Who doesn’t love a great smile? With the advancement in modern dental technology, you now have access to more modern ways of correcting a crooked smile than the traditional metal braces.
What are traditional braces?
Traditional braces are used to straighten and move the teeth in a selected way to give the wearer a better smile and improved oral health. These are made up of metal brackets, wires and rubber bands connected together and adhered onto the individual tooth to move the teeth in a desired direction over a period of time.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign are a type of braces designed to straighten and align the teeth, and as a consequence, improve your smile, and your oral health, without the metal brackets and wires. It uses aligners which are clear and custom made for the individual users, which are removable. It is a newer concept compared to metal braces, but is equally effective.
Properties of traditional braces
Traditional metal braces have been in use for quite a long time now for decades actually all over the world, especially in America. They are quite effective and can fix many dental issues in addition to move the teeth in place. The average time for the treatment varies for individuals, but usually it takes about 18 months to 3 years. And even during the treatment itself, you can see the improvement in the alignment of your teeth, which can become a motivation in itself to continue the treatment.
The traditional metal braces take a lot of looking after for the best results, which includes scheduled visits to the dentist to change the rubber-bands, adjusting and tightening of the wires, difficulty in flossing, avoiding certain foods altogether for a stipulated time, and the look of metal in the mouth. All these problems are not insurmountable of course. There are ways around all these inconveniences, and there are tricks that can be used at home. The one thing that has to be maintained religiously is the appointment with the dentist. Unless the wires and brackets are readjusted, the treatment cannot work. The soreness after each visit is part of the treatment which the patient gets used to, knowing that it will go away in a day or two.
Properties of Invisalign
Invisalign on the other hand is a different technology altogether. It is kind of new concept developed keeping in mind the needs of modern generation. The only common thing between Invisalign and traditional braces is, that they both help to solve many dental issues in addition to straightening of teeth and make the smile lovelier.
The most obvious advantage of Invisalign is that it is clear and hence invisible to other people. And the next best thing about them is that they are removable which allows the individual to be more flexible while eating and cleaning. There are conditions though about the basic minimum hours for them to be in place to produce results. Another advantage of Invisalign is the shorter period of time required to get desired outcome. Since they have to be in place for 22 hours a day and night, the results are faster. Invisalign is suitable for any age, but it appeals to adults more because of its invisibility, which is helpful by not making them conscious of themselves while talking in socialising and at workplace. The teens of course choose Invisalign because many teenagers are already self-conscious, due to their puberty and hormonal changes in their body. The cost of Invisalign is little higher than the traditional braces, and that has to be noted before you take any decision.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign is a one of the orthodontic treatments where clear aligners are used instead of metal brackets and wires. It uses clear plastic trays to move and align the teeth. The aligners will achieve the result by tipping, pivoting, rotating or pushing the teeth into gums, and also pulling them out of gums.
The trays come in a series of different shapes according to work they are supposed to achieve. The first and the last tray will look very different because the series will take you closer to your final smile as you go ahead. Each tray differs by 0.25mm. Therefore, your teeth will move 1mm after your have worn 4 trays.
The treatment also involves pushing teeth through bone for them to move in a specific direction. This is done through periodontal ligament which lies between the bone and the root of the tooth. It is like a cushion. This cushion as live cells inside it. They get busy during the treatment either moving the bone in the direction the tooth is moving or filling the space with new bone in the place from where the tooth has moved. The treatment works by the pressure that is applied from the trays to push the tooth.
After the teeth has moved according to plan, you still have to wear the trays for a little while more so that the bone hardens and the teeth get properly embedded in the bone.
There are tiny buttons stuck to the front of the teeth called attachments which are made of composite materials and same colour as your teeth making them almost invisible. These work as lever to move teeth. The trays lock onto these attachments and push against them for movement. When the treatment is over, the dentist will remove the attachments with no trace whatsoever.
Before the start of the treatment the patient will have a sitting with the dentist and get an overall view of what to expect from the treatment including the cost and duration as well as the involvement of the patient in the whole plan.
Like any other orthodontic treatment, here too the dentist will ask you to get x rays and digital images done. Then with the help of a computer simulation app, you can decide on the smile that you want, and the dentist can proceed with ordering the trays. In the US, the order is placed directly through the app, and the aligners can be manufactured right away. They usually arrive in 15 days or so.
You will get the fitting done in the dentist’s office where the dentist will check whether they fit well and may have to do some adjustment according to shape of your teeth for them to be a perfect fit.
The dentist will ask you to change your aligners every 1 or 2 weeks according to progress and how long you keep the aligners on. The more you keep them on, the lesser time you will require for the treatment to get over. If in case you find your teeth are not exactly the way you saw them on the computer when you first decided on them, the dentist will order refined aligners to get the desired result. After getting the desired smile you will have to wear retainers to keep the teeth from drifting back in their old position.