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The Differences Between Invisalign and Clear Braces
You could be forgiven for confusing clear braces and Invisalign. Google does not help either. When you search for the term ‘clear braces,’ you will see links about Invisalign in the search results.
What separates Invisalign from clear braces?
Let us clear up the confusion: Clear braces are just braces with transparent or tooth-colored ceramic brackets. They are still braces, they are just harder to spot compared to old-school metal braces. Then there is Invisalign.
Simply put, Invisalign comes in the form of teeth trays that fit right over the teeth. They are custom-made to fit tightly over a person’s teeth. Unlike clear braces, Invisalign trays are removable. In fact, most orthodontists will direct their patients to take off their Invisalign before they eat.
That is just one of the differences between Invisalign and clear braces. There are others. For example:
1. Clear braces are bonded onto a patient’s teeth while Invisalign trays are removable
Like metal braces, clear braces also consist of brackets and the archwires that connect said brackets. Each tooth gets its own bracket, and each bracket is cemented onto the tooth with dental bonding material. Clear aligners like Invisalign work differently. They come as teeth trays, much like the ones used for whitening teeth. The difference is that these teeth trays are tailor-made to fit perfectly and very tightly over the wearer's teeth.
Being removable, Invisalign is not bonded onto the teeth. However, an orthodontist may add little blobs of composite resin to the teeth. The resin provides leverage that allows the Invisalign to exert extra pressure on specific teeth.
2. Clear braces can irritate the soft tissues in the mouth; Invisalign does not
Braces have been known to cause discomfort, and the clear variants are no exception. The ceramic brackets can rub against the inner cheeks or the inside of the lips, causing irritation at best and at worst, sores. It is important for the wearers of braces to ask their orthodontists for adjustments that make their braces as comfortable as possible. Invisalign does not have this drawback.
3. Clear braces can stain the teeth
A person has to eat with their braces on since they are fixed in place. When a person eats or drinks something that can cause stains, the plastic arch wire of the clear braces gets stained as well. These stains will eventually be transferred to the person's teeth. This is not an issue with Invisalign since a person can take them off before they eat.
4. Clear braces are the better option for treating severe dental problems
Invisalign is best suited for people with moderately misaligned teeth. In contrast, an orthodontist will recommend braces for teeth that are severely crowded, gapped or crooked. Here are a few dental problems that are best treated with braces:
- A crossbite
- Severe crowding caused by a problem in the jaw
- A skeletal malocclusion
At the end of the day, an orthodontist will recommend one of the two options based on a thorough evaluation of the patient’s teeth and jaw.
Talk to our dentist to find out which option will work best for you
When you visit our practice, our dentist will perform a comprehensive exam of your teeth and jaw. They will take you through your treatment options and give you a recommendation based on your exam results and preferences. If you are looking to straighten your teeth, call us or stop by our clinic so we can get started.
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