Braces for Kids, Teens and Adults – The Best Choice for Your Family
The history of orthodontics and of the use of braces dates to the 19th century, with significant developments over time. The field of orthodontia has been the focus of constant development in practice, methods, and materials used to improve patients’ quality of life. The offices of Burke & Redford Orthodontists have the highest standards and best treatment options for their patients.
When people hear “orthodontists,” often their first thought is “teeth straightening.” The outdated concept of having “metal mouth” is thankfully no longer the status quo, however. Current options for moving teeth also include esthetic options like ceramic braces and Invisalign.
Ceramic Braces vs Invisalign
Braces for kids, teens and adults have improved significantly over the past two decades and even jumped a few evolutionary steps with the release of ceramic orthodontic braces, self-ligating braces (e.g. Damon braces) and clear aligners (known as Invisalign).
Items the orthodontist and patient will need to consider and discuss when choosing between different treatment options include:
- Condition(s) to be treated
- Severity of each condition
- Treatment timetable
- Personal discipline/cooperation level of the patient
The braces and clear aligner options include:
- Metal braces
- Clear ceramic braces
- Self-ligating braces systems (Ie. Damon braces system)
- Invisalign clear aligners
Patients frequently ask the doctors: When considering ceramic braces vs Invisalign, which is better?
In order to accurately answer this question, let’s look at the similarities and differences between Invisalign and ceramic braces.
How Do Ceramic Braces Work?
Systems for moving teeth with ceramic and metal braces are similar. Treatment time and quality of result are equal. The only difference is the bracket/wire material and appearance. Otherwise, the same basic materials are used:
- Bonding material (to adhere the braces to the teeth)
- Elastics (rubberbands)
The brackets are applied to the front surface of the teeth and the teeth are then moved by archwires connected to each individual brace. Self-ligating braces for kids, teens and adults do not use the elastic tie around each brace. Instead, they utilize a door mechanism to secure the wire in its correct place. White archwires can be used to blend in with the teeth when clear ceramic braces are used.
How do Invisalign Aligners Work?
Invisalign braces differ completely from self-ligating braces. They have no brackets or wires. Instead, clear aligner systems use a combination of white colored attachments and clear plastic trays to move teeth. But are they as effective as traditional braces?
The answer is yes, in the right hands and in certain cases. It should be highlighted that it is not Invisalign that moves teeth. Instead, it is the experienced and skilled orthodontist who moves teeth using Invisalign as a tool. Treatment results with the best orthodontist will differ dramatically from results obtained elsewhere or by treating one’s self with DIY systems. In addition, clear aligners are good at moving teeth in some directions, and poor at moving them in other directions. The advantages and limitations with Invisalign will be discussed prior to starting treatment so the patient has an accurate expectation of treatment results.
Treatment with Invisalign consists of wearing a series of clear trays. These trays are manufactured after the orthodontist prescribes the appropriate tooth movement through a specialized computer software system. The plastic is molded so that gradual pressure on the teeth is produced with each new tray to shift teeth into the desired position.
Patients switch to a new tray every 1-to-2 weeks. Office visits are scheduled approximately every 8 weeks to check on progress and ensure teeth are moving according to the orthodontist’s treatment plan.
Why is Invisalign so Popular?
Invisalign aligners were first developed at the end of the 90’s, receiving FDA approval in 1998. Taking the world by storm, Align Technology has been the clear aligner dental lab of choice for orthodontists ever since. Orthodontists can use Invisalign to treat the following oral conditions, all while being transparent and significantly less noticeable than braces:
- Crooked teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Tooth gap
The advent of clear aligners opened a new path for adults that believed orthodontic procedures were socially acceptable strictly for children and teenagers, not themselves. Now, braces for kids, teens and adults is a reality and not just a possibility.
Lifestyle Differences with Ceramic Braces vs. Invisalign
Dr. Redford and Dr. Burke will clearly explain the typical lifestyle experience with ceramic braces vs. Invisalign during your initial consultation.
The main upsides to the Invisalign experience include:
- The most esthetic and inconspicuous system available
- Improved feel with minimal irritation to cheeks and lips
- Removable for eating
- Removable for brushing and flossing
Potential downsides associated with the Invisalign experience include:
- Need for excellent cooperation (22 hours of wear per day)
- Minor speech issues may present initially. These typically resolve within 1-2 weeks
Deciding Between Ceramic Braces vs Invisalign
During your consultation, we will examine your teeth and have a conversation with you about your desires and expectations for treatment, as well as the pros and cons of each option for your individual case.
Contact our office to discuss the best options between ceramic braces vs Invisalign or any other type of treatment by calling (951) 699-8011 or fill out the contact form on our website to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Redford or Dr. Burke.