Invisalign vs. Clear Ceramic Braces – Which is Best For Me?
“ First impressions are everything: New study confirms people with straight teeth are perceived as more successful, smarter and having more dates” – Dr. Michelle Callahan, TV Host, Psychologist
Today, when we talk about a healthy beautiful smile, we associate it with health, youth, attractiveness and confidence. Studies have shown that when it comes to having a beautiful smile there are many health, social, relationship and career advantages. A study conducted on behalf of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), found that an improved smile will make one appear more successful, interesting, and intelligent – as well as being more attractive. And conversely, bad teeth and a poor smile is not only associated with poor hygiene, poor overall systemic health, but in many cases, is attributed to a lower self-esteem.
More and more adults, to perfect and strengthen their smile are turning to orthodontic treatment to fix it later in life. Many people want to fine-tune their teeth, but don’t want to look like they’re in high school again. Men and women are less enthusiastic to have braces in their mouth for nearly two years. They are turning to two options; transparent orthodontic aligners called Invisalign™ and clear ceramic braces. Let’s look at both to see which one is right for you.
What Are Clear Ceramic Braces?
They are braces made of ceramics instead of metal. The ceramics are used to produce the brackets. The ceramic braces can be clear, transparent or even colored to match the shade of the patient’s teeth. This way they blend in more evenly.
They are essentially equal to metal braces in how treatment works. The brackets are bonded to your tooth and then connected by an arch wire that puts pressure on the teeth; guiding them towards eventual alignment. Like traditional metal braces, adjustments on the wire and teeth happen roughly every 4 – 6 weeks.
Here are some benefits of Ceramic Braces:
- Ceramics have a smooth feel and texture to them.
- Ceramic Braces are strong, they are made with from a high grade composite material and very few break or chip.
- They blend well with the teeth and gums compared to traditional Metal braces.
Disadvantages of Ceramic Braces:
- Ceramic braces are more expensive than metal brackets.
- They are also bigger and tend to irritate your cheeks.
- Like traditional metal braces, ceramic braces use clear or white ligatures to hold the arch wire in place. The ligatures are little rubber bands, so they can stain since they are porous. They’re changed at every adjustment.
- Ceramic braces/brackets are not as durable and cannot withstand as much continual pressure by the stainless-steel wire as metal brackets can. So, these types of braces are recommended for short term use.
- These braces use wires and they make it difficult to perform routine hygiene.
Now Let’s take a look at Invisalign™
Invisalign™ is an orthodontic treatment that uses a system or series of transparent, almost invisible trays, referred to as aligners (see Fig.1 below) which are custom manufactured for each patient. Every two weeks, the patient’s teeth will move to the next predestined position and the aligners will be replaced with a new set. This is a gradual process that happens over a period of months, until the teeth move to a predestined final position.
Advantages of Invisalign:
– Easier to perform oral hygiene, because they are removable. One can take out the aligners to brush and floss their teeth.
– Comfortable to wear without all the wires and brackets that can cause irritations.
-You can drink and eat just about anything and not have to worry about ligatures getting ruined or stained. Such as eating an apple.
-You can see what your smile and teeth alignment will look like even before you begin orthodontic treatment. Ask your dentist to show you the computerized plan before you even place your first aligner in your mouth.
-The aligners are smooth. Invisalign™ does not have all the discomforts and irritation caused to the soft tissue by the wires and brackets from traditional braces.
-The aligners can be used as mouth guards during sports.
Disadvantages of Invisalign:
- When compared to traditional wire braces; Invisalign™ does not offer your dentist as much control in creating certain custom tooth movements.
- Invisalign™ is limited to treating certain cases and malocclusions. For very complex cases such as large overbites, cross-bites, severe tooth crowding, or vertical shifting of teeth; traditional braces may still be better.
- If the patient is not maintaining the minimum amount of 22 hours per day with the aligner placed in their mouth, then this can result in treatment delays or failure. So, there is a certain responsibility that is placed on the patient to use the aligners as often as possible.
- It is easy to lose an aligner if the patient is not careful. Following a routine is key.
Now Let’s Compare the Two…. Invisalign VS Clear Braces
Here are 6 distinctions between the two orthodontic heavyweights.
1.) Many people don’t see it when somebody is wearing Invisalign™ until they are almost in kissing distance. While clear braces blend into the patient’s teeth, the brackets are more noticeable than Invisalign’s™ transparent aligner that molds to the teeth and gum line.
2.) The aligning trays of Invisalign™ can be taken in and out which makes brushing & flossing easy. With ceramic braces brushing and flossing is painstaking, messy and difficult at times. On the flip side, it takes self-discipline to remember to keep your Invisalign™ aligners in for the recommended 22 hours per day.
3.) Trips to the dental office for both treatments are about the same, every 4 – 6 weeks.
4.) Clear braces are a little brittle. Ceramic is a brittle material, making them more susceptible to chipping or breaking. Still, most orthodontists maintain it takes a substantial amount of force for them to break. And with Invisalign™ there are still brackets cemented to the teeth but they are under the aligners, so most likely you will not break them. Accept for when you remove your aligners to eat.
5.) Clear braces can be hard and rough on soft tissue, causing damage to the lips and cheeks with minor cuts and sores.
6.) With Invisalign™, you can eat or drink pretty much anything and not have to worry about staining your teeth. Unfortunately, with the clear braces, this is not the issue and the ligatures that hold the wire in, will stain quickly.
Invisalign™ and clear ceramic braces are both good options for someone who wants to correct their teeth inconspicuously. Still, there are stark distinctions between the two treatments and, depending on your case, one may be a better fit better than the other.
For more information on Invisalign or Clear Ceramic Braces, please don’t hesitate to visit our website at www.oyangendmd.com or give us a call at 518-399-4696 to speak with Dr. Oyangen and his team today.