A Beginner’s Guide to Orthodontics – Your Treatment Options: Braces vs Invisalign


Many parents will take their child to see an orthodontist when they become worried about their misaligned teeth and bad bite, medically referred to as a malocclusion. Orthodontists have the knowledge, skills and technology to correct problems associated with malocclusions such as an over-bite, cross bite, open bite,and deep bite in a safe and efficient manner. The result is a beautiful, balanced smile, improved dental health and a boost in confidence and self-esteem. While some may think orthodontic treatment is only for kids, today,more adults are seeking solutions to improve their smile and bite. Advances in technology and options such as Invisalign are making it even easier for adults to enjoy a beautiful smile,

Starting-Orthodontic-Treatment

Children should have their first orthodontic check-up around the age of 7. However, if parents  or the family dentist are concerned about the child’s bite and tooth development earlier than that,  they should request a consultation with an orthodontist.. Early intervention can often correct the problem faster and easier than waiting until all the adult teeth have erupted before proceeding with treatment.

On the other hand, adults can begin orthodontic treatment at any time, as long as they have healthy teeth and gums and have adequate supporting bone structure. The benefits for adults are the same as for kids: a balanced smile and an optimal bite where the teeth are all functioning correctly. . Misaligned teeth are often hard to clean, leading to dental decay and gum disease. Furthermore, an improper bite can contribute to the rapid erosion of enamel.For adults,orthodontic treatment can be a great investment to reduce their risk of needing crowns, implants or dentures later in life,

Treatment-Options: Braces vs. Invisalign

Most misalignments and malocclusions can be treated with the help of traditional braces or Invisalign. Understanding the difference between the two will help you understand the options presented during an orthodontic consultation.

Both braces and Invisalign help straighten teeth and improve the bite. Braces are comprised of metal brackets that are adhered to the teeth using dental glue.  These brackets are connected with tiny rubber bands to a wire. At each visit, the orthodontist will typically change the type of wire to apply more force which guides each bracketed tooth into its proper position.  The design of braces has advanced significantly resulting in a greater variety of the materials, shapes, sizes and styles of brackets,including ones that match the colour of tooth enamel to make them more discreet.

Invisalign, on the other hand, consists of a sequence of clear, BPA-free plastic aligner trays that are worn over the teeth.  These correct the misalignments in a similar fashion to traditional braces; by applying consistent pressure that moves teeth to a new position. The advantages of Invisalign are the fact that it’s discreet, comfortable to wear, removable for meals and the movement is fully customizable. Both braces and Invisalign have advantages and disadvantages. Here is a brief comparison of the two.

  • Treatment Time: Sometimes treatment can be completed faster with braces because the appliances are applying pressure all the time since they cannot be removed.  However, missed appointments and broken brackets can delay the estimated treatment length.  Invisalign can accomplish the same movement as braces, in the same amount of time, as long as the patient is compliant with the recommended wear schedule.
  • Cost: The cost of treatment depends more on the amount of correction needed and the estimated treatment length, than the materials used by the orthodontist.Some orthodontists charge more for special types of brackets or materials that aren’t in high demand, like custom-made brackets.  At Daher Orthostyle, Invisalign is offered at the same cost as braces.
  • Follow-Up Visits/ Visit Frequency

Follow-up visits for patients with braces are typically scheduled in 4-6 week intervals to keep the pressure on the teeth constant.

Invisalign trays are changed every 7-14days and follow-up visits are typically scheduled every 8-10 weeks.

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