Orthodontic treatment is growing, particularly amongst adults with more people paying attention to the aesthetics and function of their teeth and wanting the best for themselves. With the disruption of lockdowns and the growth of at-home dentistry or telly-dentistry, the big question of Invisalign Weybridge vs traditional metal braces is more important than ever. In this article, there is a quick compare-and-contrast of the two so that you can see what the options are.
What patients expect from orthodontic care has changed dramatically over the past few years, and back then, patients were primarily younger people either late in high school or starting college.
But now, there are more working adults who want to engage in orthodontic care, not just for medical reasons but to improve their aesthetics as well. Not only do they have greater expectations in terms of speed of treatments, but they also have higher demands when it comes to the convenience of their orthodontic tools. No longer will the standard metal brace cut it. Patients want their orthodontic treatment to fly under the radar and be entirely compatible with the lifestyle of a working professional.
There is also now the expendable income to engage in premium services that have not previously been popular in mainstream orthodontics like lingual braces or the use of high-tensile strength, low-weight alloys.
Impact of treatment
Where clear aligners and braces really diverge as treatment methods is their impact on patients’ everyday lives. The underlying mechanism of pushing teeth into new healthier or more attractive positions is much the same.
Braces do this using a system of brackets connected to an archwire, whereas the clear aligner stores the energy required to move the teeth in the elastic deformation of the material itself; this minimises its overall size and hides much of its complexity in its elegance.
Clear aligners are removable; patients can take them out, and they are recommended not to wear them while eating. This significantly improves the range of foods that patients can eat compared to the restrictions on sticky or gritty foods that come along with standard metal braces.
The ability to remove an aligner is a double-edged sword; along with its improved convenience and easy cleaning comes the temptation to use them less often than would be wise. Delays in treatment can give opportunities for teeth to regress into their original positions. This not only significantly slows down the overall treatment time but can also result in tooth positions becoming out of sync with the aligner sequence, disrupting treatment and causing a restart.
So, are clear aligners better?
Clear aligners have some limitations. Their overall strength is less than that of a traditional metal brace, and they cannot be attached to molars with the same secure metal banding traditionally used in orthodontic treatments. This significantly limits their ability to alter the position of multi-rooted teeth like molars and premolars.
Assuming the misalignment being corrected is mild and doesn’t involve any of these sorts of teeth, it is highly likely that a clear aligner would be the right balance between convenience, cost and effectiveness.