Is Invisalign as Effective as Traditional Braces?

invisalign

Kids, teens, and even adults who need teeth straightening today have several potential treatment options. While traditional metal braces are the best-known teeth straightening option, newer devices like Invisalign are becoming increasingly popular. One of the first questions that many patients have is whether Invisalign is as effective as traditional braces. Here’s what you need to know.

How Effective is Invisalign?

The main reason that many patients want Invisalign rather than traditional braces is that it’s virtually invisible. Nobody will even be aware that you’re wearing clear aligners in most cases. While this is certainly a major benefit, Invisalign isn’t always exactly like traditional braces in terms of effectiveness.

Invisalign can treat teeth alignment issues including overbite, underbite, crossbite, crowded teeth, and open bite. All of these issues can be treated with traditional braces as well. The main difference is that Invisalign is appropriate for mild to moderate alignment problems.

Invisalign is typically best for cases where you want teeth straightening primarily for cosmetic reasons. However, if the problem is very severe and major re-shifting of the teeth needs to take place, traditional braces may be the superior option. For example, if teeth have to be shifted vertically to achieve proper alignment, traditional braces can do that more effectively than Invisalign.

Ultimately, this doesn’t mean that Invisalign can’t be as effective as traditional braces — but it does mean that Invisalign and traditional braces each have an area where they perform particularly well. For Invisalign, it’s mild to moderate realignment of teeth for aesthetic reasons. For braces, it’s moderate to severe realignment of the teeth for aesthetic reasons, structural reasons, or both.

Is Invisalign Right For You?

If you’re interested in straightening your teeth with Invisalign, consider the following questions.

  • Can you adhere to a strict schedule of wearing the aligners? If you choose Invisalign, it’s very important to remember that it can only work while you’re wearing it. You’ll need to wear the aligners almost all the time, removing them only for oral hygiene and eating.
  • Is having metal free teeth important to you? If having metal free teeth is important to you, you might just be the perfect Invisalign candidate. With Invisalign, you get to skip the metal brackets and wires.
  • Are you willing to wear a retainer to preserve your Invisalign results? After Invisalign treatment — usually 12-24 months — you’ll need to commit to wearing a retainer to preserve your good results. Most Invisalign patients opt for a clear retainer which is similar in style to the Invisalign aligners.

What if the Dentist Recommends Braces Instead?

If you’ve got teeth alignment issues that would be more effectively corrected with traditional braces, you still have options. These include:

  • Traditional metal braces: traditional metal braces include brackets and wires that are periodically tightened to help reposition your teeth into the optimal position.
  • Clear ceramic braces: clear ceramic braces still have traditional hardware, but it’s made from a clear ceramic that makes it difficult to see the braces on your teeth.
  • Lingual braces: lingual braces are attached to the back of the teeth, which means your smile isn’t affected at all.

As you can see, braces have come a long way in the last couple of decades, so you now have plenty of good options for straightening your teeth. Ultimately, the question of Invisalign versus traditional braces isn’t black or white. It all depends on your particular problems, your needs, and your treatment goals. Dr. Valderrama will be happy to work with you to help you determine whether Invisalign or traditional braces is more effective for your needs.

Valderrama Orthodontics is a Melbourne, Florida orthodontic practice led by Dr. Natalia Valderrama, fondly called “Dr. V.” by her patients. Dr. V offers skilled and compassionate orthodontic care to children, teens, and adults. Services include not only Invisalign, Clear Correct, and metal braces but also clear braces, lingual braces, retainers, and mouth guards for sports. The Valderrama Orthodontics team always goes the extra mile to make sure that patients feel welcomed and supported. Contact the office anytime to arrange an appointment for you or your child.


Feel Confident With Clear Braces

If you are planning to get braces, clear braces may be your best option. Not only do they straighten the teeth as effectively as their all-metal counterparts, but they are much more discreet. In fact, when you wear clear braces, people may not even realize that you are wearing braces at all.

What are clear braces?

Clear braces are braces that have ceramic brackets. The brackets of traditional braces are made of metal.

The ceramic used for clear braces can be white or translucent. As a result, clear braces are difficult to discern from your natural tooth material. This means that you can have your dental alignment corrected without feeling self-conscious.

If you are uncomfortable with the thought of metal brackets covering your teeth, you are not alone. ┬áMany people just don’t feel as confident when their appearance is dramatically altered. You may not be comfortable smiling, laughing or even talking while wearing traditional metal braces. This lack of confidence can impair your ability to act naturally in social situations. For adults who regularly interact in business settings or for teens who may already feel awkward due to the developmental changes they are undergoing, this can be particularly problematic.

Like the brackets of metal braces, the brackets of clear braces can still be connected to an archwire using elastic bands. The archwire is adjusted periodically to apply consistent alignment pressure to properly position your teeth. To ensure that the archwire is not noticeable, a frosted or white wire can be used. In addition, the elastic bands that are selected can be translucent or white.

Can clear braces correct the same alignment issues as traditional metal braces?

In the past, ceramic brackets were not as strong as they are nowadays. As a result, less alignment pressure was used with ceramic braces to avoid damaging the brackets. Nowadays, clear braces are much stronger and often offer the same alignment force as conventional metal braces. Thus, you can be confident that the ceramic brackets will not delay or negatively modify your results. Even bite problems can be corrected effectively.

What happens if a ceramic bracket is broken?

Ceramic brackets are quite strong but are still more brittle than metal brackets. If a ceramic bracket breaks or becomes damaged, there is no need to fret. It can be quickly and easily replaced.

Why are clear braces sometimes selected instead of plastic aligners?

Although plastic aligners, such as those used for Invisalign, offer great discretion during your treatment process, they are often unable to correct severe alignment and bite problems. Clear braces can handle difficult alignment issues without significantly altering your appearance during treatment. In addition, clear braces can be used by people of all ages, but clear plastic aligners are usually only prescribed for teens and adults. In order to be effective, most aligners can only be used for a patient whose palate has already finished growing. As a result, kids and young teens may not be suitable candidates.

Clear braces are also a better option for people who may fail to wear their plastic aligners consistently. To provide adequate aligning force, plastic aligners cannot be left out of the mouth for more than a couple of hours per day. Clear braces are put in place by your orthodontist and remain in position until he or she removes them.

Can clear and metal braces be paired during the same treatment?

Clear braces are certainly not the most costly orthodontic option, but they are a bit more expensive than their metal counterparts. To lower the cost of your treatment, your orthodontist may place clear brackets on the teeth that are easily seen when you talk or smile and use metal brackets for the remainder of your teeth. With this option, you pay a bit less than you would for a complete set of ceramic brackets but still enjoy the aesthetic advantages of clear braces.

There are multiple alignment applications available for people who require orthodontic correction. However, many of these options are easily seen when applied to the teeth. Clear braces combine the advantages of discretion and effective alignment. If your teeth are misaligned, clear braces may offer you a way to feel more confident as you have your teeth properly positioned.

To learn more about clear braces and determine whether or not they are right for you, contact our office for a consultation.
Sources:

https://www.invisalign.com/