Are invisible aligners the “clear” choice for straighter teeth?

Next time someone asks you about traditional braces versus clear aligners, know the facts. At Forever Smiles we get first-time and adult patients who are self-conscious getting braces. The common question they have is whether they can have clear aligners to straighten their teeth. However, when it comes to orthodontics, not all options are equal.

For example, traditional braces are often required for patients with molar/bite issues, to rotate canines or premolars or move teeth vertically. Clear aligners are not effective in cases where dramatic tooth movement is needed. Moreover in cases where smaller teeth need to be adjusted, clear aligners may not be suitable as there is not enough surface area for the tray to properly grip the tooth as necessary for proper treatment.

Treatment with clear aligners can sometimes take longer. One, because the realignment can be more subtle, and two, because the trays are removable, it’s easy to ”forget” to wear them. (Or worse, to lose them.) This can drastically draw out the schedule for successful treatment. With traditional braces you wear them all the time. This allows for a more consistent, controlled and successful treatment program for some patients.

If it is a matter of aesthetics, or being self-conscious, there are a number of treatment options that are available - again, this depends on the individual patients needs. Clear or tooth-colored brackets are a great option for patients who want a more subtle look, but the same effectiveness of traditional braces. Lingual braces (brackets and wires are mounted on the tongue-side of your teeth) are also an option for some patients, but careful considerations are still made on a patient and case basis.

When determining a course of treatment for all our patients, we like to think of it as a team approach. Dr. Razdolsky follows a strict new patient procedure that includes a thorough oral and facial patient examination to determine their overall oral health. Depending on the patient a CBCT scan, facial photographs, dental molds and/or x-rays may also be taken. Assessment and recommendation for a patient treatment program is provided upon a second appointment ensuring Dr. Razdolsky and his team have had ample opportunity to evaluate all the collected data. Together at that appointment, we encourage an open discussion in formulating a plan that will provide the most successful outcome for the patient.

Although we strive to always provide for happiness and well being of all our patients, sometimes a preferred course treatment is not in the patient’s best interest. However, as part of your smile team we will always work to find the right path to your Forever Smile.

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