1. Traditional Braces
Metal braces are the type of braces that most people think about when you bring up the subject of orthodontics. And while metal braces still use small metal brackets, improvements in technology have allowed orthodontists like Dr. David Markham to use the brackets and wires in a less obvious manner.
While the visibility of the brackets can still be a drawback for some patients, there are many benefits. Besides often being the least expensive of the bracketing options, treatment with metal braces does not require the discipline of having to wear and maintain an aligner as you would with Invisalign treatment and may allow you to minimize potential tooth stripping (interproximal reduction) that can be needed with Invisalign orthodontic treatment. In addition to these advantages, it can be easier to treat more complex orthodontic problems with metal braces and brackets vs. the other bracketing options.
2. Clear Braces
Clear braces are essentially the same as the traditional metal braces except for the fact that the brackets are clear-colored ceramic. Because the brackets are not metal-colored, these braces obviously blend into the mouth much more seamlessly than their metal counterparts; this esthetic advantage allows the patient to smile more confidently.
Other than the bracket color however, the treatment is the same as it would be with traditional metal braces but is more expensive because of the ceramic material. One downside to consider is that the clear ceramic can become stained with time, so patients must be careful to prevent this discoloration from happening. If esthetic braces are a primary concern of yours, then clear braces can be a great option for your treatment!
Invisalign® is a relatively new and exciting option for people who are interested in an orthodontic treatment and want to maximize the esthetics during treatment. This method consists of wearing several sequential clear plastic retainer-like trays, which over time straighten the teeth. Invisalign is a commitment, as the retainers or “aligners” are worn 22 hours per day and can be taken out for eating and brushing.
Benefits of Invisalign®
While the most obvious advantage to Invisalign is that it looks great, there are additional benefits of note. One significant plus is that, unlike treatment with traditional braces, there are no restrictions on what a patient can eat or drink. Compared to patients with traditional brackets and wires, Invisalign® patients have easier access to clean their teeth, as they can simply remove the aligner for brushing and flossing.
Considerations with Invisalign®
Not all people are candidates for Invisalign treatment, however, especially if the planned teeth movements required are extensive and complex. In addition, it is important to note that even if someone is an Invisalign candidate, interproximal reduction or slight shaving of the sides of the teeth, may be needed to create more space for the teeth to move. A patient must be diligent in keeping track of and wearing the trays for the prescribed time and, if trays are lost or damaged, it is imperative that the patient replaces the aligner quickly to avoid the shifting of teeth.
Overall, Invisalign® can be a great option for a patient who does not have extensive orthodontic problems and who will be diligent in wearing the aligners. Get in touch with Dr. David Markham today to see if you are a candidate for Invisalign®.