Whether you are an adult wanting to get your teeth straightened or need an opinion for your child about which type of braces are the best, this article is for you! One of the most common questions that patients ask their orthodontists before beginning orthodontic treatment is “Which type of braces are the best for me?”.
With a wide range of braces options available– traditional metal and ceramic braces to self-ligating braces, lingual braces and clear aligners, it is but natural for patients to get confused about what is best for them. So, we’ve got you in-depth information about the best kind of braces for you!
Braces have been one of the best and most natural ways to straighten irregular teeth. They have been a part of dentistry for decades and have been successful in treating millions of patients and giving them their dream smile. Though conventional braces have evolved and given way to newer braces types, they have stood their ground and continue to be used even today.
Conventional braces are made from stainless steel and comprise small metal brackets that are stuck on the teeth and a stainless steel archwire is inserted into the slots in the brackets. The archwire can be tightened depending upon the amount of force that is needed to be applied to the teeth to move them into their designated places. During every visit to the orthodontist, they will change or replace the archwire until your teeth have reached their newly assigned positions.
While metal braces are still being used, there was a growing need for more aesthetic options. Thus came the ceramic braces. Ceramic braces are very similar to metallic braces but are tooth-coloured. This makes them less conspicuous compared to metal braces. The ceramic brackets are stuck on your teeth, just like metal braces, and have a metal or ceramic-coated metal wire that passes through these brackets.
Though ceramic braces were less evident than metal braces, they were still at risk of getting stained and giving one a bulky ceramic smile during their orthodontic treatment. Here are some pros and cons of traditional metal and ceramic braces:
- Conventional braces are the strongest type of braces available today, which makes them extremely durable.
- Since conventional metal and ceramic braces are made from cheaper materials, treatment using them is very affordable.
- They are extremely versatile and work for most types of teeth alignment problems, even the most complicated of them.
- Since they are strong and versatile, treatment using traditional braces makes treatment quicker.
- Conventional metal and ceramic braces can be used by people of all ages.
- There are lots of colour options and attachment options available based on the patient and orthodontist’s choices respectively.
Though the pros of conventional braces make them stay popular even today, they do have inherent disadvantages such as:
- Aesthetic challenges: The biggest disadvantage of traditional metal and ceramic braces is their poor aesthetics. Most patients are already unhappy about how their irregular teeth look. Wearing an ugly metallic or ceramic smile is like an added woe to their existing concerns.
- Discomfort: Accept it or not, conventional braces come with lots of metal and ceramic pieces that are stuck on teeth. These can be very uncomfortable for the patients and may cause pain and soreness.
- Irritation: The metal and ceramic brackets and wires in the mouth can be irritating to your gums, cheeks and the inner lining of your lips. Many patients complain of ulcers during their braces treatment.
- Difficult to maintain hygiene: A significant challenge with wearing traditional metal or ceramic braces is the difficulty faced during brushing and flossing. Did you know wearing braces gives food more areas to get lodged? Also, there is more opportunity for plaque and calculus to develop, increasing one’s risk of gum infections and tooth cavities.
- Food restrictions: During your treatment with traditional metal or ceramic braces, your orthodontist will advise you to stay clear of hard, sticky or chewy foods that can break your bracket or loosen them from the tooth. So you may have to say goodbye to your favourite gol gappas, chaats, pizzas, burgers, and a lot more!
To do away with the patient’s reluctance of undergoing orthodontic treatment due to unaesthetic metal and ceramic brackets, clear aligners were introduced. Aligners are ideal for patients who wish to straighten their teeth in the most discreet manner possible.
Clear aligners are transparent trays that are fabricated using biocompatible, comfortable plastic material and need to be worn on upper and lower teeth for a minimum of 22-23 hours every day. Each set of aligner trays must be worn for around two weeks before switching to the next one. Clear aligners are customized for each patient.
Since they have no wires, metal brackets or other attachments, they are extremely comfortable, convenient and popular among patients.
How Do Clear Aligners work?
Clear aligners apply small but constant forces on teeth when worn. These constant forces move teeth into their proper alignment and hold them in their newly assigned positions. Since the forces applied by the aligners are small, patients rarely feel pain or extreme discomfort that is common with conventional braces.
Pros and Cons of Clear Aligners
Like any other medical and dental treatment, clear aligners have their pros and cons.
- Clear aligners have the best aesthetics among all braces, earning them the title of invisible braces!
- Unlike conventional braces, there are no diet restrictions during your clear aligner treatment.
- Clear aligners are way more comfortable than traditional braces, making them popular among patients.
- Since clear aligners are removable trays, it is extremely easy to brush, floss and maintain good oral hygiene. Healthy gums and teeth mean quicker treatment completion.
- During your clear aligner treatment, you need not visit your doctor every month. You can visit them once every four to six weeks for treatment monitoring.
Despite their many advantages, clear aligners have their limitations, which include:
- The success and duration of treatment completion with aligners depends upon patient compliance. Not wearing the aligners for the required amount of time or forgetting to wear the aligners regularly can prolong treatment duration and interfere with its decided course.
- Though the feature of removing aligners is great for diet and oral hygiene reasons, doing so every time you eat, drink, brush and floss can be a tad bit inconvenient.
- Clear aligners are recommended for mild to moderate irregularity in teeth. However, when it comes to severe cases of teeth alignment or those that require surgical procedures, good old metal or ceramic braces are preferred.
The Final Verdict: Which One is Better For You?
With a greater understanding of both clear aligners and braces, the looming question of “Are clear aligners better than braces?” may have been answered. However, here’s what we think–
Clear aligners are the latest option for teeth alignment and have a great track record of treating millions of patients successfully. With superior aesthetics, shorter treatment times, higher levels of comfort and convenience, and affordable costs, clear aligners surely have an upper hand over braces. Though clear aligners cannot be used in severe or complicated cases, a combination of using braces and aligners is now being tried by orthodontists, which includes the use of both these options at different times during treatment. However, the results of the same are yet to be seen.
Wrapping it Up!
If you have been thinking about getting your irregular teeth aligned and have spent hours or days deciding whether you should choose aligners or braces, speak with your orthodontist.
After performing a thorough evaluation of your teeth, jaws, bite and your diagnostic records, your orthodontist will suggest the best options for you. If you are given the choice of clear aligners, we can assure you that would be one of the best decisions you will make in life! Looking for world-class quality clear aligners at affordable rates? Contact us at 32 Watts aligners right away!
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