Clear braces or Invisalign?
Clear braces or Invisalign: here, we will look at which treatment is right for you, looking at Age, Price, Treatment time, the benefits and the disadvantages of each treatment. Find out what orthodontic treatment is right for you.
Invisalign is a type of clear aligner that is custom-made for each patient to gradually shift their teeth into the desired position. Invisalign aligners are made of a transparent, smooth plastic material that is virtually invisible, making it a popular choice for those who want a discreet orthodontic treatment option. Clear braces or fixed braces with ceramic brackets are also common for patients who want their brackets or orthodontic treatment to be more of a secret.
Clear Braces use clear or tooth-coloured brackets and wires to straighten teeth. They are designed to blend in with the teeth and be less noticeable than traditional metal braces. The brackets are each made from a single piece of glass, monocrystalline, or several fused polycrystalline. Common brand names include American Ortho Radiance™, Damon Clear™ and 3M Clarity™.
Clear braces vs Invisalign
Age group, it is suited to:
Invisalign is primarily suited to adults, but there are also Invisalign Teen and Invisalign First options designed for teenagers and younger children. Clear Braces are suited to anyone receiving braces. There will be some bite types that they may not be suitable for, for example, deep bites- but more on that in the benefits and disadvantages below.
The cost of Invisalign can vary depending on the type of treatment and the length of the treatment plan. On average, Invisalign treatment can range from €1,800 to €4600. What affects the price is the degree of work required to get to where you want with your teeth; this, in turn, affects the number of aligners needed and, therefore, whether it is an Express, Lite, Moderate or Comprehensive case.
The cost of Clear Braces can also vary depending on the type of treatment and the length of the treatment plan. However, what has more of an effect on treatment with ceramic brackets is whether it’s upper and lower or just upper being planned. On average, Clear Braces treatment can range from €2,500 to €4600. Generally, there is no great difference in price between Invisalign and clear braces.
The treatment time for Invisalign can vary depending on the type of treatment and the severity of the orthodontic issue. In general, Invisalign treatment can take anywhere from 3 to 18 months. The treatment time for Clear Braces can also vary depending on the type of treatment and the severity of the orthodontic issue. Clear Braces treatment can generally take anywhere from 6 to 24 months. There is some disagreement in the scientific community as to which is the faster mode of treatment, with some studies showing either may be quicker. In our experience, there’s a small difference.
One of the main benefits of Invisalign is that the aligners are virtually invisible, making them a discreet option for those who don’t want to wear traditional metal braces. They are also very smooth for the soft tissues of the mouth. Their programmed nature also allows individual teeth to be moved to the desired position. The Invisalign algorithm will calculate all the other movements required to let that particular movement happen. This includes calculating the space required. This is a massive advantage to the clinician, especially the less experienced ones. Invisalign aligners are also removable, making maintaining good dental hygiene habits during treatment easy.
Clear Braces are also a discreet option, as the clear or tooth-coloured brackets and wires blend in with the teeth. Clear Braces are also more effective for those with more severe orthodontic issues than Invisalign, as they facilitate the addition of further mechanics. An example of this is an extra wire placed on a very crooked tooth. This wire would be in addition to a more rigid wire- a so-called piggyback. Another example could be where a gold wire is attached to a buried tooth to allow it to be pulled into the mouth following surgery. Clear braces work away whether you like it or not and have less patient participation than Invisalign.
One disadvantage of Invisalign is that the aligners can be lost or damaged if not properly cared for. In addition, Invisalign treatment may not be the most effective option for those with severe orthodontic issues, as mentioned above. Invisalign aligners require much discipline both in their care and wear. It is very doable but is to be considered. The fact that you can’t eat or drink with the aligners is also tough, especially for snackers or big-eating teenagers. The aligners will not work if they are not in the mouth. Aligners are also quite expensive to replace if lost. It’s an advantage and a disadvantage that aligners are removable! If they are removed and stay removed for periods, then they aren’t working!
One disadvantage of Clear Braces is that the brackets and wires can become discoloured if not properly cared for. Some elements of the apparatus can stain and negate the prettiness. For example, around each bracket is an elastic that can easily stain, especially with tea or coffee; don’t mention turmeric! These are called O-rings and are essential. Similarly, the wire connecting each tooth is metal covered with a masking substance, a plastic layer. This covering, however, tends to wear away from the wire between appointments, making the wire look a little patchy. Furthermore, ceramic braces are very hard and will abrade or wear down opposite teeth if they come into contact with each other. For this reason, they are not suitable for use on lower teeth in deep bite cases as they will wear the back of the top front teeth if allowed. In addition, Clear Braces may be more uncomfortable than Invisalign, as the brackets and wires can rub against the inside of the mouth. Ironically, the fact that the brackets are so hard makes them more inclined to chip. Ceramic brackets are stickier to enamel than metal brackets and carry a greater risk of damage to the enamel when removing them. Finally, ceramic brackets have more friction between the wire and the bracket, making it less easy to slide teeth in place.
The decision on which treatment is best suited for an individual’s needs should be made in consultation with a dental professional who can evaluate the individual’s specific orthodontic needs and provide personalised treatment recommendations. Ultimately, the decision between Invisalign and Clear Braces will depend on various factors, including the severity of the orthodontic issues, the individual’s preferences and lifestyle, and their budget for treatment.
At Cork City Dentist, we can offer either orthodontic solution.