Invisalign® versus Traditional Braces

Crooked teeth aren’t always just a cosmetic problem. When your teeth are out of alignment, they can be harder to clean effectively with at-home care. Your bite may be uneven, leading to wear or inefficient chewing, and it can even cause issues with the joints of your jaw, causing soreness or pain.

Traditionally, orthodontic techniques involved braces, metal bands that surrounded individual teeth with a system of hooks, wires, and elastics to move your teeth into position. While these are effective, many find the metallic appearance unattractive. Invisalign® emerged as a clear alternative to conventional braces.

The team at Strauss Dental proudly offers Invisalign treatment to their patients who want straight and even smiles without the metal.

Invisalign advantages

As its name suggests, the Invisalign system is virtually invisible. The SmartTrack® material used to make Invisalign trays requires close inspection before anyone knows you’re wearing a tooth alignment system. Instead of modifying your diet by eating only foods that are easy on braces, you continue to eat as you always have, simply popping out your Invisalign tray while you eat and clean your teeth.

If you’ve ever had conventional dental impressions made, you’ll know it’s an awkward and uncomfortable process, filling your mouth with bulky molds and sticky alginate. This system formed the base of the models needed for creating your metal braces.

Invisalign uses a 3-D digital imaging device called the iTero Element® scanner. It’s about the size of a ballpoint pen, and it forms an accurate digital model of your teeth and gums easily and comfortably. Your Invisalign program develops on a computer, so you can even “see” your results before starting treatment, as well as observe the progression of your teeth through the series of aligners you’ll wear along the way.

When braces are the better choice

While Invisalign works just as well for many alignment issues of a mild or moderate nature, there are some cases where conventional braces are the better choice. Bringing teeth into alignment can sometimes be a complex problem, where individual teeth require lateral movement, rotation, or vertical correction. When these needs exist simultaneously, regular braces do a better job.

A patient’s self-discipline also factors into the Invisalign versus braces choice. For effective and timely treatment, Invisalign trays require 20 hours or more of daily wear. If a patient is forgetful or not on board with wearing their aligners as required, the permanent nature of braces eliminates these problems.

Lastly, the Invisalign system bases treatment on the location of your back teeth as the foundation for aligning the remaining teeth. Conventional braces are the choice if these molars require movement themselves.

For most patients, however, Invisalign remains a convenient, comfortable, and discrete option. To find out more or to schedule an appointment, contact Strauss Dental by phone at 503-656-2139 or with our online form. A perfectly aligned smile could be yours in 6 to 18 months.

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