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If you are interested in attaining a straight, perfectly aligned smile with orthodontics, you have more treatment options than ever. Two of the most popular options are traditional wire–and-bracket braces and the Invisalign system.
Read on as the trusted dentists at Serene Dental Center in Irvine, Drs. Ali and Shery Mansouri, review the pros and cons of each option.
For many years, the only way to straighten crooked or crowded teeth was by wearing wire-and-bracket braces. This option is still used today. Metal brackets are attached to the teeth and connected to each other through a system of wires and rubber bands.
Treatment time varies by patient. Most patients complete treatment within one and a half to two years.
Braces are a tried and true technology. They are strong, durable and glued onto the teeth so patients don’t have to worry about losing them. They can correct nearly every type of orthodontic case, including bite problems and malocclusion of the jaw.
Gluing the braces onto the teeth has its drawbacks. Sometimes the wires and brackets can scratch the inside of the cheeks. Certain foods, including crunchy or sticky foods, are very difficult to eat while wearing braces. Also, it can be difficult to thoroughly brush the teeth and gums because of the metal hardware. Finally, the wires need to be tightened every few weeks, which can cause temporary discomfort.
The Invisalign system uses a series of clear, removable, plastic aligners to gradually shift teeth into the desired position. Patients wear each set of aligners for approximately two weeks before switching out the set for the subsequent set in the series.
Although treatment time varies by patient, most patients complete treatment within six months to a year.
One of the best advantages to Invisalign is that the aligners are designed to be discreet, and they won’t compromise the appearance of the smile during treatment. The aligners are custom-fitted to the contours of the mouth, and the smooth plastic material is very comfortable and should not irritate the insides of the cheeks or gums. Also, because the aligners are removable for eating and drinking, there are no limitations on diet.
One of the drawbacks to Invisalign treatment is that patient compliance is critical to successful outcomes. For example, patients must wear the aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours per day, and remove them to eat, drink, brush and floss and swap them out every few weeks. If patients are unable to follow these instructions, they won’t see the desired results.
As you can see, there are benefits and drawbacks to each orthodontic treatment option. Drs. Ali and Shery Mansouri are happy to review your options during a consultation and help you select the right fit for your needs. Please call or email Serene Dental Center today to make an appointment.