A smile says a lot about you, your health and your personality. It gives a peek into your soul and heart. But, every time you smile, people also see your teeth and their flaws. In the earlier years, teeth straightening treatments were very expensive and followed only when suggested by orthodontists. But today, the need for straight teeth has become a cosmetic need amongst people. Moreover, it has become a source to boost your physical confidence and also self-esteem.
Today, people give a lot of importance to their looks and are choosing invisible braces over the traditional metallic braces because of their convenience and various other advantages. However, not everyone is eligible for these invisible braces or the clear aligners and not everyone has the same effect of these invisible braces on their teeth like the others.
Invisible aligners are good options for only correcting simple teeth misalignments. Such as:
• Crowded teeth/ gaps in teeth
• Crooked teeth
However, invisible braces cannot correct complex conditions which need to be treated only through traditional metallic braces under the regular supervision of orthodontics. In fact, even younger teenagers with orthodontic problems need traditional metallic braces to re-align their teeth. But above all, whether you are an eligible candidate for these treatment methods or not is the decision of an orthodontist or a dentist. Invisible braces were designed as an alternative treatment method exclusively for adults or for grown-up teenagers without any milk teeth who can wear these braces for a long duration of 22 hours daily.
Looking at the popularity of the invisible braces, the industry has come up with a wide variety of invisible braces such as the clear aligners, ceramic braces/ brackets and the inside braces. Let’s take a closer look at these above mentioned variety of braces for a better understanding. However, make a note that every single alternative has its own set of pros and cons.
As the name suggests, ceramic braces are made using composite materials which are comparatively weaker than the metal braces. They are also more brittle in nature which further makes them not a much favoured choice amongst users and also the dentists. They are non-removable like the metal braces and can only be removed after the treatment procedure is finished. The ceramic braces are larger in size and need small elastic bands (ligatures) to hold the braces to the arched wire. They are almost similar to the metal braces except the fact that they use your tooth-colored wire and braces instead of metal braces and wire to make them less noticeable in your mouth. Due to their white or clear color, they are highly prone to stains. However, they are changed every time you visit your dentist for adjustments. On the contrary, the self-ligating braces do not need adjustments with rubber bands or wires. However, they are not as invisible as the invisible braces.
Also, due to their permanency, they cause the same irritation, pain and discomfort as the metal braces, thus leading to difficulty in eating, speaking and maintaining everyday oral hygiene. And, as they are not strong enough as the metal braces, the ceramic braces have a longer treatment period. They cost almost $500 more than the traditional metal braces. In order to save some money, patients sometimes opt for ceramic braces only on the visible teeth, such as the upper center teeth, and the traditional metal braces on all other remaining teeth. Moreover, they also cause tooth abrasion when you close your jaws and the upper incisal edges touch the ceramic braces of the lower jaw.
Known by different names such as the invisible braces or the iBraces or the lingual braces, the inside braces are mostly attached at the back of your teeth, hidden from everyone’s view. Dentists use scanned images of the insides of your teeth to design custom-made braces which will be attached to the insides of your upper and lower teeth. These braces are mostly opted by people who are feel self-conscious about wearing brackets on the front teeth or remain in the public eye for long periods. Like the traditional metal braces, inside braces are also fixed and un-removable which further helps speed up the treatment period. If needed, orthodontists use elastic bands to further fasten the treatment duration time.
But apart from these advantages, there are also certain disadvantages of using inside braces. For instance their cost is much higher than the other methods. Because of their invisible feature, they cost much more than the traditional braces which are otherwise fixed on the front of your teeth. Also, as they make computer customised braces for different patients, the process is much more expensive than the other methods. Moreover, because it is a relevantly newer technology, not many orthodontists are comfortable offering treatment plans with inside braces. Like all other braces, inside braces can also cause problems with comfort, speech, oral hygiene and dental plaque to the patients.
Clear aligners are the most advanced form of braces that are custom designed to fit your teeth perfectly. And looking at their high demand, they are offered by a number of top brands such as Invisaligns, Byte, ClearCorrect, and many more.
What further attracts customers to invisible aligners more than the other treatment procedures is the fact that they are irritation free and cause very little adjustment discomfort. They are almost invisible and have no brackets or wires that may lead to skin irritation to the insides of your cheek. You can simply remove them before – eating your meals or snacks, drinking colored drinks or for special events to avoid any inconvenience.
However, you need more discipline and self-motivation to keep wearing your invisible braces throughout the day and not lose them after removing them for a snack. If you happen to lose your clear aligners, you will not only have to pay extra for the new aligners but also delay the treatment. Clear aligners are comparatively more comfortable, add little pressure on your teeth with mild pain that causes to the re-aligning of your crooked teeth. What attracts customers more towards clear aligners is the fact that they are provided exclusively by companies who work hand-in-hand with orthodontists or dentists.
Like all other invisible braces, even clear aligners come at a decent cost. For instance, apart from your impression kit, the custom-designed braces and the retainers, you also spend a decent cost on purchasing custom brand cleansers for cleaning your aligners.
But how do you get your clear aligners? Well, the process starts after you purchase an impression kit for making a 3D impression of your teeth. Once you make an impression of your teeth, you need to send it to the respected company for the complete analysis of your teeth and your dental problem. If the orthodontists consider you as an eligible candidate for the treatment, they will send you your probable post-treatment look. And if you like the post-treatment look, you can simply go ahead and confirm your treatment plan by ordering the clear aligners. After achieving the confirmation, the aligner company will fabricate custom designed clear aligners that will fit your teeth perfectly.
These aligners need to be worn for a specific number of hours in a day. And like all other braces, you need to remove them before eating, drinking and brushing your teeth. Based on your progress, your dentists will change your aligners, thus ensuring the success of your treatment method. After the end of your treatment, you will also receive a set of retainers to help keep the re-aligned teeth in shape.
The complete duration of the treatment depends largely on the complexity of your dental problem and the type of invisible braces that you have chosen for your teeth. Generally, braces are worn for a period between 18 months and 24 months. However, there are times when patients have to wear them for a much longer time.
Amongst all the types of braces, the metal braces give you the best results as they are made from the strongest material compared to ceramic braces, clear braces and inside braces. The treatment time for the different types of braces varies from one another based on their treatment procedure and the material used to make the braces. For instance:
– Invisalign: Between 9 months to 15 months
– Byte: Between 5 to 6 months
– Smile Direct Club: Between 5 to 6 months
– ClearCorrect: Between 1 to years
Invisible braces cost a fortune just like the traditional orthodontic treatment procedures which ranges between $2500 and $7000. However, the specific cost of your treatment is only determined by the factors such as duration of the treatment, the complexity of condition, restorative work (before or throughout the treatment process), your location, dental insurance, etc. You may get financial help from your insurance company who may offer dental insurance plans or directly from the dentist’s office. You can always consult your service providers to know the benefits that you may receive from these plans.