Traditional Braces versus Invisalign: What’s the Right Choice for You?

Jing Liang Ooi By Jing Liang Ooi

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A smile is the prettiest thing you can wear. Indeed, everyone loves a beautiful smile. In fact, latest studies show that people with straighter teeth are more likely to be happier, more likely to land a job, and more likely to be successful. With the advancement of dental technology, new and improved ways have been introduced for straightening malaligned teeth.

Below is a table giving a brief summary of the various methods used by dentists to straighten teeth:

Ways to Straighten Teeth

Traditional Metal Braces

Metal Braces

Metal Braces consist of stainless steel brackets attached to each tooth using a cement. The brackets are linked to each other with a thin archwire which puts pressure on the teeth to move it into the correct position.

The archwires are connected to the brackets using tiny elastics known as ligatures or O-rings, which your dentist will change on each visit. Different types of archwires are used with traditional braces like the Nickel-Titanium (Ni-Ti) and Stainless steel. The width, as well as the material of the archwire, determine the force which is exerted on the teeth.

What are the Pros of Traditional Braces?

What are the Cons of Traditional Braces?

Damon Braces (or other self-ligating braces)

This type of braces is more popular among dentist because it provides gentler treatment and requires fewer dental visits. Damon braces are self-ligating and use a slide mechanism instead of elastics to connect the archwires. Damon braces use a wire which maintains a shape memory. This archwire fits into the bracket with a slide mechanism and does not require ligatures, unlike conventional braces.

These braces produce faster results because the teeth can move on their own without needing to be adjusted frequently. This causes less friction and pressure on the teeth, so movement is less painful. Such braces are also easier to keep clean.

What are the Pros of Damon Braces?

What are the Cons of Damon Braces?

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic Braces are an esthetic alternative to conventional braces. They are the same shape as metal braces and are less noticeable as they are tooth colored. The archwires used with the ceramic braces are also coated with a tooth-colored material to improve esthetics. Since these braces are less visible to others, they are a popular choice for adults. However, patients wearing such type of braces occasionally find their brackets getting stained more easily.

What are the Pros of Ceramic Braces?

What are the Cons of Ceramic Braces?

Invisalign (Clear Aligners)

Invisalign is a type of removable clear aligner that you can use instead of metal or Damon braces. This orthodontic system involves a range of clear plastic aligners that resemble mouth guards, and are custom-made for each patient. Your dentist will give you a set of aligners (upper and lower aligners) which will be worn for 1-2 weeks.

Afterward, a new set of aligners will be provided to you which will continue to move your teeth in the required direction. Each new aligner shifts your teeth one step closer to its ideal position. This process continues until the desired results have been achieved. Each set of aligners must be worn for a minimum of 22 hours in a day to provide optimal results.

What are the Pros of Invisalign?

What are the Cons of Invisalign Aligners?

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are metal brackets attached to the back of your teeth and work in a similar way to the conventional braces i.e. by using archwires. Since they are not visible during speaking or smiling, they have become one of the most aesthetic ways to straighten teeth. They are however the most expensive among all orthodontic treatment options, due to the difficulty in attaching these brackets to the inner side of teeth. Similarly, the adjustments are also more complicated due to the difficult positioning of the brackets.

What are the Pros of Lingual Braces?

What are the Cons of Lingual Braces?

What’s the right choice for you- Braces or Invisalign?

All the above methods will be able to give you the perfect smile you always wanted. However, the choice of orthodontic system will depend upon the severity of malalignment as well as your own preference and budget constraints. Therefore, your dentist is the best person to help you decide which option is best for you.

Ultimately we hope that by listing out the pros and cons of all the available orthodontic treatment options, you will be able to make a better decision for acquiring that perfect smile that you deserve!