These are braces that are applied to the front edge of your teeth with an archwire running through a series of brackets glued to each tooth.
The days of grey steel braces that completely dominate your smile are gone. Today there are several different options to choose from in the colour of the brackets that hold the archwire or the elastic ligatures that hold the wire against the brackets. You can elect to have braces with a minimal profile or maximum visual impact – the choice is yours.
About Traditional Braces
They’ll stay on for around 6-24 months, depending on the movement that is required in your teeth.
They may cause more discomfort than the Invisalign system. But Invisalign doesn’t suit patients with really complex issues or those who don’t have the self-discipline to wear the aligners for 20+ hours each day.
Traditional braces are very effective. They’re suited to nearly every patient and the ease of access makes them cheaper to apply and maintain, so they’re typically the most cost-effective option too.
Invisible Braces (also called Lingual Braces)
These are braces that are applied to the inside surface of the teeth . They work similarly to traditional braces but because they’re on the inside of your teeth, they’re very hard to see. Only your close friends and family will know that you’re having treatment done.
Because they’re on the inside of the teeth, their fitting and maintenance is more complex than traditional braces. Thus they’re also more expensive.
They’re effective, but because of their positioning, they aren’t suited to achieving the required result for every patient. Your orthodontist will advise if you’re a candidate for Invisible Braces.
Invisible Braces Overview
They’ll stay on for 12-24 months, on average.
They cause more discomfort after fitting and after each maintenance session than Invisalign. But their permanency means that you’ll get results faster for complex cases.
When they’re first fitted you will find that your tongue feels crowded for the first few days. But that will soon become a non-issue.
They take longer to clean than traditional braces because their inside arch location is trickier to get to. That’s an important consideration if you’re an impatient brusher.
If you want the same results as with traditional braces, but you want to keep your smile uninterrupted while you’re having treatment, Invisible Braces could be your best choice.
Invisalign is positioned as “the clear alternative to braces”. Invisalign consists of a series of graduated “aligners” that you fit over your teeth and wear to gently move your teeth into a new position.
They’re practically invisible. People will find it hard to tell that you’re wearing them when they’re in. You do have tooth coloured “attachments” glued to some teeth to help the tooth movement.
The aligners can be removed at any time. You can remove them for special occasions. You will also take them out to eat. Because they restrict the movement of saliva over your teeth, you will need to brush after every meal to keep your mouth healthy.
You get a new set of aligners every 6-8 weeks. You wear one for two weeks at a time, then switch to a new one.
Invisalign is a very comfortable system. The aligners are gentle on teeth and the level of discomfort you feel will be very mild, if at all.
Invisalign is a proprietary system, still under patent. As the only major system of its type Invisalign is able to charge a price premium, so it can be quite costly if you need to wear the system for 12 months or more to enhance your smile.
After treatment you may also have to wear a retainer at night to continue to support the new position of your teeth.
Invisalign cannot correct severe problems, so not everyone will have the option of choosing the system. Your orthodontist will let you know if you’re a candidate.
Invisalign is the best alternative for an invisible treatment system that is very comfortable to wear.