Nowadays there are different ways to complete orthodontic work. While metal braces continue to be very common and will work for almost anyone’s orthodontic treatment, clear aligners are an increasingly popular choice due to their subtlety during treatment and ease of removal.
Both clear aligners and braces can be effective treatments to correct teeth alignment issues, but one might be a better option for a certain type of correction or lifestyle. Let’s consider the differences between the two treatment options and some of the advantages and disadvantages of each type.
Clear Aligners vs. Braces
Before starting any sort of orthodontic work, it’s important to visit your dentist for an accurate diagnosis. Dentists use x-rays, digital models, and regular examination to make sure their patient’s teeth are prepared for orthodontic work and healthy enough to benefit from treatment. If your dentist feels you are a good candidate for braces or clear aligners, you can talk through the pros and cons of each type to see which is the best option for you.
Clear aligners are clear plastic trays that fit snugly over the top and bottom teeth. To correct alignment issues, a series of aligners are used to move the teeth into place over time. Clear aligners can correct mild to moderate alignment issues and their subtle appearance minimizes the appearance of orthodontic work, allowing them to fit with almost any lifestyle. Clear aligners are also easy to remove, and should be taken out to eat or clean your teeth, but should be worn at all other times.
Because they are easy to take out, they are also easy to leave out, misplace, damage, or throw away. Skipping too much time between wearing your aligners could cause your teeth-alignment to regress.
If you can be diligent about wearing aligners close to 24 hours a day, the treatment time is generally faster than braces. Not all patients are good candidates for clear aligners, whether for lifestyle reasons or treatment needs. You should talk to your dentist to see if they could work for you.
Braces are the classic apparatus we think of when we picture orthodontic work. However, in recent years, braces have become less cumbersome and more streamlined than they were in the past. Clear ceramic braces are even an option for those looking for braces with good correction capabilities but less conspicuous, tooth-colored hardware.
Braces include brackets which are fused onto each tooth and connected with a wire. To move teeth into place, the wire is tightened in increments over the course of a few months to a year or so, until the desired effect is achieved.
Braces are typically more affordable than clear aligners, and can be more effective if you need significant work done, as there are certain kinds of corrections that can only be achieved with braces. Plus, there is no chance of losing or misplacing your braces because they are attached to you at all times.
A downside of braces is that they can make brushing and flossing more difficult. You will need to talk to your dentist about strategies to keep your teeth clean under the wire and around the brackets and be sure to go in for regular dental cleanings.
Clear Aligners vs. Braces: Which Do Dentists Prefer?
When it comes to clear aligners vs. braces, dentists tend to support the option that will work best for their patients’ needs and lifestyles. They want you to have the option that will give you the best results and cause minimal discomfort. While some types of correction are better suited for braces than clear aligners, the latter also has many benefits, including the potential of giving the wearer more confidence in their smile. If you have concerns about either clear aligners or braces, it’s a good idea to talk it over with your dentist, as they know you and your teeth and can help find the best treatment option for you.
If you’re looking to get straighter teeth, it’s always a good idea to get a professional consultation before starting either braces or clear aligners. Feel free to schedule an appointment with us online, or give us a call for more information.