Dr. Robert Axelrad Dental Office

Making Brampton Smile Since 1997

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For a refresher, please review our last blog on Invisalign.

Invisalign Braces vs. Fixed Metal Braces

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There’s quite a lot of material to cover, so we’re going to get right to it…Here we go!

Invisalign vs. Fixed Braces – The Pros

1) With Invisalign, you wear removable and invisible plastic trays as opposed to traditional fixed or metal braces, which are cemented onto your teeth. So, cosmetically, Invisalign offer a clear advantage: Many adults, who are self-conscious about getting orthodontic treatment, appreciate this.

2) Since Invisalign trays are removable, it’s easier to keep your teeth clean, as opposed to braces where food is constantly getting caught.

3) It goes without saying that if it’s easier to clean your teeth and gums with Invisalign, your overall gingival health will be better. This translates into gums that are pink, tight and don’t bleed readily.  Gingivitis or red, bleeding and swollen gums is a condition that occurs quite frequently in individuals who wear fixed braces.

4) You can generally eat whatever you like with Invisalign; however, with fixed/metal braces, it’s always best to avoid sticky food.

5) With fixed braces, it’s quite common to end up with areas of decalcification (weakened enamel) and decay in the area where the brace is bonded on to the tooth. The reason for this is that food particles are hard to remove from around the braces, resulting in decay.

6) With fixed braces, the x-ray we take to check for decay is not as diagnostic as we’d like, because the image has a wire running through it. At times, it is therefore questionable whether or not decay is present.  With removable trays, this is not an issue.

7) With Invisalign, a new tray is used by the patient every 2 weeks as compared to fixed braces, where the wires are adjusted every 6 weeks. The significance of this is huge.

Let me explain
The forces that are applied with Invisalign are less than those with fixed/metal braces. They are small / little forces that are applied more frequently than with fixed braces. When the forces to move the teeth are stronger (as with the fixed braces), the end result is often root ‘resorption.’

What Is Root Resorption?

Resorption of the roots means that the tips of the roots of the teeth get ‘eaten’ away. This translates into shorter roots, which means less anchorage into the bone. Picture this: a post that is 12 feet long is supposed to be anchored into the ground 6 feet in order for it to be considered stable. But imagine that it is only anchored in 4 feet instead of 6 – it’s not stable any more, perhaps even a little wobbly.

So, if the tips of the roots are now shorter, the actual teeth are not being held in as they were before, so they may be loose.

This is not an easy concept to understand, but for our purposes, all we need to know is that there is a much greater chance of ‘root shortening’ with traditional fixed braces.

8) With Invisalign, there is less tooth pain due to the smaller forces that are applied.

9) There are also fewer sores relating to the gums because there are no sharp wires that are associated with the fixed braces.

Invisalign vs. Fixed Braces – The Cons

1) The removable Invisalign Trays need to be worn between 20-22 hours to be effective. This is a big commitment on behalf of the patient.

2) The trays need to be removed and cleaned before and after eating.

3) It’s very possible to lose a tray (see last blog). This can affect the progression of going to the next tray in the sequence and often results in needing to re-take new impressions and re-making the trays.

4) It tends to be more expensive than traditional braces.

5) It’s difficult to achieve certain tooth movement with Invisalign. For instance, if one tooth is higher in the arch than the others, Invisalign doesn’t readily correct this.

Invisalign is best at applying pressure to move a tooth into the arch. If a tooth is high up, it needs to be ‘pulled’ into the arch and this type of movement can be quite difficult with Invisalign.

In addition, certain teeth, i.e. the lower Premolar, is hard to move around with Invisalign. This is because the lower premolar is round and it’s hard for the trays to grasp this shape of tooth.

As you can see, the decision to use braces over Invisalign, or vice versa, is based on a variety of factors. What is of the utmost importance is that we use the above criteria and choose the treatment that best helps you to accomplish the goal of a healthy and functional bite with beautiful esthetics!

Invisalign is just one of Dr. Axelrad’s specialties. Looking for an Invisalign dentist in Brampton? Give us a call at 905.791.3867 to find out if Invisalign is right for you.

About Dr. Robert Axelrad
Dr. Robert Axelrad is a Brampton dentist who owns and manages his own dental practice in Brampton, Ontario. Affectionately known as ‘The Gentle Dentist‘, his patients include children, adults and seniors from Brampton and across Mississauga and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Dr. Axelrad recently moved his practice to its current, state-of-the-art dental office at Bestgate Professional Center in in 2002 to accommodate his growing list of happy patients.