Thinking about getting your teeth straightened? Thanks to dental professionals, there are now various teeth-straitening options you can choose from.
Two of the most popular treatments availed by patients are traditional braces and Invisalign, both having their list of pros and cons.
While braces have been in use for effective treatment of periodontal problems for many centuries, Invisalign uses modern 3D computerized imaging technology that generates a clear picture of the teeth alignment even before the start of the treatment.
Choosing the right teeth-straightening treatment can be tricky, especially if you are not familiar with how each treatment works. So, with the help of Dentaleh, a leading dental portal in Singapore, we present you a list of factors you need to consider to help you have an informed decision in achieving your most confident smile.
The severity of misaligned teeth
For simple teeth alignment issues, there is really no need for traditional braces. Other treatment options like Invisalign can do the job. Invisalign is a set of custom-made aligners that gradually align the teeth to its proper position.
It can be a good option for patients with mild cases of teeth gaps, crowding, overbite, underbite, crossbite, and open n bite.
However, for cases with severely crooked and rotated teeth, especially when they are bicuspids, Invisalign trays may not be very effective in attaching on cylindrical or rounded parts of the teeth as they tend to slide off. For patients needing extensive teeth aligning treatments, traditional braces may be your best bet.
Traditional braces are securely affixed on the teeth, so there’s little to no chance of slipping and results in more aligned teeth.
Unlike Invisalign that concentrates pressure towards the upper part of the tooth, braces apply the same amount of pressure on the entire tooth, including the root making it more effective in aligning overly crooked, overlapping, or twisted teeth.
The major selling point of Invisalign is the fact that the aligners are virtually invisible.
Invisalign is made of a clear, custom-made thermoplastic material that aligns your teeth without you having to deal with unsightly shining pieces of metal mounted on your teeth that comes with traditional braces.
Sure, braces can come in different colors but there is no denying that they can be very unflattering.
If you are self-conscious and do not want other people noticing your teeth-aligning treatment, then Invisalign is a better choice because they are harder to detect and barely noticeable.
One of the most important questions that patients ask when choosing a teeth-straightening treatment is: Are they comfortable?
To answer this question, bear in mind that the teeth straightening process can take a long time and whatever method you choose, there will certainly be some degree of discomfort. Teeth straightening involves constant pressure on the teeth, pushing them against each other all the time until the desired result is achieved.
However, since traditional braces are made of metal and wire attachments, these can cause lacerations on the gums and food particles can get stuck on them making them harder to clean and maintain. With traditional braces, some food may be restricted. Some food can be hard to eat and clean that you will choose to skip on eating them entirely.
With Invisalign, there is more freedom when it comes to food and oral hygiene since the aligners can be removed during meals and brushing. You can just then pop those aligners back anytime.
This way, you can also brush and clean your teeth and aligners thoroughly and not have to worry about the embarrassment of having food getting stuck into your teeth.
There is also no chance of your gums getting cut because the aligners are made of smooth and comfortable material.
Traditional braces cannot be removed throughout the treatment, so there is really no issue with compliance of keeping them on. As mentioned in the previous section, with Invisalign, the aligners can be removed during meals and brushing.
But for it to work effectively, it must be worn for 20 – 22 hours a day. The aligners are also replaced every 1-2 weeks depending on the tooth movement.
This is why compliance of wearing the aligners requires discipline and mindfulness for it to work properly. Since the aligners can be taken off, there can be a temptation not to brush your teeth and put them back on. Some patients also tend to forget to put their aligners back after meals.
The success of treatment with Invisalign mainly depends on the patient’s commitment to wearing them. For this reason, most parents mostly choose braces for their children to ensure an uninterrupted tooth straightening process.
If you are someone who cannot commit to wearing Invisalign trays for 20-22 hours a day, traditional braces may be a better solution.
The cost of any medical treatment is probably one of the most important factors that patients consider when they weigh their options.
To give you an idea, the cost of traditional braces typically range from $2,500 to $6,000. Invisalign is an advanced technology and can be pricier with prices ranging from $3,500 to $8,000.
However, do note that the total cost of teeth straightening treatments can vary from patient to patient and can be influenced by various factors such as:
- how severe your teeth alignment problems are
- number of trays that you may have to use (with Invisalign)
- dentist’s fee
- follow-up check-up fees
- medication (in case of complications)
- dental insurance coverage (check with your company)
Your dentist/orthodontist will help you determine which treatment option is best suited for you based on the amount of tooth movement required and your personal preferences.
During the consultation, you should communicate your needs and aesthetic concerns well with your doctor to achieve the best results.