Invisalign® vs. Braces
Improving your bite can be highly beneficial to your oral health and your aesthetic. Thankfully, today, we have a wide variety of options in materials and styles to accommodate many needs. Most people are familiar with the traditional brackets and wire system of traditional braces, but an increasingly popular alternative is the silicone retainer-like option of Invisalign®. Our team at South Austin Dental is happy to review and discuss your options with you and why one may be more advisable than another based on your teeth placement, lifestyle, and cost.
Traditional Braces with Modern Enhancements
Braces can be a highly effective treatment option, especially for patients who would benefit from more directed movement. Many orthodontists recommend braces because it allows for the greatest amount of control in moving your teeth. The downside of braces is bulky materials being used and the fact that they are always there throughout the length of treatment. Braces force you to consider what you're eating, they are difficult to hide, difficult to clean, and patients often complain about brackets causing cuts in their cheeks, lips, and other soft tissue.
Today, there are options to improve some of the frustrations that come with traditional braces. This can include clear or ceramic brackets, clear wires, self ligating wires, lingual braces which are fixed to the backside of your teeth. These options can improve how braces look and their comfort.
The length of time that braces are worn can greatly vary, but on average treatment is two years. Committing to braces for two years can be a significant commitment, it can affect how you look professionally, make it difficult to play contact sports or even to perform with wind instruments. Invisalign removes that frustration.
Invisalign is also used to correct malocclusions, but instead of using brackets and wires, this system works by wearing a snug fit clear silicone device over your teeth. Invisalign is a great product that works well for patients seeking to make alignment corrections to their front teeth. We are seeing a huge increase in wear as patients realize the advantages that come with using clear aligners. Advantages include:
||Nearly Invisible: Invisalign is made of a clear silicone material customized to fit over your teeth, so most people will never know you're wearing it.
||Removable: In order for Invisalign to be optimally effective, we ask that patients wear it most of the time, approximately 23 hours a day, but it can be removable when needed. This means you can remove it to eat your regular diet. You don’t have to avoid sticky or crunchy foods. You can remove it to play sports. You can remove it to play an instrument. You can even remove it for that special night out when you want to look your best. Invisalign still requires a high level of commitment, just as braces do, but it can be removable for small bursts of time as well.
||Replaceable Lost, broken or stained? No Problem! If a patient breaks a wire or a bracket comes off, it can mean an immediate trip to the orthodontist’s office. If a patient loses a retainer, it can be expensive to replace. If you lose, break or an aligner just looks grimy or gross, you can simply replace it a tad early with the next one in the series. Clear aligners come in a pack of multiples, each with tiny incremental changes. Ideally, you will wear each aligner for about two weeks, but if you have to move forward due to problems, that's ok too.