Braces are fixed permanently to the teeth for the duration of Orthodontic treatment. There are many types: metal/silver, ceramic/tooth coloured, and lingual positioned on the tongue side of the teeth so you can’t see them.
Advantages of fixed braces:
1. No patient compliance required to remember to wear them.
2. Braces may be quicker treating more difficult/complex cases.
Disadvantages of Fixed braces:
1. Difficult to clean and floss around.
2. Avoid hard sticky foods.
3. Risk of white marks on teeth if excessive sugar, plaque and poor brushing habits.
4. Elastic modules may stain and look unaesthetic.
5. Discomfort/ulceration of lips and cheeks for which wax may be applied.
Invisalign involves the use of clear plastic aligners which are typically changed every 7-10 days and they are aesthetic and removable by the patient. The teeth will have small white attachments on them to assist with moving teeth. In some cases treatment may take longer that fixed braces and for other cases treatment may be quicker. Your Specialist Orthodontist will be able to advise you.
Advantages of Invisalign:
1. The aligners are aesthetic.
2. Removable for eating so there are no dietary restrictions.
3. May remove for special occasions.
4. Remove for brushing and flossing.
5. May be more comfortable
6. Invisalign may be better than fixed to treat some cases.
Disadvantages of Invisalign:
1. Good patient compliance is required to wear the aligners 22-23 hours per day and also not to lose the aligners.
2. May be more expensive.
3. If refinements needed treatment may take longer than fixed appliances