Is Invisalign Better Than Braces?

Is Invisalign Better Than Braces?

Invisalign (clear dental aligners) and braces are among the most preferred orthodontic treatment methods. With both treatment methods, an aesthetically beautiful smile and healthy oral and dental structure can be achieved.

Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that creates an oral structure with compatible teeth by treating teeth that are incompatible with each other, crooked, gapped, embedded in the gingival and crooked. The teeth are guided to the desired point by moving them at a millimeter level within the bone with movable, functional and fixed instruments for periods of months.

Less complex oral and dental structures can be treated with dental aligners, complex with braces and much more complex with lingual braces. Dental aligners are almost invisible, braces are visible, while lingual braces are invisible as the braces and brackets remain on the inner surface of the teeth.

Children should be examined at the age of 7, as teeth are mostly caused by disorders during the developmental age of individuals.  While simple dental problems can be solved with invisalign first between the ages of 7-10 by monitoring development, braces treatment is planned at the earliest between the ages of 10-12.

Invisalign is a brand of clear dental aligners. It is suitable for patients without complex dental problems. Digital treatment planning is made after the examination by the dentist. First of all, decay and tartar cleaning is performed, if any. The simulation of the treatment process and outcome can be seen in advance. Since it is clear, it is almost unnoticeable in the mouth. Plaques suitable for the treatment to be applied to the patient and the oral structure are customized with three-dimensional scanning. Clear aligners consist of sets that are replaced in stages of 1-2 weeks.

Dental aligners have become more and more preferred in recent years, especially by young people, due to their inconspicuousness, ease of treatment and low frequency of control.

The treatment proceeds by gently moving each tooth individually by applying constant force. The gingival are reshaped around the moving tooth. When the aligners are first worn, there may be a slight lisp in speech during the adaptation process. For successful progress in treatment, they should be worn for 20-22 hours a day. When removed for a long time, the treatment process is prolonged as the teeth may shift towards the starting point.

Using the aligners requires discipline. Some patients get bored of constantly taking the aligners off and putting them on. Since they do not pay attention to their use, no progress can be seen in their treatment with this method. It would be more beneficial for these patients to use braces.

The ability of patients with veneers or crowns to use Invisalign is evaluated separately by specialist dentists. Invisalign treatment is not preferred in patients with two or more teeth bridged.

In braces treatment, metal, ceramic or glass brackets are glued to the front surface of the teeth and wires are passed over them. In some cases, elastic materials can also be used to help orientation to the desired point.

Table 1 shows the advantages and disadvantages of Invisalign and braces compared to each other.

Invisalign (Clear aligners)Braces
AgeChildren, youth and adultsChildren, youth and adults
HygieneRemovable, convenient for eating, oral and dental careOral care is more difficult because the brackets are attached to the teeth
AestheticsNot noticeableVisible
SpeechSome patients may have a slight lispNo impact
Session length15-20 minutes30 minutes
Session period2-3 months1-2 months
Patient complianceWear 20-22 hours a day for treatment successMore flexible compliance for treatment success
Tooth movementSuitable for small rotates and advancesSuitable for complex tooth movements
Emergency examinationNot requiredNeed in cases of loosening
Prohibited foodsGum cannot be chewed, removal of plaque is recommended with other foods and drinksAvoid apples, pears, hard and sticky foods, popcorn, chips, alcoholic and carbonated drinks
Duration of treatment6-18 months1-2 years
PainFeeling of pressure on first useFeeling of pressure on first use
After treatmentRetainer recommendedRetainer recommended
MaterialThermoplasticMetal, ceramic or glass bracket, metal wire

Table 1. Invisalign and braces comparison