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How Is [Invisalign] Different from Traditional Braces?



How is Invisalign Different from Traditional Braces?

When the Invisalign system of aligners first became available in 2000, it opened up new possibilities for patients to achieve the straightest, healthiest smile with less impact to their daily life during treatment. Before that time, the only option for patients with crooked teeth or bite issues was traditional metal hardware.

Today, the aligner system has become one of the most popular choices for orthodontic care nationwide. In particular, professional adults and teens tend to favor aligners because they are less visible to colleagues and peers. However, traditional orthodontic treatment also continues to be a popular choice and offers some types of benefits no other system can yet provide.


What are braces?

The word “braces” today includes a range of treatment options that include traditional metal hardware, but also expands to offer behind-the-teeth (sub-lingual) options, invisible clear or ceramic hardware and customized alignment-based systems such as SureSmile® and the self-ligating Damon System®.

The hardware used for this type of orthodontic treatment typically includes brackets, archwires, O-rings, spacers, rubber bands, headgear and/or other orthodontic help as needed. Some teeth straightening and bite adjustment systems require the use of more hardware while others require less. The typical course of treatment is 18 to 24 months, with periodic adjustment appointments as needed to ensure teeth are moving into proper alignment at the desired pace. But for some of the newest systems, treatment results can be accelerated by as much as 50 percent.

What are aligners?

The aligner system is an alternate route an orthodontist can offer patients for achieving a healthy, straight smile. With the aligner system, there are some key treatment differences that patients usually notice right away:

  • The aligners are fully non-invasive and fully removable, so they can be taken out to eat, floss, brush and for sports matches or special events as needed.
  • The aligners are quite easy to care for and difficult to damage.
  • The aligners are nearly invisible to peers and colleagues since they are made of a clear material that resides almost entirely behind the teeth.
  • The aligners typically require fewer adjustment visits and a much briefer period of mild (if any) discomfort after each visit.
  • The aligners come with no real restrictions on eating or drinking.
  • The aligners tend to be more comfortable overall since they do not abrade the inside tissues of the mouth at all.
  • Treatment with aligners is typically shorter than traditional orthodontist treatment.

What is the difference between Invisalign and traditional braces?

The choice between traditional orthodontia and aligners is often one of individual patient needs and preferences. Sometimes one system or the other makes it easier and faster to achieve tooth and jaw goals, which your orthodontist can tell you during your initial treatment consultation.

Traditional treatment is better for more complex alignment needs.
Aligners are a good choice for relatively simple alignment issues, but traditional hardware can be more effective for more complex jaw and teeth movement issues that need to be resolved during treatment. For some patients, only traditional orthodontia can resolve all of their treatment needs without resorting to surgery.

Which is less visable?

Teens in particular often favor treatment with aligners over traditional hardware. This is not only because they are less visible and less time-consuming (in terms of adjustment visits and daily care) but also because there are no restrictions in eating and drinking or high impact sports events. Also, they can be removed for special events like prom, homecoming, and graduation.

Which is easier to care for?

The hardware required for traditional orthodontia looks robust, but can actually be quite sensitive to damage, especially if the patient eats very chewy or hard foods. Plus, flossing and brushing can take extra time and require special flossing tools. With aligners, there is no extra time required for flossing and brushing and aligner care is as simple as dunking the aligners into a special cleaning solution every day.

Which costs more?

For some families, traditional orthodontia can be a lower cost treatment option than aligners, but often those costs even out when you add in the number and cost of adjustment visits, which are more frequent with traditional treatment.

Both treatment types often require maintenance retainers.
Whether the patient is a teen or an adult, the teeth will continue to move throughout your lifetime, and especially during the young adult years. So regardless of the type of treatment, use of a retainer is often advised on a temporary or permanent basis to safeguard the results of treatment.

Which requires more self-discipline?

Traditional hardware is not removable, which means there is no possibility of taking it off for any reason. Aligners, on the other hand, can be removed at any time but must be worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day for the best results. So a patient who chooses aligners for treatment must be self-disciplined enough to leave the aligners in place for the required amount of time daily. As well, since traditional hardware can’t be removed, it can’t be lost, which can be an issue with busy teens!


Schedule an Appointment

In Illinois, you visit Childers Orthodontics to have an examination to determine if you need to straighten your teeth. Dr. Kyle R. Childers offers his services to adults, teenagers, and children in three locations that include:

Herrin – 618-997-1800
Harrisburg – 618-252-0770
Benton – 618-438-2815

After an evaluation of your mouth, our orthodontist can determine if you need to wear one of these types of devices:

Damon System – uses self-ligating brackets
Braces – made with traditional metal and wire brackets
Invisalign – aligners designed for teenagers or adults

Patients at Childers Orthodontics can also request the AcceleDent Aura system to reduce the amount of time required for their orthodontic treatment.  Schedule an appointment online or by calling (618) 438-2815.

Childers Orthodontics

201 West Washington
Benton, IL 62812
Phone: (618) 438-2815

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