Malocclusion problems, including crooked teeth, gapped teeth, and an uneven bite, affect countless people. Traditionally, braces were the only way to effectively straighten the teeth. However, patients now have the option of Invisalign®. Invisalign is a system of clear plastic aligners that gradually shift the teeth and correct the bite.
Both Invisalign and traditional braces are reliable solutions for the most common malocclusion problems, so how do patients know which is right for them? Dr. Steven Hochfelder discusses Invisalign vs. braces with our Lake Mary, FL, patients so that they can make an informed decision about which treatment method is best suited to their unique needs.
Braces are the oldest method of orthodontic treatment. For many years, braces have been trusted to improve the position of the teeth and correct the bite. This treatment involves the placement of a series of brackets to the facial surface of the teeth. The brackets are connected by wire. As treatment progresses, the wires are regularly tightened so that the teeth and jaw are under constant pressure that encourages movement.
Traditional braces offer our Lake Mary patients the benefit of being effective on even the most severe malocclusion problems. However, the most notable disadvantage of braces treatment is the metal appliances that are used. Metal brackets and wires stand out against the teeth so they have an obvious impact on the appearance of the smile. Metal brackets also tend to scrape the gums and other oral tissues, which can make braces treatment uncomfortable.
Invisalign can correct many of the same malocclusion problems as braces. As with traditional braces, this treatment method relies on pressure to encourage the appropriate movement of the teeth and jaw. However, Invisalign applies pressure through a series of clear plastic aligner trays, rather than brackets and wires.
The aligners sit over the teeth like a thin, close-fitting mouthguard. About every two weeks, patients switch to a new set of aligners that fit slightly differently. This constant progression ensures that the teeth and the jaw receive adequate pressure to correct malocclusion problems.
Invisalign is preferred by many people because it is the most discreet teeth straightening method available. The Invisalign aligners are hardly noticeable against the teeth so they do not compromise the appearance of the smile. Further, the smooth plastic aligners should not scrape the cheeks or gums, which makes treatment comfortable.
Finally, Invisalign aligners are removable. While removable aligners are convenient, they can also be a disadvantage. Patients should consider whether they are committed to caring for their aligners and wearing them the appropriate amount of time for effective treatment.
Choosing the Best Treatment Method
If malocclusion problems are severe, braces may be the only suitable treatment option. However, in most cases, either braces or Invisalign can be effective. When our Lake Mary patients are candidates for both treatment options, it really comes down to personal preference. Individuals should consider whether they prefer a more discreet treatment method and whether they can be committed to the discipline that Invisalign treatment requires.
Schedule an Appointment
If you need orthodontic treatment, Dr. Steven Hochfelder can help you consider your options. To learn more about braces or Invisalign, call (407) 321-8900 and schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.