What’s the Difference Between Invisalign & Traditional Fixed Braces?
People looking to straighten their teeth to improve their oral health and their appearance must comb through the options. It was not long ago that the only treatment involved unsightly and cumbersome headgear. Then braces were introduced, providing people with a wire and bracket system comprised of either metal or ceramic. Fast forward to today and most patients must decide between some form of traditional braces or a clear set of removable aligners known as Invisalign.
Deciding on which treatment to pursue is typically a personal choice. Each requires commitment and a lifestyle adjustment that some struggle to accept. Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for every treatment so patients must work with their orthodontist to determine which is the best option for the condition of their teeth.
To help you get closer to a decision, we’ll review these two types of braces, addressing the pros and cons. The goal is to provide you with some guidance on what to consider while navigating the decision-making process.
1.) Metal Braces
When people speak of traditional braces, they are often referring to ones made of metal. For decades, metal braces have been the most popular choice as they have a proven track record of straightening teeth, closing gaps and fixing misalignment’s.
The drawbacks of metal braces are that they are noticeable from far away and they can carry some social stigma. Additionally, they feel heavy in your mouth, ensuring you are aware of their presence all day long.
These braces have come a long way with modern versions being flatter and smaller, but they are still viewed as less appealing than other options because of their aesthetic qualities.
Metal braces work by applying consistent pressure to a patient’s teeth. Over time, this force moves teeth into the final position determined by the dentist or orthodontist. Patients with metal braces can be prone to experiencing discomfort and tightness, which takes some getting used to.
While metal braces might seem obnoxious and painful to wear, they do have a high success rate for aligning teeth and that is what’s most important.
2.) Ceramic Braces
Ceramic braces offer the efficacy and predictability of metal braces but have a distinct difference. They don’t force a patient to make metal the centerpiece of their face. For those worried about the appearance of metal braces, ceramic is a better option.
Because ceramic braces are weaker than metal ones, they are usually employed only on front teeth with metal ones placed on back teeth. This combination offers a solid mix of strength, functionality and appearance.
Many gravitate toward ceramic braces because they feel it better suits their lifestyle. They feel more comfortable knowing that these braces are less visible without sacrificing functionality or lengthening treatment duration. They enjoy the benefit of translucency, which allows the braces to blend into the colour of natural teeth. They can effectively negate the impact braces have on a patient’s emotional and mental state compared to their metal counterparts.
It used to be that braces treatments were only for children and teenagers. More adults are now looking to straighten their teeth, and they require something that won’t get in the way of their social or professional lives. This makes ceramic braces a great option for people who want straight teeth without feeling like everyone is staring at their mouth.
3.) Fast Braces
The reality is that most patients must endure a long treatment to get their teeth into their final position. It’s completely naturally to want to cross the finish line as quickly as possible, which is why Georgian Dental® offers Fast Braces. This treatment gets the results you want in roughly half the time as conventional options and often with less discomfort.
Since braces treatments can last up to two years, patients often react to the diagnosis with a sense of dread. Fast braces can minimize the initial negative feelings because the patient understands that the process will be shorter as will the amount of time they must deal with appointments, adjustments and arduous maintenance practices.
Our clinic combines subsonic wave therapy and phototherapy with an innovative orthodontic bracket design and wire system to create a version of accelerated braces that has helped many patients straighten their teeth relatively quickly. The integration of different dental technologies speeds up the biological components that enable teeth movement.
Invisalign might be the most innovative treatment that has ever been developed. It uses sets of clear aligners that are customized to the size of a patient’s mouth and the shape of their teeth. These aligners are removable, meaning a patient doesn’t have to wear them during that important meeting or big night out. They are also removable so people can enjoy whatever foods and drinks they want and can continue regularly brushing and flossing.
Invisalign are comfortable and by not using metal a patient doesn’t have to worry about suffering mouth abrasions. This system also requires less adjustments so you won’t have to visit the dentist as often as you would with alternative options. Another benefit is that patients can view their plan virtually to see how their teeth will look once they have successfully completed treatment.
Each set of aligners must be worn for two weeks. During each stage, teeth will move little by little until they reach their final position. Most patients are only required to visit their dentist once every six weeks for a checkup to make sure their treatment is on the right path. A typical treatment lasts nine to 15 months and most cases need anywhere from 18 to 30 aligners. Remember, treatment duration and the number of aligners vary on a case-by-case basis.
Deciding Between Invisalign & Fixed Braces
Unless your orthodontist recommends one treatment for your case, you will be saddled with the decision between Invisalign or traditional braces. There is little variance in the results so it comes down to comfort and how much disruption to your everyday life you can withstand.
Invisalign offers the least amount of disruption but you must commit to wearing them a certain number of hours a day no matter what you have going on. If you are more concerned with budget than appearances, then metal might be the best option as it tends to be the most cost-effective. If you can invest a bit more, then ceramic braces might be a solid middle ground. Lastly, if you feel as if the main obstacle to pursuing braces is the length of treatment, then you should consider Fast Braces.
The cost for any of these treatments is determined on a case-by-case basis. At Georgian Dental®, we don’t believe that oral health adheres to the “one size fits all” model, which is why we customize each treatment plan to a patient’s case, needs and goals. Furthermore, oral health is an investment and you deserve to get your money’s worth and a return you are thrilled with.
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Straight teeth can transform your life. It comes down to understanding your options so you can make the decision that will yield the best results and suite your lifestyle and overall health.
If you’re ready to discuss your options and start the process, simply complete our short form to book your initial consultation.