Today we are going to understand the advantages and disadvantages of metal braces and aligners.
Aligners do not suit everyone. On the other hand, metal braces are not compatible with few lifestyles.
Letus find the best treatment option that suits you. I hope you find value in this content.
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METAL BRACES VS. INVISIBLE BRACES. WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
REMOVABLE VS. FIXED
Metal braces are traditional appliances that are glued to the teeth. On the other hand, aligners or invisible braces are removable appliances. You can remove aligners in need.
The treatment cost of metal braces ranges from $1500 to $5000 (* the cost varies from region to region and from patient to patient as it depends on the type of mal-occlusion and the amount of treatment required). Metal braces are cheaper than Invisalign.
On the other hand, the initial cost of Invisalign is almost double the conventional braces treatment (metal braces). It ranges between $3000 to $7500. Invisalign are not cheaper than metal braces.
Patients with metal braces have an ugly outlook when they smile. It is because of the metal reflections from the teeth when they smile. But, Invisalign or invisible braces are more aesthetic in appearance.
Usually, it’s hard to find aligners when you see them from a distance. On the other hand, you can observe metal braces even from a distance. So, if you are a guy who gives more importance to aesthetics, you should prefer aligners.
The first two or three days with metal braces is discomforting. The patient finds his or her teeth tender and painful on biting. As metal braces apply heavy pressures on teeth, this is a common situation in patients with metal braces.
But, aligners are more comfortable in this regard. They preferably apply light pressure for prolonged periods.
You can have metal braces on the first visit itself. As metal braces are the same for all patients, they are readily available in the market. Your orthodontist has to fix these braces on teeth.
But, aligners are custom made. They are different from person to person. On the first visit, your dentist might take some scans of your teeth.
A technician prepares custom made aligners using these scans. The aligners are not readily available as they are unique for every patient.
Let me explain the term patient sensitive. If a treatment depends on how well the patient co-operates, then the procedure is known to be more patient sensitive.
Metal braces are fixed to teeth. The patient has to do nothing in this regard. As the patient cannot remove these braces, little compliance and co-operation are required from his end.
On the other hand, invisible braces require 100% patient’s cooperation. You have to use the appliance for its full term. I have seen some patients who remove the aligners as and when they feel discomfort.
It may prolong the treatment period, and the patient might not get the expected results.
We have seen many cases of aligners where patients failed to use them properly and inadvertently prolonged his or her treatment period.
Hence, patients who feel responsible for their treatment should opt for aligners, otherwise prefer metal braces.
On the other hand, aligners are removable. The patient has to remove them while eating. So, there are no food entrapment problems while eating. Maintaining oral hygiene is much easier with aligners than fixed braces.
Cleaning aliners is also more straightforward when compared to fixed braces. You have to brush the aligner with antibacterial soap and rinse it in water.
Due to more food entrapment, patients with fixed braces have more chances of caries. The food which gets stuck in between braces becomes hard and may harbour bacteria. It can lead to decay of teeth.
While aligners are removable, you should remove aligners while eating. So, the chances of caries are zero percent.
Patients with high caries prevalence should prefer aligners.
NUMBER OF DENTAL VISITS
If we talk in terms of the number of dental visits, aligners have a relatively upper hand over fixed braces.
Patients with fixed braces have more dental appointments when compared to invisible braces/ aligners.
The aligners set will be given to patients on the initial days of treatment. It usually contains a set of aligners, and you have to use them for a particular time interval.
So, as all the aligners set are given at the start of treatment, the patient may require only a few dental visits (usually once in a month or two months – depends on the severity of the case).
But, fixed braces need constant monitoring, as the archwire used in the treatment has to be adjusted. In such a situation, you may have to visit once or twice a month (based on the severity of the case).
So, if you are a busy person who relatively needs fewer dental visits, opt for aligners.
Fixed braces require more maintenance than Invisalign or aligners. If you do not maintain your braces properly, there is every chance that they may break or de-bond from teeth. It can lead to an additional visit to your dentist.
But, invisible braces or aligners do not have that problem. As they are removable, there are no chances of de-bonding except breakage or losing aligners.
So, in terms of maintenance, aligners are superior to metal braces.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF FIXED BRACES OR METAL BRACES
As discussed previously, the cost of fixed braces is somewhere between $1500 to $5000. It is more economical when compared to invisible braces or aligners.
For certain types of mal-occlusion correction, fixed braces are more productive and take less time of treatment, when compared to aligners or Invisalign.
Fixed braces are useful in correcting any mal-occlusion irrespective of the type of correction. But, Invisalign is not suitable for all kinds of teeth correction.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF INVISALIGN OR ALIGNERS
Invisalign is a nightguard like material which is clear and transparent. They are almost invisible and gives a natural look to the patient.
Aligners have soft margins and never produce trauma to the gums or teeth. On the other hand, metal braces have sharp edges and create indentations on the lips and cheek.
The archwire used in metal braces often perforates the cheek creating trauma. But, we do not see such type of discomfort in Invisalign. They are more comfortable when compared to fixed braces.
As the invisible braces are removable, they are easy to clean. Maintaining good oral hygiene is not a problem with invisalign.
NUMBER OF VISITS
Invisalign requires fewer visits compared to metal braces. As the treatment trays are provided on the first visit itself, the patient needs to visit once in 6 weeks.
ARE INVISALIGN BRACES CHEAPER THAN METAL ONES?
But, the good news is, now aligners have become cheaper than before. In-house 3D-printers are changing the way aligners are being fabricated.
In recent years more dental offices are being equipped with dental 3D-printers which can reduce the cost of these invisible braces to half .
METAL BRACES VS. ALIGNER. WHICH ONE SHOULD I PREFER?
We have given all the advantages and disadvantages of both metal braces and Invisalign. So, the answer depends on your priorities.
The take home message of this post is:
WANT COST-EFFECTIVE / ECONOMICAL TREATMENT? : PREFER METAL BRACES
YOU GIVE MORE IMPORTANCE FOR AESTHETICS?: PREFER INVISALIGN / ALIGNERS
WANT LESS NUMBER OF DENTAL VISITS?: PREFER INVISALIGN
DOES YOUR TREATMENT MAY REQUIRE COMPLEX TOOTH MOVEMENTS?: PREFER METAL BRACES
DO YOU GIVE MORE IMPORTANCE TO ORAL HYGIENE AND MAINTAINANCE?: PREFER INVISALIGN
I hope you got a clear idea of which one to prefer. If you like the article, please do share it with your friends.
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