Sometimes, teeth grow in at a less-than-perfect angle. This can make them crooked or crowded. Affected teeth can potentially damage teeth around them. When this situation arises, it’s orthodontics to the rescue.
Orthodontics is the science of correcting irregularities in the teeth. Both kids and adults can benefit from orthodontic technology. The most common orthodontic tool is, of course, braces.
Traditional braces are made from metal, usually stainless steel or titanium, which are affixed to the teeth. Metal wires are connected to the braces on the teeth to gradually move them into the desired positions.
Invisalign is an alternate form of teeth straightening that uses a series molded plastic trays, which are removable for eating and cleaning. Like traditional braces, the goal is to move the teeth into their desired positions. Wearing the series of trays accomplishes this.
While some patients can opt for either form of treatment, others are better suited to one or the other, for various reasons. Let’s consider the differences between the treatments over several factors.
Invisalign braces are practically invisible. They are made up of aligner trays, each composed of BPA-free plastic, which are worn over teeth. This makes them hard to spot even at close range and they should be removed for eating and cleaning.
Conventional braces can now be made from metals that more closely match the natural color of teeth, but they remain fairly conspicuous and are worn continuously for the length of the treatment.
Conventional braces can be uncomfortable initially until the patient becomes accustomed to them in their mouth. Care must be taken to ensure they are properly cleaned and free of food particles after eating.
Invisalign braces are custom-made for you and are removable for eating and cleaning, so they tend to be more comfortable.
Invisalign works somewhat faster than conventional braces. Patients should expect to wear the removable Invisalign trays for most of each day. Results can be achieved in as little as six months, with virtually all patients satisfied within 18 months.
By contrast, standard braces are worn for an average of around two years. The length of treatment time varies with the complexity of each patient’s needs and subsequent treatment plan. For more challenging or complex treatment needs, traditional braces are recommended.
The Invisalign treatment generally costs less than traditional braces, however, if the trays do not work for a patient, they may need to get conventional braces anyway.
Conventional braces require dental office follow-up visits to adjust the wires attached to the braces, about once monthly. Invisalign patients should change their aligner trays once every two weeks, with office visits scheduled every six weeks or so.
Dental Health Associates
Ultimately, the purpose of traditional braces and Invisalign is the same: to produce a beautiful smile full of straight, well-aligned teeth. At Dental Health Associates of Madison, we work with each and every patient individually to determine which treatment option would be most effective for them. Please contact us today for more information.