Orthodontics has gone a long way since its beginnings in the 20th century. Over the last decade, orthodontic technology has taken great leaps especially in the development of more elaborate mechanisms of straightening teeth and improving people’s smiles.
Around 20 years ago, braces were the only available option for those who want to achieve the perfect set of teeth. Although today’s braces have undergone dramatic upgrades especially on account of comfort and aesthetics, there has always been a constant search for more innovative choices that better suit the modern lifestyle, yet are just as effective.
Orthodontic braces remain as one of the best methods of dental corrections, but a relatively new option has come to the fore. Invisalign presents an interesting alternative that has less impact on appearance and is more convenient to use.
The Upsides and Downsides of Dental Braces
The past few years have witnessed a rapid advancement in corrective dental procedures, but braces remain to be the most favored and trusted by many -- and for a good reason. Having been around for decades, braces have helped millions of people around the world with their dental issues.
Braces are used to address a bevy of teeth problems including crowding, irregular spacing, protrusions, misalignment, and crookedness. Over a set period, dental braces slowly adjust teeth placement to make them look better than before. The dentist regularly maneuvers the metal wires between the brackets to gradually adjust the teeth and bring them to the desired position.
Perhaps the biggest selling point of braces is its reputation. Compared to newer methods, it has been proven to deliver the expected results time and time again. Ironically, the same characteristics that people find inconvenient about braces are its most significant advantages. Metal braces are irremovable, so they stay in place and have to be worn 24/7. Because they can’t be removed, the patient has to put up with them despite the temptation to take them off. As such, the treatment time for more severe cases is often much quicker.
What many people find unpleasant about braces, however, is the discomfort. It could be challenging to eat a particular food with braces on. The metal and the bracket can also cause mouth sores. Moreover, braces are tricky to clean, but they require thorough brushing and flossing after every meal. Getting food stuck in braces can rot the teeth and lead to tooth decay.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Invisalign
Despite having been the favored solution to orthodontic issues that concern crooked teeth and misaligned bites, there are people who do not see metal braces as the ideal answer to their dental concerns for a variety of reasons. For some, braces simply do not fit into their personal style while others cite the discomfort they cause as the main reason why they shy away from getting one.
Invisalign presents a more style-friendly and convenient alternative to metal braces. In fact, it is often dubbed as one of the greatest dental breakthroughs in the last decade. The aligners are crafted from clear, hard-soft plastic that fit and slide over the surfaces of the teeth with very little discomfort. They are engineered to apply the right amount of force, slightly shifting the teeth and gradually moving them into the desired position.
Dubbed as "invisible braces," Invisalign helps realize the dream of having a beautiful smile without getting in the way of fashion and cosmetic goals.
This is not to say, however, that Invisalign is without its fair share of disadvantages. Invisalign is genuinely a great and useful substitute to metal braces, but as with most corrective procedures, they call for commitment. Aside from being the more expensive choice, Invisalign trays demand discipline from the wearers. It is recommended to wear them for at least 22 hours every day and clean them before reinsertion.
Final Thoughts: Which is better?
While Invisalign can be easily integrated into a visible and athletic lifestyle, it is only effective when dealing with teeth misalignment and bite irregularities. Dental braces, on the other hand, cover a wider variety and provide solutions to more serious dental issues.
Both dental braces and Invisalign are safe and effective means of fixing crooked and misaligned teeth. The better choice, therefore, heavily depends on the case and situation of the person involved.
Consult your dentist to find out which treatment is most suitable for you.