Braces vs. Invisalign
Which Is Right For You?
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry specializing in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of jaw, face and bite irregularities, known as malocclusions. Malocclusion is the technical term for teeth that don’t fit together correctly. Malocclusions not only affect the teeth, but also the appearance of the face. Most malocclusions are inherited; however some are due to acquired habits such as thumb sucking and tongue thrusting. The spacing left from an adult tooth being extracted or an early loss of a baby tooth can also contribute to a malocclusion.
Now more than ever patients are experiencing fewer incidences of cavities and missing teeth due to the heightened awareness of fluoride use and preventative dentistry. This increasing awareness on the health and look of a patient’s smile has fueled the desire for many to seek out orthodontia not only as a medical necessity, but for cosmetic reasons as well.
Orthodontics can help you have the healthy, straight, beautiful smile you’ve been waiting for.
Orthodontic braces were historically associated with teenagers. Today, an increasing number of adults are choosing to wear braces or Invisalign to straighten their teeth and correct malocclusions.
Orthodontic braces are predictable, versatile, and incredibly successful at realigning the teeth. Braces work in the same way regardless of the age of the patient, but the treatment time is greatly reduced in patients who are still experiencing jaw growth and have not been affected by gum disease. In short, an adult can experience the same beautiful end results as a teenager, but treatment often takes longer.
There are a wide range of fixed and removable orthodontic devices available, depending on the precise classification of the malocclusion.
What are the main types of orthodontic braces?
- Traditional braces – These braces are strong and tend not to stain the teeth. They are comprised of individual brackets, which are cemented to each tooth and accompanied by an arch wire which constantly asserts gentle pressure on the teeth. Traditional braces are generally metal but are also available in a clear synthetic material and “tooth colored” ceramic. The ceramic brackets are usually more comfortable than the metal alternative, but can become discolored by coffee, wine, smoking, and certain foods.
- Invisalign – Invisalign aligners are clear trays and should be worn for the recommended amount of time each day for the quickest results. Invisalign aligners are clear trays, and should be worn for the recommended amount of time each day for the quickest results. Invisalign aligners are more comfortable and less obtrusive than traditional braces but also tend to be more costly. Not all patients are candidates for Invisalign.
- Lingual braces – These appliances are usually metal and fixed on the tongue side of the teeth, therefore cannot be seen when a patient smiles. Lingual braces tend to be moderately expensive and can interfere with normal speech.