Contrary to popular belief, Invisalign and clear braces are not the same thing. We know that it is easy to be confused because if you enter a search for “clear braces” in the search engine, it is very likely that the results returned have Invisalign in the first few result entries. Let us look at these two different dental products and understand the key differences.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a treatment method which focuses on transparent aligners which help to shift teeth to a new desired position so that the wearer can get satisfactory teeth alignment. These aligners have to be worn for at least 22 hours a day so that the desired effect takes place. They need to be changed every two weeks and the general span of the treatment lasts from nine months to a year, depending on the unique situation of the patient.
What are clear braces?
Clear braces are made of ceramic and the brackets are also made from ceramic. These brackets are then attached to your teeth and then connected through a wire which applies pressure to the teeth. This helps in guiding them towards alignment. The ceramic colour can be matched with your teeth to give a certain level of camouflage to it. They need to be adjusted in a basis of around every four weeks.
Visits to the dentist
Ceramic braces require a visit to the dentist every 4 weeks so that adjustment can be made to your teeth while Invisalign trays have to be changed every 2 weeks. However, if you get more sets of Invisalign aligners from your dentist per visit, which will mean that you can cut down the visitation number to the dentist with Invisalign.
The level of transparency
Firstly, the Invisalign is much more transparent than braces. In fact, Invisalign is not at all noticeable unlike clear braces which are pretty visible to the naked eye; the wearer needs to mention that he or she is wearing a set of Invisalign for other people to notice. This is not the case when it comes to clear braces.
A great advantage of Invisalign is that it can be removed when you are brushing or flossing your teeth. This cannot be done with clear braces. It is easily agreed that Invisalign will help to promote better dental hygiene due to this feature.
Clear braces break easily
Compared to Invisalign, clear braces tend to be softer and thus more prone to breaking or chipping. Although this will not happen overnight but over time it is very much possible.
Severe cases cannot be treated through Invisalign
Invisalign can treat a variety of cases including crooked teeth. Gapped teeth, overbite, under bite and open bites can all be treated through Invisalign but more severe cases will not be possible to be treated through this type of treatment. Clear braces can treat much more severe cases which includes cross bites, malocclusions, very crooked teeth and other flaws of the jaw or teeth.
Invisalign causes less irritation
Clear braces tend to cause more irritation to the soft gums than Invisalign. Ceramic brackets feel rough and that element causes irritation while Invisalign feels smooth and comfortable for the wearer.
Clear braces are not suitable for all types of teeth
Clear braces are not very useful against the bottom teeth. The ceramic is harder than enamel so it can push your teeth down while Invisalign has a softer and bending nature which provides just the right pressure.
Now that you know the key difference between Invisalign aligners and clear braces, do you know which one to choose? Do talk to your orthodontist today to find out more!
If you have any further questions or queries, don't hesitate to contact us.