Invisalign and braces are specialised dental treatment which are used to straighten crooked or malaligned teeth which in turn helps in improving the smile and oral hygiene of the patient. Traditional braces have been in use for a very long time and have established a history of treatment. Invisalign came into use about 20 years ago, and its history of treatment is not as strong as that of traditional braces as yet. However, Invisalign have gained popularity over a short period of time, as they are invisible and more acceptable in appearance.
Invisalign uses clear BPA free plastic aligners to push teeth into a desired position. These appliances often go unnoticed by people around and thus the patient is able to smile and carry out a normal life without feeling self-conscious. They are not fixed to the teeth and are removable in nature.
Traditional braces are fixed to the tooth surface and they use metallic/ceramic brackets and wire to bring about a tooth movement. They are visible to the naked eye and unpleasant in appearance. They are fixed to the tooth surface and cannot be removed by the patient.
Does Invisalign work Faster than Braces?
Both Invisalign and braces are equally effective in treating malaligned teeth and correcting other ill-positioned teeth. In both cases, the time required to bring about a change depends on the condition of the patient and complexity of the individual case. Traditional braces are more effective and often faster than Invisalign for correcting midline gap and other spacing issues.
On an average fixed braces can take anywhere between 18 months to 3 years to complete the treatment. However, noticeable movement can be seen within few months. Besides this, once the brackets are attached, traditional braces need a follow up every 4 to 6 weeks. The follow up appointments are short (lasts between 30 to 60 minutes) and involves tightening of the appliance and changing the bands. Missed follow up appointment can lead to lengthening of the treatment time.
Invisalign is used to straighten teeth and correct malalignment that is not very complicated; it is hard to predict the time each may take to complete treatment with Invisalign as it varies from person to person. The average time taken varies between 6 to 18 months. The length of the treatment depends on the how well the patient sticks with the guidelines recommended. He or she is expected to wear the aligner for at least 20-22 hours every day; failure to do so can extend the treatment time. Follow up are scheduled every 4 – 6 weeks, but the patients are instructed to change the aligners every 2 weeks. Delay in this can also extend the treatment time.
As compared with traditional braces, Invisalign takes shorter time to treat crooked teeth. However, skipping follow up appointments or failure to wear the aligner for 20 – 22 hours a day can delay the treatment time. Failure to change the aligner every 2 weeks can also affect the outcome of the treatment. Another important point to keep in mind is that, Invisalign cannot be used to treat complicated cases, and thus should be treated with fixed attachments or traditional appliances.