Traditional Braces Vs. Clear Aligners

Traditional Braces Vs. Clear Aligners

September 29, 2023

Does your dental situation require orthodontic treatment? If yes, you have two main treatment options for your misaligned teeth: Traditional braces and clear aligners in Louisville. The two are highly effective for straightening teeth and addressing malocclusions. However, one might be better than the other, depending on your particular situation. In this article, we’ll compare these two orthodontic treatments to help you decide the best one for your case. Let’s jump straight into it.

What Are Traditional Braces?

Traditional, or metal braces, are orthodontic devices for addressing moderate to severe dental misalignment. They consist of metal or ceramic brackets with arch wires passing through them. The dentist glues the metal brackets to your teeth with dental cement and passes the archwires through the brackets. They then attach the archwire to the teeth using elastic bands or composite resin paste.

The dentist tightens the archwire, making the brackets exert pressure on the teeth. This consistent pressure gradually moves the teeth into their correct positions, resulting in perfectly straight teeth after treatment.

What Are Clear Aligners?

Clear aligners, as the name implies, are transparent orthodontic devices patients wear over their misaligned teeth to straighten them. Unlike braces, clear aligners are removable and made of a flexible type of plastic called SmartTrack. They fit tightly over your teeth, applying pressure to move them into a straightened position over time. 

The dentist will first take impressions of your teeth and send them to a lab that creates your custom aligner trays. Once ready, the dentist will instruct you on how to wear them and swap them for tighter ones every two weeks until your teeth straighten completely.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are a popular choice for most people. Here are some of their main advantages:

  • Clear aligners are transparent, hence discrete and less visually obtrusive than traditional braces
  • You can remove the clear aligners when eating or drinking to do so comfortably
  • You can enjoy an unrestricted diet with clear aligners, unlike with braces

While clear aligners are incredibly effective and advantageous, they’re not without their drawbacks. Some disadvantages of clear aligners include:

  • You must wear your aligner trays for strictly 20-22 hours a day to see any noticeable results
  • Clear aligners are only limited to mild and moderate cases of dental misalignment
  • Clear aligners are often costlier than traditional braces

Advantages and Disadvantages of Traditional Braces

Traditional braces are the standard treatment for teeth misalignments and malocclusions. The advantages of these orthodontic devices include:

  • Traditional braces can handle complex and severe cases of teeth misalignment, unlike clear aligners
  • Braces are stronger and more durable than clear aligners
  • Metal braces are easier to comply with since they are permanent and non-removable
  • Most dental insurance plans cover braces, unlike clear aligners

However, braces also have their downsides. Some of the disadvantages of traditional braces include:

  • The archwires in braces might scare the cheeks, sometimes making braces uncomfortable
  • Patients with braces cannot eat sticky, chewy, and crunchy foods
  • Braces are bulky and visually intrusive, making some patients feel self-conscious about them
  • The archwires in braces make it difficult to maintain proper oral hygiene

Choose the Right Orthodontic Device

Both braces and clear aligners are great for straightening misaligned teeth and giving you a perfect choice. However, the better option depends on your specific situation and personal preference. Our dentists here at Louisville Orthodontics will help you determine the best treatment for your dental situation and budget. Contact us and we’ll schedule your appointment.

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