When it comes to correcting a crooked smile, there are two orthodontic options to choose from: bracket-and-wire braces or Invisalign® aligners. Determining which treatment is right for you can be challenging, but there are several differences to consider. Invisalign trays are clear and discreet, yet they are not recommended for patients with severely crooked teeth. Traditional braces are effective and can correct bite problems, such as overbite, under bite or cross bite—but are rarely preferred by adults, due to their highly noticeable appearance and longer treatment period. Knoxville, TN cosmetic dentist Dr. Ruth Bailey uses her years of experience to explain the differences between Invisalign and traditional braces.

Are you ready to begin your smile transformation? If so, call 865-588-1294 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Bailey today. We’re happy to answer any additional questions you may have about the orthodontic process.

Traditional Braces

When you think of braces, you often picture stainless steel wires and brackets. With this orthodontic treatment, a bracket is placed on each tooth and a wire connects each bracket. Each time the wire is tightened, your teeth are gradually shifted into a more desirable position. If you opt for this method of orthodontics, you can expect regular dental visits every four weeks to tighten the wire and assess your progress.

Patients with severely crooked or misaligned teeth may wish to seek out traditional braces because they have high success rates. However, many patients refrain from this treatment because the brackets and wires are extremely noticeable and can be uncomfortable. This treatment usually requires strict dietary restrictions, as well, and the usual treatment time is 24 months.

Invisalign®

Adult patients often choose Invisalign® for its versatility and minimal alteration of your appearance. Because the aligners are removable, you can choose to take them out for special events, such as business meetings, dates or photographs. As long as they are worn a total of 20-22 hours each day, there is some flexibility in when you can remove them. For many patients, the most appealing aspect of Invisalign is that the clear plastic does not change the color of your smile. Only those closest to you will notice them.

There are no dietary restrictions with Invisalign, because you remove them before you eat. Your dental hygiene routine will not change, either. You will need to brush and floss after meals, but you won’t need any new tools to clean your teeth, as you do with traditional braces.

The treatment period for Invisalign is also shorter than that of bracket-and-wire braces, and is usually about 9-15 months.

What to Expect with Invisalign®

If you decide that Invisalign® is the right orthodontic treatment for you, Dr. Bailey will take an impression of your mouth and send it to an off-site Invisalign lab where your treatment plan will be digitally charted, and your aligner trays will be custom made. Each tray is fashioned from BPA-free, smooth plastic and is meant to be worn for two weeks before you move on to the next set.

Patients should schedule regular visits with Dr. Bailey every six weeks to check-in and make sure your treatment is progressing as planned.

Dr. Bailey has found that patients who are highly motivated to improve their smile have the greatest success with Invisalign. It is a convenient and discreet choice for adults and older teens who want to correct their mild-to-moderate misalignment without adding metal to their smiles. Even if you have severely crowded teeth, Invisalign may still be a viable orthodontic option.

Visit Dr. Bailey to learn more about Invisalign. Call 865-588-1294 today to schedule your appointment. 

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