Dental professionals use many different techniques for correcting teeth alignments. Orthodontic treatments that use Invisalign® or braces are one of the most effective for achieving an ideal position for the teeth and jaw and improving the look as well as promoting the proper functioning of the teeth and jaws.
Invisalign refers to a set of clear trays made out of plastic that is used to push the teeth back into their ideal position while braces, on the other hand, are made out of either metal or ceramic brackets and wires that hold these brackets together.
Both these methods are more or less effective in achieving the required movement leading to an ideal position of the teeth and the jaws.
The benefit of going for orthodontic treatments is that they are not only effective in correcting the tooth position, but also help in correcting the jaw alignment or bite issues.
However, there has always been a debate as to the effectiveness of Invisalign vs braces. The two differ from each other based on several aspects, and either one does not have any clear advantage over the other.
The practical question here should be, what works best for a particular patient. While some find braces to be more convenient, others prefer to stick to Invisalign.
Most often, the doctor makes a recommendation based on the complexity of the case and the amount of correction needed.
Although most people do not consider Invisalign to be a very reliable form of treatment, they are highly effective in treating a large number of orthodontic issues. The following sections discuss the working mechanisms of Invisalign vs braces and what cases are best suited for each.
How do Braces Work?
Although most people would imagine old-fashioned teeth aligners on hearing of braces, it should be noted that braces themselves have evolved greatly over the years and are very comfortable and hardly noticeable while being worn.
Braces mainly comprise of three different parts – the brackets, the band and the archwire. The brackets are the main part that is directly attached to the teeth through the band and are held together by the archwire, which is a thin wire that runs through each of the brackets. It is the wire that exerts pressure on the teeth, forcing them into their ideal positions.
How does Invisalign Work?
Unlike the braces, Invisalign has neither the wire nor the brackets. They are made to be discreet and are exclusively used by people who do not want to wear the easily noticeable braces in public.
The Invisalign is a set of clear, transparent aligners that are created with the help of a computer. They are created in the shape of the teeth with extreme precision and can be worn and removed with ease.
Invisalign lose their shape quite fast. Therefore, people using these for teeth alignment are required to move on to a new set of aligners after a period of every two weeks. When this process is repeated over and out, the aligners gradually help in moving the teeth into their ideal position.
Invisalign or Braces – Which one to Choose?
Both of these options have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to the treatment period, those wearing aligners are mostly required to wear them for about 12 months while those wearing braces may have to wear it for several years.
The Invisalign is also much easier to maintain as compared to the braces. The main advantages of Invisalign are that it is not detectable while being worn.
Being made out of very smooth plastic, they also do not cause any irritation to the sensitive inner lining of the mouth and last but not the least; they are very easy to be taken off while eating, flossing or brushing the teeth.
Hence, they are much more hygienic as compared to the traditional braces. However, it should be noted that Invisalign is not meant for all the people. Complex treatments are a farfetched thing with Invisalign. They are not applicable for a mild to moderate amount of correction.
People wearing Invisalign are required to be very careful at all times. Since they are very easy to be taken off, one may get the temptation to have them removed too frequently.
However, it should be noted that removing these aligners too often makes them unable to impart the required pressure making them almost ineffective.
One has to wear them for a minimum of 22 hours per day. On the other hand, people wearing dental braces are required to stick to strict regimes.
They do not have the aesthetic appeal like that of Invisalign but are highly effective in fixing even the most complex of the tooth issues. They are equally effective in closing the gaps or in teeth alignment.
In addition, Invisalign will not work effectively in case you do not wear them, while this option is not available while wearing braces as braces are an irremovable appliance.