Are Teeth Clear Aligners The New Orthodontic Braces?
Teeth misalignment or crooked teeth have become a hindrance to achieving goals in life. For some, its unpleasant looks hold them from gaining new friends or answering in an interview. Fortunately, there’s hope for everyone with this problem with clear aligners.
What are clear aligners?
Clear or invisible aligners are orthodontic trays that help straighten teeth from certain types of malformation. The material is virtually invisible giving the patient a chance to keep his orthodontic treatment discreet. It’s also removable to allow the user to clean his teeth and appliance without difficulty.
One of its most popular brands is Invisalign. The brand also promotes its other aligners in orthodontics which are more suitable for specific teeth issues. Among them are Invisalign Full and Invisalign Teen.
Orthodontic aligners are custom-made for each patient with unique dental issues. This teeth appliance can help improve various teeth problems such as:
- Overcrowding. It’s either that the patient has a small mouth or has too many teeth erupted.
- Overbites. A case where the upper front teeth are overlapping over the lower front teeth.
- Underbites. Opposite to overbites which makes the crooked bottom teeth overlapping on the upper ones.
- Malocclusion. Usually, this condition shows a patient with open bites or both upper and lower teeth set slanting outwards and not touching when the mouth is close.
- Diastema – in between teeth gaps.
- Misaligned baby teeth.
Invisalign vs braces
Since Invisalign is the newest orthodontic appliance promoting its new features, take a look at how it differs from the traditional braces:
An invisible aligner is made of thermoplastic material. It clear and almost invisible, hardly making a notice from an onlooker.
Meanwhile, braces comprise wires and brackets that are metallic or gray in colour which is noticeable even from afar.
Clear invisible braces are removable, making it very convenient if the patient wants to eat or clean their mouth and aligners.
On the other hand, braces are irremovable. When it’s time to eat, some food could get stuck tight in the wires. Brushing your teeth with braces can be a challenge as it needs a special cleaning gadget and more effort and time.
The patient wears Invisalign clear aligners for at least 22 hours a day, only taking it off when eating or brushing. The treatment could take for as long as 18 months depending on the severity of the dental problem.
With braces, the patient wears it at all times from the beginning of the treatment until its completion which may take up to 2 years.
Follow up check-ups
All Invisalign users are required to return to the dental office every two weeks. This is so the dentist could monitor the progress of the treatment if it’s working and to change the trays with new ones.
This time for braces, there are only fewer visits to the dentist which is once a month.
Both aligners and braces may cost around $5000 CAD at an average. However, braces are more affordable since they can go lower and some insurance providers offer to cover it if it’s a necessary treatment.
Are clear aligners alternative to braces?
Indeed, plastic aligners are convenient and flexible but do they take the place of braces when it comes to dental alignment?
Although patients favour Invisalign over braces to keep aesthetics while under treatment, this still depends on the severity of their dental condition. Clear aligners for teeth are only best for minor or simple misalignment issues. However, if the patient has severe and complex malocclusion, the dentist would still insist on having braces. Traditional braces provide a strong grip the teeth need to push to the bites to their proper places. Something a plastic tray may not be able to do.
Most dental offices now offer both braces and Invisalign to their patients so they can help them with their dental needs. If you’re still unable to decide which orthodontic treatment is most suitable for you, it’s best to have an appointment with your Thornhill dentist right away. Don’t let anything keep you from achieving your goals, get a dental treatment today.