How do I choose between traditional braces (bracket and wire) and Invisalign? How will I know which one is right for me?
There are several factors that can help you decide which type of teeth straightening system is correct for you. A detailed assessment with your dentist will also highlight the best way forward for you.
Another factor to consider is compliance for wear. If you feel that you are not the type of person to wear the aligners as requested then it may be better that you opt for a bracket and wire system where the total control of the treatment is placed with your dentist. On the other hand, many people who have a time constraint find that the limited number of dental appointments with the aligner system may work better for them. So one choice that governs which system is appropriate for you is how well you will comply with the treatment.
Invisalign braces are less noticeable than any bracket and wire system (although many are tooth colored). However, the treatment may take slightly longer to complete.
Length of Treatment
Due to the very slow gradual movement of the teeth, Invisalign treatment may take slightly longer to complete. Treatment can range anything from 3- 24 months. Most bracket and wire systems are often completed within 3 – 9 months.
Number of appointments
Most short-term adult orthodontic bracket and wire treatments require 4-6 weekly appointments. These appointments are to make any necessary adjustments to allow the teeth to move gradually into the correct alignment. On the other hand Invisalign treatments often require fewer appointments since multiple aligning trays are given to the patient at one visit. You are then able to change the trays yourself. This change of trays applies the necessary forces to move the teeth gradually into the correct alignment. Hence, if you are unable to visit the dentist regularly then Invisalign would be a great treatment choice.
Invisalign aligners are very comfortable to wear since there are no brackets or wires irritating the gums, lips, and mouth.
Fee for Treatment
The fee for either type of treatment falls within a similar range as there are multiple brand names that have comparable systems. After an orthodontic examination, your dentist will be able to advise as to the most appropriate choices for you.
Summary of main features:
|Comfort||Very comfortable||Some irritation|
|Visual||Nearly Invisible||More noticeable (although still tooth colored)|
|Treatment Reliance||Reliance on your consistency of wear||Not reliant on your consistency of wear|
|Treatment Time||Longer 3-24 months||Shorter 3-9 months|
|Appointments||More time between appointment||Less time between appointment|