Woman with perfect teeth holding invisible braces, correction teeth braces for night

Braces vs. Invisalign

 

I Know I Need Orthodontic Treatment but I Have All These Options! What Do I Do Now?

So you have gone to an orthodontist’s office and they said you need treatment. Not only that, they also gave you all these options to choose from! Where do you go from here? Decisions, decision, decisions. Do not panic as this blog is meant to ease your stress over which option is better for you. After reading this, you would be able to decide which option fits your life style.

There is no better time to get orthodontic treatment than now. Orthodontists have been equipped with many tools to provide better and faster treatments with less discomfort, and more esthetic appliances. Therefore, look at these options as an advantage rather than another thing to stress about.

Metal Braces

 

Advantages

If you decide to go with braces the main advantages are:

  • You do not need to worry about having the appliances in and out every time you are eating or having a snack.
  • You can add colors to your teeth for special occasions.
  • No matter the discomfort you are experiencing, you can’t take the braces off, so in many instances this will allow you to get used to the process and see results faster. For sensitive patients it is usually recommend taking Tylenol right before the appointment and every 6 hours as needed to reduce discomfort. However, very few patients need to rely on analgesics to alleviate the discomfort.

Braces are no longer for kids and teenagers only, you see more and more adults seeking treatment which has made wearing braces a modality for everyone independent of their age.

 

Disadvantages:

  • You will have a period of adjustment to the braces. This means that eating; brushing your teeth, playing an instrument, closing your mouth, and some regular activities of your day will be slightly affected by the braces. The good news is that these are only temporary changes, just as your braces are.
  • Even though braces are being manufactured smaller and sleeker in appearance, they still show. I do not consider this a disadvantage because I think braces are cool, however based on experience with patients, this is an area of concern for some of them.
  • You have to change your eating habits. Eating hard foods will increase the chances of breaking brackets and/ or appliances which means having to get out of school/work to get it replaced. This especially varies from patient to patient. Some patient will not have emergencies during their treatment time, but some will have emergencies more often. This predisposition is mostly seen among teenagers.

 

Personality Fit

  • Teenagers, kids, and adults who are ok showing metal on their teeth for a limited period of time.
  • Easily adaptable or manage transition well

 

 

Clear Braces

The advantages and disadvantages of clear braces are very similar to those presented under the metal braces; however the main advantage is the esthetics of these brackets.
The newer versions of clear braces are very esthetic, and contrasting to what many patients think they do not stain. I can tell you that many of my patients that decide to go this route end up very pleased as they are not as noticeable as metal braces.
Patients who decide to go this route are usually those who want something more esthetic without the commitment to have to wear aligners. I’ve also noticed a new tendency among teenagers to request clear braces and adding colors to the braces. I have to say that it actually looks very cool.

 

 

Personality Fit

  • Esthetics are important, but do not want to commit to wearing aligners every day
  • Easily adaptable or manage transitions well

Invisalign, Invisalign Teen aligners

 

Advantages:

  • The main advantage of invisalign is the esthetics of the aligner. You can barely see them when they are in mouth.
  • The adjustment period is very subtle as patients do not have to make any major changes to their diet or their daily activities.
  • Aligners need to be worn at least 21 hours a day; this means that you have 3 hours of your day to eat, snack, brush and floss or even just to get a break from the aligners.
  • For teenagers, Invisalign added a compliance button that parents and orthodontist can check to evaluate the compliance with the aligner wear.
  • In Addition, Invisalign teen added 6 extra set of aligners at no cost for patients in case they lose them. This is very comforting for many parents as they know they have 6 aligners to replace before any additional cost to the treatment.

 

Disadvantages

  • Aligners need to be removed to snack or eat. Once done eating it is recommended to at least rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth.
  • Many patients complain about a lisp when they start wearing the aligners. This is temporary and it will be gone on the first week of aligner wear.
  • If the aligners are not in the mouth, no movement is happening to your teeth.
  • If you think once you remove the aligners, you can lose them or forget to put them back in your mouth, your treatment most likely will take longer.

 

Personality Fit

  • Teenagers and adults who desire a clear and esthetic alternative.
  • Complaint people. If you are complaint, Invisalign can be a great fit as the aligners will move the teeth to the position chose by your orthodontist.
  • Consistent people. This means that aligners are always in the mouth no matter the discomfort. In addition, replacing them back in the mouth once eating or drinking is done.

 

Hopefully this blog can help you deciding which of these options better fit your life style. We all know your time in orthodontic treatment has challenges, so taking the time to choose the option that better fits your daily routine will make your time in treatment smoother and more enjoyable.
Long gone are the times where the orthodontist decided the treatment and the patient would have to accept without questioning. This is a new era where doctors and patients work together to decide the best treatment option. This has made orthodontic treatment faster, more efficient and enjoyable for all parties: patients, parents and orthodontist. So, go ahead, outweigh all your options and select the one that works better for you! I promise, a few months from today you will be the biggest smile in the room.

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