When it comes to straightening your teeth, there are two options to consider – Invisalign or braces. Both are designed to realign teeth and to improve the look and function of your smile. But there are a number of differences that will make one option a better one for your particular orthodontic problem. To figure out the right alignment system for your smile, we’ll look at each in more detail here to help you decide which is a better fit for you.
Braces have been around for decades and have been the trusted treatment for straightening teeth. The first models were rather large and consisted of heavy metal brackets that attached to the teeth and were held together by wires and rubber bands. But thanks to recent advancements, the look and function of braces have greatly improved with inside fitted braces and clear options that are now available. Although braces are still not the most attractive method for fixing unaligned teeth, they are extremely efficient at correcting alignment issues.
One of the downsides of braces is that they can’t be removed until the treatment process has been completed. This often makes regular brushing and flossing difficult. The wires and brackets can also irritate gums and cheeks, and they can even cut into your mouth if they become loose.
Patients often have to wear braces anywhere from 18 months to 3 years, depending on the complexity of their issue. Follow up visits are also required every 4 to 6 weeks to change the bands and wires as is necessary to move the teeth.
- Effective treatment
- Multiple types to choose from
- Fixed to the teeth – you can’t lose them
Invisalign on the other hand, is designed to be completely invisible. Unlike braces that use wires and brackets, Invisalign uses clear aligner trays made of transparent plastic that is worn over the teeth and changed out every two weeks. They offer patients a more discrete look and also faster results.
To create an Invisalign aligner, a 3D scan of the patient’s teeth is taken. This ensures a perfect fit is created for each segment of treatment. And since they’re made from smooth plastic, the aligners are much more comfortable to wear than traditional braces. The aligners are also removable which makes it easy to take them out to eat and brush your teeth. However, they still need to be worn for at least 20 to 22 hours a day for them to work.
The average treatment time is relatively less than that with braces. Most patients need to wear Invisalign between 6 to 18 months. Follow up visits are required every 4 to 6 weeks but you’ll also need to change out the aligner every 2 weeks to continue shifting the teeth into their new position.
The only downside of Invisalign is the cost. Due to the materials involved and technology used, the cost can be a little more than braces.
- They look better – virtually invisible
- You can take the aligners out to eat and clean your teeth
- Customized with 3D technology
- Comfortable to wear
If you’re in the Ottawa area and need help deciding whether Invisalign or braces are the right treatment for you, get in touch with our friendly and professional dental team at the Teal Umbrella to schedule a free consultation. We’ve been working with braces and Invisalign treatments for years and are happy to help you find the most effective solution for your smile.