Not sure how to choose between clear aligners and traditional braces? Our Windsor dentists offer some factors to think about, including cosmetic considerations.
Choosing Between Clear Aligners & Braces
Clear aligners like Invisalign versus braces: a difficult decision! Fortunately, we can assist you. Consider the following information about each option as you decide which one will help you achieve a straight smile.
Transparent clear aligners such as Invisalign are custom-made to fit your smile. These removable orthodontic appliances are constructed from clear plastic material. They forgo the brackets and wires that accompany braces and are therefore lower profile in appearance.
You will receive an individually tailored treatment plan to help you attain your desired smile. Generally, you will spend less time in the dentist's office during treatment, as your clear aligners may not require as many checkups or adjustments as braces. Every four to six weeks, your dentist will schedule brief appointments to review your progress and general oral health, answer questions, and adjust your treatment as necessary.
Depending on your specific treatment plan, they may be in line with the cost of braces or slightly more expensive. A casual observer will be hard-pressed to see them on your teeth, and you won't have any restrictions on the food and drinks you can enjoy.
However, clear aligners must be worn for 22 hours each day and removed while drinking and eating anything except water. Commitment to treatment, self-discipline and scheduling meals to fit within the 2 hours allotted for meal times every day.
Traditional Metal Braces
These are the most common type of braces. Made entirely out of metal and supported by elastics, metal braces have received numerous upgrades in recent decades thanks to advancements in orthodontic technology.
Over time, braces apply continuous pressure to your teeth, slowly shifting them into their new, corrected positions. As this pressure is applied and the teeth move, the bone changes shape to accommodate their new positions.
Modern brackets are more streamlined than their predecessors. Now, the inside of your cheeks or lips is less likely to become irritated by a bracket, as brackets have become smaller and more comfortable. However, some individuals are still hesitant to choose metal braces due to their aesthetic.
In this case, clear braces may be a viable alternative.
Many patients choose clear braces as they are better able to blend in with their smiles. They are not actually transparent; the brackets are constructed from tooth-coloured ceramic.
Clear braces come with a caveat: while they are a compromise between metal braces and clear aligners when it comes to appearance, they are actually more brittle and larger in size than the traditional metal braces you may have seen.
They also tend to be more costly. Therefore, they are commonly used only on the upper front (your most visible) teeth to save on costs.
The larger ceramic brackets can make it more difficult to clean around the brackets, resulting in receding or swollen gums if your toothbrush does not reach the gum line and enamel.