We compare clear fixed braces with metal braces, and with Invisalign removable aligners.
Invisible braces for teeth straightening are extremely popular. Options include Invisalign clear braces and fixed solutions such as clear ceramic braces. Popular makes of clear bracket braces include clear Damon braces, but which is best?
What are Clear Braces?
A popular alternative to traditional fixed metal braces, clear braces have clear ceramic brackets or brackets that are shaded to match your teeth, so they are far less obtrusive. The archwires used to power the braces may also be tooth-colored or are extremely thin and are less noticeable. Systems like clear Damon braces may use special self-ligating brackets, which eliminates the need for elastics.
Clear Braces vs. Metal Braces?
Because these braces are tooth-colored or have clear brackets, they are less noticeable than conventional metal braces. The materials used to make the brackets are not porous, so they are unlikely to become stained. The brackets are reasonably durable, so they are quite hard to crack, chip, or break. Clear bracket braces are less likely to irritate the gums compared with conventional metal braces.
What are the Disadvantages of Clear Braces?
Clear brackets are not as strong as conventional metal brackets and cannot withstand the same pressures. Therefore, treatment with invisible braces might be less suitable for people with severe malocclusion issues. If clear braces are used to treat more serious problems with malocclusion, treatment can be longer than with conventional metal braces.
Although the brace brackets are not porous, any ligatures used to hold the archwires can become stained and typically need replacing at every checkup. This can increase the overall costs of ceramic braces and the time needed at every appointment. The ceramic brackets fitted onto teeth are larger than metal brackets.
What are Invisalign Clear Braces?
Invisalign clear braces are not fixed onto teeth and, instead, use removable clear plastic aligner trays to move teeth gently. The trays are custom designed to fit tightly over teeth, and you wear each set of trays for about two weeks. You then discard this set and replace them with the next set in the series. Treatment continues until teeth are straightened. Unlike fixed braces, there are no brackets or archwires.
Invisalign vs. Clear Braces
Benefits of Invisalign versus dental invisible braces include:
- Invisalign clear braces are fully removable, making the system easy to use and minimally disruptive to everyday life.
- Unlike clear braces with fixed brackets, patients don’t need to make any dietary changes but simply remove the aligners before eating or drinking anything other than plain water.
- The aligner trays are made from clear, smooth plastic that won’t irritate the gums or other oral tissues.
- Treatment with Invisalign is often less obtrusive compared with fixed braces. Although clear ceramic braces are quite discreet, they are still more noticeable than clear aligners.
- Follow-up visits are not as frequent as for fixed braces and tend to be shorter because clear aligners don’t need adjustments. Invisalign aligners don’t have any parts that could become broken, whereas clear ceramic brace brackets and wires may become damaged or dislodged or will need replacing during treatment.
- Treatment with Invisalign can be faster compared with ceramic braces.
Although treatment may be faster with Invisalign, the system isn’t suitable for all bite issues. Sometimes certain bite problems are better treated with ceramic braces or with metal braces. Also, Invisalign treatment requires the aligners to be worn almost all of the time. If you misplace or lose aligners, it can delay treatment until you receive replacement sets. If you tend to misplace things, fixed braces may be a better option.
Both Invisalign and clear braces offer some unique benefits, but both come with limitations. When you visit us here at Gentle Dental in Queens, NY, we can assess your smile and discuss all suitable options, helping you choose the most effective solution for your needs.