Lost between braces and Invisalign? Don’t know the difference between both treatments and need to make a choice? This blog summarises different patients’ experiences and highlights the pros and cons you need to know to make the right choice.
What are braces?
Braces are metal brackets which are permanently glued onto your teeth and connected together using metal wires. By tightening the metal wire using torque your teeth are pulled into a more aligned position.
The good thing about Braces is that they are very powerful and can therefore be effective for complex dental cases which require large teeth movements and corrections. Braces also do not require much self-discipline and routine because they aren’t removable. Once they are on, they stay on!
However the bad thing about braces is that because they are permanently fixed to your teeth throughout the treatment, there is no escape from them, and you will have to attend all events wearing the braces. Furthermore, due to the glued brackets, you will not be able to clean your teeth properly and this might cause teeth discoloration.
Another challenge with traditional Braces treatments is that the final results cannot be predicted, this is because there is no planning, and the final results depend only on the orthodontist’s experience of applying pressure on the teeth through tightening the metal wire.
In addition, patients with traditional Fixed Braces also often complain about the difficulty of eating, which can be troublesome and often embarrassing, especially if eating outside the house. Food easily gets stuck in the metal brackets, and you won’t be able to remove them without brushing your teeth.
Finally, the other challenge with Fixed Braces is the frequent orthodontist visits in order to tighten the brackets. This takes a lot of time and also is often quite painful. Add on top, many times if you bite on anything hard you risk breaking one of the brackets, so you’d have to rush to your orthodontist to fix it else it would cause bad sores. So what if this happens on a weekend?
What is Invisalign?
The Clear Aligner Therapy uses trays made of smooth, comfortable, BPA-free clear plastic that are worn over your teeth to subtly and gently move your teeth into the perfect final position. Clear aligner trays are changed every 2 weeks without any need to go to the orthodontist. Invisalign is the original inventor of Clear Aligner Therapy, but now there are lots of companies providing the same thing because the Invisalign patent expired.
Clear aligners look much better than the traditional fixed braces because they are simply, as their name states, completely clear and therefore totally transparent. With clear aligners you can eat whatever you feel like wherever you are. You simply just remove your aligners and then place them back after you have finished enjoying a hot pizza or cup of coffee.
Another great thing about Clear Aligners is that cleaning your teeth isn’t a problem at all. So you have no degrading of the quality or colour of your teeth during treatment. Also, keeping the trays clean is really easy, and can be managed with some toothpaste and your toothbrush.
Perhaps the best thing about Clear Aligners, or Invisalign, is that the treatment is completely digitally planned. This means that before the treatment starts you can look at the shape and design of your new smile. Also, because the treatment is digitally planned we can predict how long it will take to get the results that you want. Typically Clear Aligner Treatment is quicker also than Fixed Braces meaning you will see the final results in months not years.
As one of the patients who wore fixed braces states: “I wish back then there were clear aligners, and I wouldn’t think twice about which treatment to choose. No one can ever explain the pain I went through every time my braces were tightened. You name it, mouth sores, headaches, horrible toothaches… I still remember the pain that would last for a couple days after each visit. During my two year treatment, I literally felt ashamed to smile because no matter how pleasant we try to make them look, they are simply ugly. This really affected my self-confidence and I would refuse taking photos even at events. If I laughed I had to cover my mouth, because I didn’t want anyone to see the fixed silver brackets. Besides all that, eating outside home was torture instead of being a fun thing to do. Can you imagine how life changed drastically during my last years of high school. I reached a point where I kept a toothbrush and toothpaste, and I would sneak into the bathroom to brush my teeth without anyone seeing me. So was the physical and psychological torture worth losing my smile all throught the treatment? I sure don’t recommend fixed braces for anyone.