Lighthouse Dental Centre

Invisalign vs Braces | Align your Teeth

Invisalign Dentist

Braces and aligners can help correct many bite and alignment issues allowing patients to enjoy a healthy, beautiful smile. Over 4 million people in Canada and the U.S. are using braces or solutions like Invisalign to correct their smiles. Invisalign is a unique type of braces that uses a clear tray to align the teeth. Using molds of your mouth, Invisalign creates these special aligners in their own facilities using a proprietary blend of plastic. The aligners, which are a solid piece of plastic, put pressure on the teeth in just the right places to slowly move them into their proper positions.


How Does Invisalign Work?

Many patients are interested in Invisalign at Lighthouse Dental Centre because, like the name suggests, they offer an “invisible” way to straighten and better align the teeth. Although the design is similar to a retainer, Invisalign’s system actively moves your teeth to reshape your mouth. Retainers simply prevent your teeth from moving.

But before we can get started, you will need to schedule a consultation. During this meeting the dentist will:

From here, we’ll create a comprehensive treatment plan within our range of services and help you achieve the results you want.

Invisalign is similar to traditional braces in many ways. Aligner trays are used to help reposition the teeth, and these trays are replaced every 1-2 weeks. Each new tray will have a slightly different feel, as they are designed to shift and move the teeth.

The aligner trays will need to be worn for 20-22 hours each day to see results. But they can easily be removed for brushing/flossing, eating and special occasions.


What Can Invisalign Correct?

Invisalign can be used to correct many of the same problems that traditional metal braces correct. The main advantages are that Invisalign’s braces are nearly invisible and can be removed when needed.

  • Dental Open Bite
  • Dental Underbite and Crossbite
  • Teeth Crowding
  • Teeth Spacing

Invisalign can help correct:

  • Gaps between teeth. If the jaw grows abnormally or teeth are missing from extractions, this can cause spaces in between the teeth.
  • Overcrowding. When there isn’t enough space in the mouth, teeth can become improperly aligned.
  • Overbites, which occur when the upper teeth completely cover the lower teeth or project further than the lower teeth.
  • Crossbites. A crossbite can occur when one or more upper teeth bite inside of the lower teeth.
  • Underbites, which is the opposite of an overbite. The bottom teeth cover the upper teeth completely or project our further than the upper teeth.

The Pros and Cons of Invisalign

Invisalign is one of the most popular options for correcting bite issues or teeth alignment. Like any other dental treatment, there are pros and cons that need to be considered.

Invisalign Retainers

Invisalign Benefits

  • Nearly invisible, even when smiling.
  • Requires fewer dental visits compared to metal braces.
  • Easily removed when brushing/flossing or eating.
  • Treatment can sometimes be faster than traditional braces.
  • Because teeth move more gradually, Invisalign may cause less discomfort.
  • Retainers can be used as teeth whitening trays

Invisalign Drawbacks

  • You may still experience some discomfort or aching but nothing that will require sedation dentistry.
  • The costs can be higher.
  • The aligners can be lost or broken, which can increase the cost and length of treatment.

Invisalign Alternatives – What are the Options?

While Invisalign is the most well-known brand of clear aligner braces, it’s not the only option. There are alternatives. Some of the most popular ones include:

Smile Direct Club

With the Smile Direct Club, you can take mouth impressions right from your home, which eliminates the need for a dental visit. Simply create a mold of your mouth and mail your impressions to the Smile Direct Club. Once your aligners are ready, they will be delivered to your doorstep.

According to the company, treatment costs approximately just under $3000, and they do offer payment plans.

The Smile Direct Club may be a good option for some people, especially those who are afraid of visiting the dentist’s office. However, you miss out on a valuable dental consultation. Your teeth and smile will be with you for the rest of your life, so having the help and advice of a professional dentist is truly invaluable.

Although this is the most affordable option, Smile Direct Club does not put you in the position of actually having a physical exam of your teeth or evaluating X-rays to assess the position the roots of the teeth. Online reviews show that the results are not very consistent.

Lingual Braces

Many patients are concerned about the way traditional metal braces look. While Invisalign looks natural, they can still be seen if you look closely enough. Another option is lingual braces. These are braces that are installed behind the teeth, so they won’t be seen when you smile.

Lingual braces can be made from ceramic, metal or clear material.

SureSmile is another popular brand of clear braces in Canada and Invisalign’s biggest competitor.

The cost of SureSmile’s braces can range from $3,000 to $7,000, and insurance may cover a portion of it. Like other dental procedures, the cost will depend greatly on the complexity of your case.

  • Dentist appointment for Invisalign-Straight Teeth Group Photo
  • Invisalign Braces-Adult Male
  • Invisalign Trays-Smile

Things to Consider Before Choosing Braces or Aligners

Braces and aligners are effective methods of improving your smile. Our staff can help you determine which orthodontic appliance will work best for you. We can also handle the ordering process and track your progress as we continue to reshape your smile.

With all of this in mind, it’s still important to consider a few things when choosing braces or aligners with our office such as:

  • Will insurance cover the treatment? If so, does one treatment have more coverage than the other?
  • If you aren’t happy with the results, will the company provide additional aligners free of charge?
  • Will the company cover the cost of a retainer after your treatment?
  • Which treatment is the best option for you?

Aftercare for Braces and Aligners

Whether you choose Invisalign or another option for braces or aligners, aftercare will play an important role in the success of your treatment.

Once Invisalign has moved your teeth into the proper position, you will need to use a retainer to maintain these results. The retainer can either be cemented into your mouth or removable.

