Invisible braces vs metal braces

Invisible braces (or also commonly known as clear aligners) can be just as effective as traditional metal braces with some additional benefits. Find out why.

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When people think of straightening teeth, they often find themselves having to make a decision on choosing between invisible braces and traditional braces. Until this day, traditional metal braces have always been the most commonly used option to straighten teeth as they generally do fix most teeth cases from moderate to very severe. 

How traditional braces work is by using pressure to move your teeth into a desired position with metal brackets and archwires held by small elastics. Flexible arch wires are then attached to the brackets and apply constant pressure which helps to reposition the teeth based on the treatment plan. Technology has made arch wires more advanced, meaning that repositioning requires less time and patients experience less discomfort. Small elastic bands connect the wires to the brackets. Metal braces are a fixed appliance as the brackets are fixed onto your teeth during the treatment period.

But in reality, not many people know that there is an alternative to traditional metal braces when it comes to straightening their smile. Invisible braces (or also commonly known as clear aligners) can be just as effective as traditional metal braces with some additional benefits.

Clear aligners or invisible braces are a series of customized clear plastic trays that fit tightly on the teeth. It uses pressure to gently shift the teeth into a  desired position. They are usually worn for 22 hours a day and each pair is changed out every 2 weeks. You get a set of them, from 8 – 30 invisible braces pairs depending on how long your treatment period is and your teeth conditions.

Benefits of Invisible Braces

Invisible braces or clear aligners offer some benefits that metal braces don’t. As the name suggests, they are completely transparent and this helps conceal the fact that the patient is undergoing orthodontic treatment, which can be embarrassing for some adults. Invisible braces allow for easier brushing and flossing since they’re removed for cleaning and food doesn’t get trapped in them unlike traditional braces.

Unlike metal braces, invisible braces don’t have brackets or wires that can loosen. Which in turn means that they may require fewer repairs and fewer emergency visits to the orthodontist.

Cons of Invisible Braces

It is also important to note that there are some downsides when it comes to invisible braces. Unlike traditional metal braces, invisible braces may not be the right solution for severe teeth misalignment as they are designed for moderate teeth misalignment cases. Thus this may limit some patient’s from getting them if they have complex orthodontic cases.

In addition, the patient must be disciplined in wearing them for at least 22 hours a day. If not worn correctly, the treatment won’t produce the best results if the aligners aren’t worn as long. The major reason for invisible braces treatments failing primarily relates to lack of patient compliance with wearing the invisible braces as instructed.

Last but not least, another disadvantage that discourages patients for opting for invisible braces is the price. Invisalign is the most commonly used brand for invisible braces and the pricing for Invisalign can be very expensive ranging from RM11,000 to RM20,000 depending on teeth conditions. With this high price, many patients back out and opt for the more affordable traditional braces instead. However, there are many new direct-to-consumer brands that offer invisible braces for a fraction of the Invisalign price. A few to name are Smiledirectclub, Byte, Wondersmile, and become. These brands are revolutionising the invisible braces industry with teledentistry which allows for patients to get invisible braces from home with remote monitoring.

Which Is More Effective?

Metal braces tend to be more effective at adjusting teeth that have severe overcrowding and may also cost less than invisible braces. However, invisible braces may be more efficient in both treatment time and cost for several cases.

If you want to improve your smile but cringe at the thought of metal braces, take our free pre-assessment here. Invisible braces might just be the solution for you.