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Compare Braces & Invisalign Aligners

Common Questions

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SOME COMMON INVISALIGN® VS BRACES QUESTIONS WE GET FROM OUR ADELAIDE ORTHODONTIC PATIENTS:

What are the main differences between braces and Invisalign?
Which is more expensive in Adelaide, braces or Invisalign?
Which is less painful, Invisalign or braces?
Is Invisalign going to give me the same result as having braces?

Compare Braces & Invisalign Aligners

Comparison

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Our orthodontic team has put together this Invisalign vs Braces comparison to help answer these questions and provide you information.

Frequently asked questions about Invisalign and Braces

Invisalign (Clear Aligners)

Clear and Metal Braces

Caring for Invisalign vs Braces

Invisalign (Clear Aligners)

Every time you eat, or when drink anything other than cold water (such as tea, coffee, wine, juice, milk or soft drink) you will need to remove your clear aligners. This is to avoid sugar and acids building up in between your teeth and the aligners (causing decay) and also to prevent the plastic aligners from staining). Clear aligners need to be worn at least 22 hours a day. The longer you leave the aligners out of your mouth, the longer treatment will take. Bear in mind if you leave your aligners out for too long, then when you place them back in your mouth your teeth may have shifted back slightly, this means the aligners will feel quite tight and your teeth can be quite sore when putting the aligners back in. So be super diligent and minimise the time aligners are away from your teeth. If you eat constantly all day (grazing) then clear aligners may not be the right orthodontic product for you as you will need to remove them constantly.

Clear and Metal Braces

Brushing around the brackets of braces is where you need to take the most care during treatment. If plaque builds up around the brackets, this can stain your teeth and eventually cause decay. The same applies to Invisalign attachments and buttons, be sure to clean carefully around these. We will teach you how to looks after your orthodontic appliances properly and follow this up during the course of your treatment

What can I eat with braces vs Invisalign?

Invisalign (Clear Aligners)

As long as you remove you aligners you can eat everything you normally do during Invisalign braces. But be aware that your teeth may feel sensitive and hard foods may cause discomfort.

Clear and Metal Braces

For anything hard, (like a raw carrot) be sure to cut it into small pieces first. We ask you to avoid sticky food such as toffees.

Talking with Invisalign and braces

Invisalign (Clear Aligners)

Wrapping a piece of plastic around your teeth adds extra bulk to the back of your teeth where your tongue normally sits. This can cause a slight lisp in your speech. For most people this lisp goes away after a few weeks in treatment and your tongue gets used to the plastic aligner.

Clear and Metal Braces

Talking with braces is something that you adjust to normally the day the appliances are placed in your mouth.

What are the product differences between Invisalign, mail order aligners and braces

Invisalign (Clear Aligners)

Invisalign are a series of medical grade plastic aligners that are BPA free and designed to move your teeth with weekly aligner changes. Because they are made of plastic, be sure not to leave your aligners anywhere hot (such as the dashboard of your car) as this distort the shape of your aligners. Also keep them away from dogs as they love chewing them!

When Invisalign clear aligners were first invented over 25 years ago, Doctors were quick to realise that there was limited tooth movement possible with a thin sheet of plastic. This was because the plastic had nothing to ‘grip’ onto. The surface of teeth is very flat (especially front teeth) and hence there was a big difference between what patient expectations compared to what was possible with aligners. So Invisalign invented “smart force attachments” which are tiny tooth coloured buttons that are glued to your teeth (like a filling). With these, aligners have something to grip onto in order to move the teeth to their desired position. The attachments are removed at the end of treatment. So 25 years on, there has been a significant advancement in technology! One of the biggest problems with mail order aligners or companies where you don’t see a clinican is that attachments are not placed on your teeth.

Clear and Metal Braces

Braces are either high grade stainless steel metal or ceramic. Both are custom made to a prescription picked by your doctor. Because they are in your mouth for 24 hours a day from when you start treatment they are under complete control of your orthodontist.

Because braces have been around for over 100 years they provide predictable results, stability and treatment time.

Treatment time of Invisalign vs Braces

Invisalign (Clear Aligners)

The treatment length to straighten your teeth with Invisalign clear aligners can be the same as braces. Treatment time will increase if you don’t wear the aligners 22 hours a day or if you lose or break an aligner.

Clear and Metal Braces

Because of the orthodontist’s ability to use braces for more complex and precise movements directly at your visit , braces can achieve results faster than Invisalign clear aligners. Furthermore, clear aligners need to be shipped from the manufacturing site overseas so waiting times to receive aligners can increase your total treatment time

Discomfort of wearing Invisalign compared to braces

Invisalign (Clear Aligners)

Both Invisalign and braces are moving your teeth through the bone. It is this tooth movement that causes discomfort. With Invisalign, the tooth movements are broken into smaller compartments over several aligners. This avoids big peaks in movement and makes the discomfort fairly consistent with every aligner change. Invisalign wraps over every surface of your tooth and can take a few days of adjustment to get used to.

Clear and Metal Braces

Technology has improved so braces are much smaller, smoother and easier to wear than in the past. Pain can be managed with over the counter pain medication. We will provide you wax for any irritations. Your cheeks and gums will adjust to the brackets over the first few days.

Do I need to wear elastics during Invisalign and braces.

Invisalign (Clear Aligners)

Both Invisalign and braces patients use elastics. This is to help improve your bite. Often, the instructions for use of elastics are the same between braces and Invisalign. Whether you need to wear elastics with treatment depends on how your top and bottom teeth and jaws align.

Clear and Metal Braces

Straightening your teeth is only one purpose of braces. If your teeth do not meet properly when you bite then the edges of the teeth you can have problems with wear, chewing and the long term health of your teeth. We want to give you the best result possible, so we often use elastics to help achieve this.

Is Invisalign going to give me the same result as braces

Invisalign (Clear Aligners)

Clear aligners can treat most people. Depending on your problems, some cases will get a better result with braces and some will get a better result with aligners. It’s not just the product but also the doctor planning the treatment and explaining what is achievable for your case. Make sure you are given all your options and costs and benefits of each one.

Clear and Metal Braces

Make sure you look for a specialist orthodontist for your orthodontic needs. The extra education in being a specialist that only does orthodontic treatment and nothing else will benefit you greatly.

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