What’s the difference between conventional metal braces and Invisalign?

Invisalign utilizes a clear hard plastic that surrounds all of your teeth. These ‘trays’ are made by taking impressions of your teeth so they are custom fitted. The trays can be taken in and out by the person wearing them which is helpful to facilitate flossing and brushing. They can also be taken out while eating. If you forget to put on your invisalign tray for a day or so – they may not fit anymore and new impressions may have to be taken. Therefore compliance is a big factor in the success of Invisalign! It won’t work unless you wear them all the time! With Invisalign, you must visit your dentist/orthodontist at regular intervals to check on your progress and to get the new trays. The main advantage of Invisalign is that they are almost invisible and therefore the more esthetic option.

Conventional braces (metal braces) are fixed. They cannot be taken off except by a professional. Each tooth has a metal bracket bonded to it and the brackets are all joined by a metal wire. These metal braces are more difficult to brush and floss with. However, since they are fixed, the forces are applied to the teeth constantly which is good for tooth movement. In this case, compliance is not an issue because the wearers don’t have a choice. With conventional braces, regular visits to your dentist/orthodontist are required to ensure everything is progressing as planned. Some cases which require more advanced tooth movement can only be treated with conventional braces. You should consult your dentist/orthodontist to see what best suits your needs.