Dental braces are most often associated with children and teenagers. However, dental braces are designed to correct the positioning of the teeth at any age.
Adults may not be aware their teeth are crooked and therefore may not choose to receive dental braces until later in life. This is often because up to 99.7% of American adults believe a healthy smile is socially important, and tooth alignment issues get worse as we age.
Yet many Americans aren’t fully aware that there are different types of braces to help realign the teeth. Specifically, there’s a lot of confusion surrounding Invisalign and clear braces.
Invisalign vs Clear Braces: What’s The Difference?
Invisalign and clear braces are both two types of teeth straightening devices. However, one may be used in general dentistry over the other depending on the patient’s teeth.
Invisalign is a very popular aligner that works like a retainer that gradually straightens the teeth over time. They can be removed to eat and brush one’s teeth and are effectively invisible. Patients will typically see results after a year of treatment.
Clear braces, or ceramic braces, are the same as metal braces but are transparent. They’re bonded to the teeth and then connected by a wire that gradually straightens the teeth over time. Every four weeks, the braces are adjusted to guide the teeth to alignment.
Both treatments are great options for adults seeking teeth straightening without the visibility of metal braces. However, it’s important to note that Invisalign and clear braces treat different problems although they seek the same results in general dentistry. Some of these differences include:
- Clear braces can’t be removed
Although Invisalign must be worn for no less than 22 hours at a time, it can be removed for the patient to brush their teeth, floss, and eat. Clear braces can’t be removed for these activities.
- Invisalign requires more adjustments
Clear braces must be adjusted by a professional every four weeks. Each adjustment brings the patient gradually closer to a straighter smile. However, Invisalign requires a patient to change their tray every two weeks. This means you’d be making more frequent adjustments as instructed by your general dentistry clinic.
- Clear braces are for extensive treatment
Clear braces, like metal braces, are for those who have dental problems such as gapped teeth, crowded teeth, or a severe overbite. Invisalign may not be able to help in these cases in general dentistry.
Whether you’re looking to straighten your teeth or need a routine cleaning, Dr. Dittberner of Flagstaff Dentistry can give you the results you need. As the former president of the Northern Arizona Dental Association and an active member of the community, you can trust that your smile is in good hands with Dr. Dittberner. Make an appointment today to see just how much your smile can improve.