Not sure how to decide between clear aligners and traditional braces? Our dentists in Winnipeg share some factors to consider, including cosmetic considerations.
Choosing Between Clear Aligners & Braces
Clear aligners such as Invisalign or braces: you've got a tough choice to make! Fortunately, we're here to help. Here are some facts for you to consider about each option while you think about which one to choose to help you accomplish your smile goals.
Transparent clear aligners including Invisalign are custom-made to fit your smile. These orthodontic appliances are removable and made from clear plastic material. They do not have brackets or wires (which do accompany braces) and so are lower profile in appearance.
You will have an individually customized treatment plan that will help achieve your smile goals. You will see your dentist briefly every 4 to 6 weeks to review your progress and overall oral health, ask any questions you may have and adjust treatment as needed. You may not spend as much time in your dentist's office during treatment as you would with braces, since you may not need as many appointments or checkups. Your clear aligners won't require regular adjustments as braces do.
Depending on your specific treatment plan, clear aligners may be in line with the cost of braces or slightly more expenses. Casual observers will be hard-pressed to see them on your teeth, and you will not have to deal with restrictions on the food and drinks you can enjoy.
That said, clear aligners must be worn for 22 hours every day and removed while eating and drinking anything except water. Commitment to treatment, self-discipline and scheduling meals to fit within the allotted 2 hour times every day will help you succeed in treatment.
Traditional Metal Braces
These are the most common type of braces. Made entirely out of metal and supported by elastics, metal braces have received numerous upgrades in recent decades thanks to advancements in orthodontic technology.
Over time, braces apply continuous pressure to your teeth, slowly shifting them into their new, corrected positions. As this pressure is applied and the teeth move, the bone changes shape to accommodate their new positions.
Brackets today are more streamlined than those used in years past. Now, you’ll run less risk of the inside of your cheeks or lips growing irritated by a bracket, as the brackets have gotten smaller and more comfortable. However, some people are still reluctant choose metal braces because of their appearance.
In this case, clear braces may be a viable alternative.
Many patients choose clear braces as they are better able to blend in with their smile. They are not actually transparent; the brackets are constructed from tooth-coloured ceramic.
Clear braces come with a caveat: while they are a compromise between metal braces and clear aligners when it comes to appearance, they are actually more brittle and larger in size than the traditional metal braces you may have seen.
They also tend to be more costly. Therefore, they are commonly used only on upper front (your most visible) teeth to save on costs.
Keep in mind that your gums may feel sensitive with these, as the larger ceramic brackets can make it more challenging to clean around the brackets, leading to receding or swollen gums should your toothbrush not reach the gum line and enamel.