Invisalign Versus Traditional Braces in Pittsburgh
Living without straight teeth can be challenging, especially since research has shown that an attractive smile is one of the most important parts of a positive first impression. In addition to potentially affecting your self-esteem, crooked teeth are also more prone to significant dental problems like gingivitis and periodontal disease, since tilted, misaligned teeth are more difficult to keep clean and more vulnerable to unusual wear.
Fortunately, modern orthodontic treatments are incredibly effective, giving everyone the opportunity to enjoy a healthy, straight smile. These days, many patients find themselves trying to decide between traditional metal braces and the Invisalign system, which is a series of acrylic trays designed to gradually move the teeth into place. Here are the pros and cons of metal braces and the Invisalign system, so that you can decide what will work better for your lifestyle.
Invisalign does much of the work of traditional braces, without the inconvenience. Schedule your consultation today!Request an Appointment
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces consist of metal brackets that are cemented to the front of each tooth, with a flexible wire running through the brackets. Over time, the wire is tightened, pulling the teeth into line.
Pros of Metal Braces
Better for Complicated Issues
Since metal braces treat the entire dental arch and aren’t removed during treatment, they are more effective for complicated issues, such as bite problems and undescended canine teeth.
Higher Compliance Rate
Metal braces aren’t removable by the patient, which means that there is no temptation to take them off. For this reason, metal braces require less self-discipline to complete orthodontic treatment.
Relatively Low Cost
Metal braces start at around half the price of the Invisalign system.
Cons of Metal Braces
One of the things patients dislike the most about metal braces is their appearance. The teeth take can look crowded covered with wires and brackets, although patients can pay extra for color or for more unobtrusive white braces.
Long Treatment Time
Orthodontic treatment with metal braces can be a long commitment, sometimes taking two years or more.
Oral Lacerations and Sores
Brackets and wires can rub against the insides of cheeks and the tongue, causing problems like cuts, friction, and canker sores.
Tooth Discoloration and Damage
The metal in traditional braces can cause stains that leach into teeth. If the bite is far enough off, wearing braces can even put you at a higher risk for tooth damage.
People with traditional braces can’t enjoy certain foods, such as anything paticularly hard or sticky.
Problems for Sports Players
Metal braces aren’t ideal for anyone who plays sports, since the metal brackets can cause impact injuries to the patient and the other players.
To create a customized Invisalign system, your teeth will be carefully scanned and impressions will be taken. This information is then sent to a dental lab which uses CAD/CAM technology to design a series of clear retainers personalized for you. These retainers gently shift your teeth into place, all while giving you the opportunity to tailor your treatment to your everyday life.
Pros of Invisalign
Smooth and Comfortable
Invisalign retainers are designed to be smooth and comfortable for wearers, with contoured edges and no sharp pieces.
One of the biggest advantages of Invisalign retainers is that they are barely noticeable, making it possible to go about your normal daily routine without worrying about how you look.
Invisalign retainers only need to be worn 22 out of 24 hours a day, which means people can remove them to talk, eat, play sports, or participate in other activities where aligners would be inconvenient .
Short Treatment Time
In many cases, this orthodontic care system works faster than traditional treatment, with most patients experiencing the intended results in as little as 6 months.
Cons of Invisalign
The Invisalign system is more expensive on average than traditional metal braces. However, it should be noted that traditional metal braces can also cost as much as invisalign, especially if the teeth are severely misaligned or a longer treatment time is needed.
More Frequent Brushing
To keep the Invisalign trays from staining, patients need to brush their teeth after meals before inserting the retainers again.
Requires Self Discipline
Since Invisalign is removable, patients need to have self-discipline when it comes to their orthodontic care. Patients need to be dedicated to following Dr. Pounds's instructions and wearing the retainers 22 hours a day, or their treatment won’t be successful.
Not Ideal for Complex Orthodontic Care
Invisalign should not be used for complex orthodontic care, including to rotate molars or canines, or move the teeth vertically. However, Invisalign can help with many common orthodontic care issues, including crowded, gapped, or overlapping teeth.
If you are interested in orthodontic care or any other kind of cosmetic dentistry in Pittsburgh, make an appointment with Dr. Pounds. During your orthodontic consultation, Dr. Pounds can talk with you about which treatment method would work better to address your dental care needs.