It’s a tough decision trying to decide between invisible braces (clear aligners) and traditional braces to straighten your teeth. While both treatments have their pros and cons, if you are looking to straighten your teeth discreetly, then perhaps the most important question is… do invisible braces work as well as traditional braces? 

Choosing the right orthodontic treatment is a difficult decision to make on your own which is why you should always do plenty of research, ask questions, and with the help of an orthodontist, make an informed decision. 

The type of treatment that is best for you also depends on the type of orthodontic problem you have. Sometimes, clear aligners such as Invisalign® aren’t always the ideal option, which is why it’s important to seek expert advice. 

In this article, we set out a few of the pros and cons of invisible braces compared to traditional braces. So, let’s dive in and take a look. 


Invisible braces vs Traditional Braces – The Differences

Orthodontic braces are traditionally made from metal and attached to the outside of the teeth with brackets and wires, although there are other options for braces. These include ceramic braces (which to confuse matters are also sometimes referred to as ‘invisible braces’). In both cases, teeth are manipulated into their correct positions by a series of wires and bands which apply gradual and sustained pressure. 

Both metal and ceramic braces remain in place for the entire duration of treatment and require regular visits to your dentist to have the wires tightened or replaced. At the end of treatment, your braces will be removed to reveal a straighter, healthier smile. Remember (as with clear aligners) you will need to continue to wear a retainer after treatment to prevent your teeth from moving back to their original position.

Clear aligners, on the other hand, use a series of customised removable trays to move teeth. Each tray is worn over the teeth like an invisible mouthguard and is designed to shift teeth a tiny fraction. After a period of around 2 weeks, the first clear aligner is discarded and replaced by the next aligner/tray in the series.

This procedure is repeated sequentially until the patient has worn all the trays and their teeth have reached their desired and final position

traditional braces do invisible braces work randwick

While the trays are removed to eat, drink and to brush and floss teeth, invisible braces must be worn in the mouth for a minimum of 22 hours a day to achieve the best results. For the patient, this means they have to take responsibility for their actions and be committed to wearing their clear aligners for the designated period. As a result, one of the main reasons that patients fail with their clear aligner treatment is due to a lack of compliance.  

With traditional braces, because they remain permanently fixed in the mouth for the duration of your treatment, there are no compliance issues to worry about. 


Do invisible braces work? Are they as effective as traditional braces?

Invisible braces are generally recommended for minor to moderate spacing issues and crowded teeth. If you have large gaps, a severe crowding problem, or an acute underbite, overbite, or crossbite, you may need to seek out other orthodontic treatments. 

When it comes to metal braces, the difficulty or complexity of your case doesn’t matter. Even if you have multiple or complex dental issues that need correcting, a traditional brace can help you achieve an incredible smile. They use more force than clear aligners and in these instances are known to achieve far better results. 


Do invisible braces work faster than metal braces?  

If you’re a suitable candidate for both treatments, then your decision may be influenced by treatment time. Because metal braces stay on your teeth for 24 hours, 7 days of the week, they can work faster than invisible braces across the same treatment time frame depending on your needs. The skill and experience of your dentist or orthodontist can also contribute to faster treatment time. 

So, the answer to the question ‘do invisible braces work’ as well as traditional braces, is not always! It depends heavily upon the complexity of the case and whether you can trust the wearer to keep them in for at least 22 hours a day. For complex cases or in cases where you don’t want to be concerned with compliance issues, then contemporary metal or ceramic braces might be a better choice for you.

Here at Randwick Smiles, our experienced dentists prefer to use orthodontic treatments that are reliable and hassle-free for everyone. Modern-day metal braces are smaller, easier to clean and work faster than ever to produce great results. Why not come and discuss how metal or ceramic braces can help you achieve your perfect smile. Call us now on (02) 8188 4625

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