When it comes time to begin fixing crooked, gapped or misaligned teeth using the Invisalign system, it can be exciting. The ease of use and the fact that people will not be able to tell that you are undergoing a teeth-straightening treatment is one of the biggest reasons Invisalign has become so popular over the…
Teeth Straightening: Braces vs. Clear Aligners
When it comes to teeth straightening, two options stand out among the rest: braces and clear aligners. For those who do not want to deal with the hassle of metal braces, clear aligners are the alternatives, but how do these options compare? Continue reading to find out.
Braces vs. Clear aligners
Among the teeth straightening treatments available, the most popular and recognized option would probably be traditional metal braces. Metal braces comprise brackets that are attached to the front side of the teeth. Wires run through the slots in the brackets. The brackets are generally made from stainless steel, and small rubber bands help keep the wires connected to the brackets. The wires apply constant but gentle force to gradually shift the teeth to proper alignment.
Aligners are thin, transparent plastic trays designed to fit over the teeth. In contrast to metal braces, aligners are detachable. Patients need to wear them for about 22 hours daily and only take the trays off when eating or cleaning the teeth. Sets of aligners will be provided; each set moves the teeth a few millimeters before it is switched for the next set in the series.
The advantage of clear aligners
Aligners provide certain benefits over metal braces. For instance, it is easier to clean the teeth while undergoing teeth straightening treatment because they are removable. Also, food debris will not get trapped as with metal brackets. Since aligners do not have wires or brackets that may loosen, there is less frequency of repairs or emergency visits to the general dentist. The major benefit is that clear aligners are almost invisible on the teeth and will be hard to notice, a great choice for those who want discretion.
The first step in the teeth straightening process is meeting with the dentist. They will conduct a dental examination and request X-rays and images of the oral cavity. Impressions of the teeth will also be taken to create a treatment plan.
Traditional braces require going for routine adjustments every one to two months. Patients usually have to wear braces for one to three years, depending on the severity of the problem. The dentist will be able to give a more accurate estimate.
For clear aligners, the dentist will provide several sets of aligner trays. Each set will be worn for about two weeks for most of the day. Each aligner moves the teeth based on the plan created by the dentist. Both braces and clear aligners require wearing a retainer upon completion of treatment.
Making the choice
Metal braces are usually more effective for severe cases of teeth malocclusion or overcrowding. Metal braces may also be less expensive than aligners. Also, since they are fastened to the teeth, they cannot get lost or misplaced. If you are looking to undergo teeth straightening, talk to the general dentist about your options. They will make the best recommendation based on your condition.
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