Initially, a retainer will need to be worn every day. After some time, you can switch to wearing it only at night.

The cost of a single upper or lower retainer can range from $250-$350.

If you’re an adult and wear your retainer as directed, you shouldn’t have to get braces again in the future. At this point, all of your adult teeth have grown in, and your body isn’t going through the same changes that teenagers experience.

Aligners are an investment. If you want to get the most out of them, then make sure that you wear your aligners as prescribed and for the recommended amount of time. Additionally, make sure that you’re brushing and flossing regularly to maintain good oral health and visiting the hygienist for a cleaning regularly.


How to Floss with Traditional Braces and Aligners

With aligners, flossing is no different than before your treatment. Because they can be removed, you can brush and floss as normal.

With traditional braces, flossing is a little bit more complicated. The fixed wires also make flossing an absolute necessity to protect your oral health. Floss will get into those hard-to-reach places missed by your toothbrush, especially near the wires and brackets on your teeth.

It’s important to floss in between each tooth once daily. We also recommend using an interproximal brush to clean under the wires and around the brackets. This is essential to preventing cavities and reducing your risk of a dental emergency.

Flossing may take a little more time with traditional braces, but it’s important to make time for it each day. We’re going to share a few flossing methods for wire braces. Any one of these methods will work well. Choose the one that you’re most comfortable with, and make sure that you stick to your flossing routine.

Using Traditional Floss

Even if you have metal braces, you can still use traditional floss. It can be tricky to thread the floss between the metal brackets and wires, but with a little patience, you can get the job done properly.

Set aside 10-15 minutes for flossing with this method. Make sure that you’re using waxed floss, as unwaxed floss can easily get caught and stuck in your brace’s metal brackets.

Here are some tips for using floss with your metal braces:

  • You will need about 24” of floss. We recommend flossing in front of a mirror, so you can really see where the thread is going.
  • When flossing, try wrapping the ends around your first fingers. This will make it easier to move the floss in between your teeth.
  • Start by threading the floss between your teeth and the main wire.
  • Press the floss in between your teeth, and slide the thread up and down the sides of both teeth. Try moving up the side of one tooth all the way to the gumline, and then moving back down the side of the neighboring tooth.
  • Gently remove the floss from behind the wire. Make sure that you’re not popping the floss out of your teeth, as this can dislodge the wire from the bracket.
  • Move on to the next tooth and repeat the process.

Using a Water Flosser

A water flosser is a convenient alternative to traditional floss. Just as the name suggests, this tool uses a stream of water to clean in between the teeth and along the gumline.

The pressure from the water is very efficient at cleaning in between the teeth, so flossing is much quicker – 3-5 minutes on average.

Some water flossers have special attachments for use with braces. These tapered tips help clean around brackets more quickly and effectively.

Here are some tips for using a water flosser with braces:

  • Fill the machine’s water reservoir. Feel free to add mouthwash for an antibacterial effect. Mouthwash isn’t necessary, but some people prefer using it.
  • Install the tapered tip to the flosser.
  • Press to begin streaming water through the flosser and testing the pressure. Once you’ve found the right settings, you can start flossing your teeth.
  • While leaning over a sink and the tip of the flosser in your mouth, turn the flosser on.
  • You can close your lips to keep the water from splashing around in your mouth, but allow the water drain from your mouth while you’re flossing.
  • Gently guide the water along the gumline and between your teeth.

Once you’re finished with your flossing session, empty the reservoir and allow the flosser tip to dry. Tips should be stored in a container to keep them clean and protected.


Braces and Aligners: Comparing Your Options

Traditional Metal Braces

  • Cost: $3,000-$7,500
  • Dental Visits: Initial consultation, routine visits to tighten the braces, and final visit to remove the braces.
  • At-Home Care: Brush regularly and floss with a special interdental brush.
  • Treatment Length: Varies by case. Braces are cemented onto the teeth 24/7.
  • Aftercare: A retainer must be worn to maintain results.
  • Ideal Candidates: Patients who are dealing with complex dental issues, or those who want a simple way to correct alignment or bite issues.

Invisalign

  • Cost: $3,000-$7,500
  • Dental Visits: Initial consultation, check-ups during the treatment process, and a final consultation.
  • At-Home Care: Switch aligners every one to two weeks. Aligners can be kept clean by brushing and rinsing daily.
  • Treatment Length: Varies by case. Aligners must be worn 20-22 hours each day.
  • Aftercare: Patients must wear a retainer to maintain the results.
  • Ideal Candidates: Patients who are concerned about appearance and want a discreet way to realign their teeth

SureSmile

  • Cost: $3,000-$7,500
  • Dental Visits: Initial consultation, a few check-ups during the treatment process, and a final appointment.
  • At-Home Care: New aligners must be worn every one to two weeks. Aligners can be cleaned by brushing and rinsing with water.
  • Treatment Length: Varies by case. Aligners must be worn 20-22 hours each day.
  • Aftercare: A retainer must be worn to prevent teeth from moving.
  • Ideal Candidates:Patients looking for a natural-looking and discreet way to correct their smile.

Smile Direct Club

  • Cost: Under $3000
  • Dental Visits: No dental visit required.
  • At-Home Care: You will receive new aligners every few weeks. Brushing and rinsing will keep the aligners clean.
  • Treatment Length: On average, 6 months.
  • Aftercare: A retainer will help you maintain your results.
  • Ideal Candidates:Patients with very minor concerns
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