Are you looking to achieve a straighter smile, and are currently weighing the options of Invisalign® vs. braces? Dr. Sol Weiss and his expert staff in Toronto, ON, can explain your options and help you make an informed decision. Both techniques use similar principles and are effective for treating malocclusion, misalignment, and bite issues. However, Invisalign® is often preferred because it offers greater comfort and aesthetics. For additional information, please contact us to schedule a consultation.
Overview of Invisalign® and Braces
Braces use brackets, made of metal or ceramic, which are bonded to each tooth. A wire is placed into the brackets and attached with rubber bands, or o-rings. Your practitioner calibrates the wire to apply constant tension, and slowly shift your teeth into place. This process requires monthly check-ups to replace the rubber bands and alter the shape of the wire.
Invisalign® is a discreet way to enhance your smile, without having to feel self-conscious about conspicuous metal hardware. The system uses similar principles to traditional braces, but consists of a series of clear aligner trays. The trays are made from impressions of your teeth and each tray is shaped slightly differently to exert a gentle force. Approximately every two weeks, you will move on to the next tray from the series until treatment is complete.
Treatment Time and Maintenance
The length of treatment with traditional metal braces can vary, with most patients wearing them anywhere between one to three years. Maintaining braces can be a major deterrent as they are not removable, and make brushing and flossing more difficult. The brackets and wires must be carefully cleaned, and you must alter your diet to avoid foods and drinks that can damage the brackets and glue bonding them to your teeth. However, metal braces are able to treat cases of severe malocclusion, vertical misalignment, and complex bite issues that cannot be corrected otherwise.
With Invisalign®, patients wear the clear, removable trays for a minimum of 22 hours each day, removing them for meals and cleaning. The total length of treatment time usually lasts an average of 12 months. Because the mouthpieces can be removed, patients can enjoy any foods they choose, and brushing and flossing are no more difficult than before. The clear trays can be cleaned with an Invisalign® Cleaning System, or by simply brushing and rinsing in warm water.
Invisalign® trays are made from clear BPA-free plastics, making them practically invisible during use.
Aesthetics and Comfort
Metal braces and Invisalign® are both effective for treating various orthodontic issues, so choosing which one is right for you may come down to appearance and comfort. Traditional metal braces come in a variety of colors and have reduced in size over the years, but still have some drawbacks. These concerns include visible wires, discomfort from the brackets, and the potential to irritate your gums and soft tissues.
One of the major advantages of Invisalign® is that the trays are made from clear plastics free of bisphenol A (BPA), making them practically invisible during use. The smooth plastic also prevents the aligners from irritating or damaging soft tissues as metal braces do.