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Are invisible braces as good as traditional braces?

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An increasing number of dentists are offering Invisalign braces. While the aesthetic advantage of invisible braces is obvious, there are many other less obvious factors that should also be considered. If you need braces then you’ll probably be asking questions like, is Invisalign as effective as a traditional brace? How do they compare price wise? Is Invisalign easier to use? Then there are other considerations, such as whether the braces are for a child or adult.

In this blog we’ll answer all these questions and more, giving you all the information you need to make an informed decision about whether to opt for traditional or invisible braces.

What’s the difference between traditional and invisible braces?

Invisalign invisible braces are made of a clear BPA-free plastic. A dentist will use a combination of x-rays, photographs, and moulds to build a 3D model of your teeth. This is then used to create your personalised aligner trays, which are then worn over your teeth until the desired result is achieved. They are removable for brushing and general oral hygiene but need to be worn on average of 20 to 22 hours per day to be effective.

A traditional brace is constructed from metal brackets and wire. The brackets are glued to your teeth and linked by the wire and rubber bands. While spending a little more allows you to get a decorated or enamel coloured bracket, they are generally far more obvious than an Invisalign aligner tray. Traditional braces are also fixed in place, meaning extra effort needs to be made to ensure they stay clean and the avoidance of some foods can also be necessary.

Are invisible braces as effective as traditional braces?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. Most dentists look at it on a case by case basis. In most cases where the corrections are light to moderate an invisible brace will work as well, if not better than a traditional brace, whereas teeth requiring much more work might still need a traditional brace.

With two similar patients where the treatment is moderate the invisible brace is worn for a shorter period of time on average, but still achieves the same results. This means it’s quicker for the patients it’s suitable for.

How long do they need to be worn for?

On average, a traditional brace will be worn for a period of approximately two years dependent on the individual patient. Invisalign patients can wear them anywhere between six to eighteen months depending on the level of alignment required. Installing a brace can be more time consuming and finicky, meaning they are usually used for longer periods of time, whereas Invisalign can be more suitable for milder corrections, which is why the time variation starts at six months.

What sort of maintenance do they need?

Invisible braces are much easier to maintain. This is largely due to the fact they’re removable, making maintenance of the brace and your teeth simpler. You’ll generally need to rinse or brush the aligner trays in lukewarm water once a day or use the Invisalign cleaning system. Being able to remove them makes brushing your teeth a simpler process.

Traditional braces, by their nature, are far more likely to trap pieces of food. You need to diligently brush the brackets and wires to remove all debris and prevent decay. This can be a time-consuming process and it can be hard to see every part of your appliance, leaving you uncertain about whether the cleaning is sufficient.

How often do I have to go to the dentist?

The time between dentist appointments is similar for both types of brace. A traditional brace usually requires a monthly check-up, whereas an invisible brace is normally checked every four to six weeks. However, with Invisalign you may need to change your aligner trays every couple of weeks.

Which one is more expensive?

This is also a question without a straightforward answer. The cost of your brace will depend on how complex your issue is. The price range for traditional braces varies greatly, whereas Invisalign is likely to cost between two and four thousand euros. Although there are affordable finance options available that require no deposit, e.g. we offer Invisalign from 99 euros per month.

Are invisible braces suitable for children?

Invisible braces can be an ideal solution for teens, especially if they’re self-conscious about their appearance. They are equally as effective on young people as adults.

Pros and Cons recap

Traditional brace pros

  • Being a fixed appliance means there is no temptation to leave the braces out.
  • They are more effective for patients with more complex issues.
  • No additional cleaning steps beyond regular and diligent brushing and flossing.

Invisalign Pros

  • A clear brace is less obvious to others.
  • You won’t have any issues with trapped food.
  • It eliminates the discomfort caused by wires.

Traditional brace cons

  • Can cause pain or sores, as well as discomfort in the mouth.
  • Can limit the types of food you can enjoy, especially sticky or hard foods.
  • Tooth discolouration or decay is more likely.

Invisalign cons

  • Can’t currently be used for really complex cases.
  • Must be removed before eating or drinking, except water.
  • Can experience discomfort from tooth movement.

Ensure your invisible braces are made by experts is dedicated to providing the best Invisalign Orthodontic Therapy. We have a customer-centric approach and do everything we can to make the customer experience as enjoyable as possible. We achieve this by ensuring every dentist receives the highest quality training. We’ve been trusted by, and are now recommended by, a variety of professional sportspeople and celebrities.

Invisalign has only been around since the turn of the century, so traditional braces have a slight head start. However, the technology is progressing quickly, and the future of orthodontic care is definitely shifting towards Invisalign.

If you’d like further information then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on ROI 1800 33 43 53, or in NI you can call 08000 44 3226. We’re always happy to hear from you and will help if we can.

Want to learn more about how can help you? Phone 1800 33 43 53 or our Northern Ireland number on 0044 8000 44 3226. Lines are open 24 hours.


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