases, patients looking for purely aesthetic improvements can opt for accelerated treatments which can take as little as 3-6 months.
So what about Invisalign?
Invisalign is an ‘aligner style’ system which is virtually invisible and therefore exceptionally discreet. Doing away with brackets and wiring altogether, clear plastic aligners are worn over the teeth, a bit like a protective gum shield. What’s more, rather than having one appliance for the duration of the treatment, Invisalign utilises a whole series of aligners which are removed and replaced every two-three weeks.
Each aligner in the series is pre-designed to move the teeth sufficiently so that the next aligner fits perfectly. This continues until the wearer has completed their treatment (usually 12-18 months) and their teeth are straight. Unlike fixed braces, Invisalign aligners can be removed to clean your teeth, and they must be removed to eat and drink. Although they allow patients the freedom of choosing not to wear their aligners at any particular time, most dentists advise that they are worn for around 20 hours a day to achieve optimum results.
So what conditions can Invisalign help?
In the main Invisalign is able to treat many of the conditions that traditional braces can, including crowded teeth, bite problems (overbites and crossbites), irregular teeth gapping, and mild relapses after traditional brace treatments. However, if you have more severe orthodontic problems then there are better options available.
So what’s the verdict – which should you choose?
If you’re looking for a discreet orthodontic treatment that won’t impact on your social or professional life, then you might want to consider Invisalign. Alternatively, if you have a more serious orthodontic condition and want a cost-effective solution, then you should think about fixed brace treatments.
To find out more, why not call Southland Dental and book a consultation where we can discuss your options and what’s best for you.