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Invisalign Versus Braces: Which Is Right For You?

June 14, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 183

Everyday I have patients ask me if they are candidates for Invisalign or if braces are the only way to straighten their crooked teeth. There are many factors that need to be considered when deciding if Invisalign is right for you.

The first and most critical consideration is if Invisalign will be able to straighten your teeth and fix your bite. This question can really only be answered by an orthodontist, a type of dentist that specializes in braces and Invisalign. Braces are very good at moving teeth because all the metal components that make braces so unattractive allow the orthodontist to place very precise forces on the teeth allowing almost any movement that is necessary to be achieved. Invisalign uses clear plastic aligners to move teeth. These aligners are very esthetic, however as you can imagine they do not allow the same range of movements of the teeth that braces allow. One movement that is particularly difficult to achieve with Invisalign is the rotation of teeth. Teeth are very round and getting a handle on a tooth with a plastic aligner to straighten it is not very predictable. Also, if you have excessive amounts of space between your teeth or have teeth that are so crooked that your orthodontist feels that you need to have permanent teeth extracted then Invisalign may not be right for you.

Assuming your orthodontist feels that Invisalign would be able to address all the issues with your bite there are also considerations that go beyond your teeth. If you are considering Invisalign you need to ask yourself if you will be able to be disciplined enough to wear the Invisalign trays as often as prescribed. The primary misconception that I see patients have about Invisalign is how often they need to wear the trays. Invisalign recommends that the trays be worn for 22 hours per day and only be removed to brush your teeth and while eating. This can be very difficult for individuals that snack often or are constantly sipping on beverages such as coffee or sodas. If you don't think you can consistently wear the trays Invisalign may not be the right option for you.

If your orthodontist clears you for Invisalign and you feel you are disciplined enough to wear the trays consistently then Invisalign will likely give you a great result without all the disadvantages of braces. I have summarized a list of the advantages and disadvantages of Invisalign compared to braces.

Advantages of Invisalign over Braces:

Much more esthetic

You can eat whatever you want (no need to avoid hard, sticky foods)

Don't have to worry about having embarrassing moments at business meals where food maybe stuck in your braces

Don't have to worry about poking wires or broken brackets that would require you to see your orthodontist for an emergency appointment

Disadvantages of Invisalign over Braces:

Not everyone is a candidate for Invisalign

Need to remove the trays before every meal and remember to put them back in afterwards

Need to be responsible enough not to lose the trays. Replacement trays can be expensive and will delay your treatment.

Usually more costly than braces

If you have been told that you are not a candidate for Invisalign and you are not keen on the idea of having metal braces as an adult, there are clear braces and braces that go on the tongue side of your teeth called lingual braces. Ask your orthodontist if either of these options is right for you.

No matter which option you choose, getting the smile you have always dreamed of will be well worth the time and effort involved.

Gupta K Deepak is the author of this article on Invisalign. He is a Board Certified Orthodontist in Plano, TX. Find more information about Invisalign & Clear Braces here

Source: EzineArticles
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