Some people were born with the genetics and bone structure that allowed their teeth to grow in straight and their bites to naturally align. Unfortunately, this is not the case for most people, for whom some form of dental intervention is required to achieve straight, well-spaced teeth and a proper bite. Traditional metal braces are perhaps the most common example, often viewed as somewhat of a rite of passage during adolescence (although they are also a great option for adults). However, the past few decades have seen the rise of clear aligner systems, with Invisalign® starting the charge and leading the pack.
Whether you are a parent of an adolescent or an adult who wishes for a renewed smile, you may have wondered which of these options you should choose. Is one truly superior to the other? If this question has been on your mind, allow us to clear things up – but first, a little more information about both options.
Traditional metal braces employ a series of metal brackets attached to the teeth, with the upper and lower rows connected by a metal wire. Often, these upper and lower rows are connected by small rubber bands. The wire helps the rows of teeth move where they need to be, with the rubber bands helping to better align the rows and fix the bite. Throughout a patient’s time, they will periodically visit their orthodontist (or ideally, their orthodontically trained family dentist) for gradual adjustments in both areas. Traditional braces are an extremely common treatment, especially among adolescents, and with good reason. Not only do straight teeth improve the appearance of one’s smile, but they, along with a properly aligned bite, can help reduce wear on teeth and avoid the aches and pains caused by misalignment. They are recommended at a younger age because the issues they seek to treat can become worse over time. However, adults can still get the same benefits, although it may take longer.
Invisalign® Clear Aligner System
When a patient chooses Invisalign®, their orthodontist or expert dentist will take a mold of their teeth which is used to make a series of clear aligner trays to be worn in sequence, with the patient switching to the next tray periodically. The shape of each tray is slightly different, and each one moves the teeth closer towards the ideal positions for both straightness and bite. While Invisalign® patients do not need to schedule regular office visits for readjustments as with traditional metal braces, they may still be advised to regularly visit the practice so their clinician can check their progress. Invisalign® trays are not completely invisible, but they are much less noticeable than metal braces.
Which Is Better?
Not to disappoint you, but, unfortunately, there is no definitive answer regarding which is better. The important thing is that you educate yourself on each option and decide which is right for you or your child. For example, Invisalign® has the great benefit of being less visible, which is great for someone who is self-conscious about the appearance of metal brackets. However, because the trays can be removed for eating or cleaning, it may cause a forgetful person to not put them back in, thus slowing or even undoing their progress.
If you would like to learn more about which option is right for you, Javadi Smiles is here to help. Dr. Javadi is a family dentist trained in orthodontic treatments like metal braces, and our La Mesa dental practice also offers Invisalign®. Call us today at (619) 464-4411 or contact us online.