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Aligners Vs. Braces - Which Is the Best Option?


A girl smiling with clear aligners at Dougherty Orthodontics At Dougherty Orthodontics, we offer several orthodontic solutions that help to treat various dental problems. Among our most popular solutions are aligners and braces. Both of these dental appliances help to treat misalignment dental problems. However, you can only choose one of the solutions for your treatment, bringing about the question, "Which is the best option?" To determine the best of the two, it is important to evaluate each option and see which one fits your situation the best.

What Are Braces and How Do They Work?


Dental braces are one of the most popular orthodontic appliances, which work by straightening and aligning the teeth, thus helping to restore them to their perfect position. Braces come with brackets that are bonded to the teeth and held together by an archwire. It is the tension created by the tightening of the wire that shifts the teeth into the desired position. Braces can be classified into two types based on the material of the brackets:
•  Metal or traditional braces use metal brackets. They are the conventional dental braces, hence the name traditional braces.
•  Ceramic braces are also referred to as clear braces due to the “invisible look” of ceramic brackets when placed on the teeth.

Advantages of Braces


There are several advantages to straightening teeth using dental braces:
•  Braces, especially metal braces can treat a wide range of dental problems, sometimes even more than one problem at a time.
•  Braces are very effective in fixing misalignment problems, which helps to promote optimal oral health and functioning.
•  Dental braces are among the most affordable orthodontic solutions.
•  Braces, especially metal braces, are durable and not easily damaged.

Drawbacks of Using Braces


Braces do, however, come with some drawbacks such as:
•  They are not removable, which makes them harder to clean and maintain.
•  They can be quite uncomfortable, especially metal braces.
•  Metal braces are noticeable and not very attractive. Clear braces, however, fare better aesthetically.

What Are Aligners?


Dental aligners are alternative orthodontic appliances that also help to straighten and align teeth. Unlike braces that use brackets and an archwire, aligners use plastic “trays” that are custom made in the shape of the patient’s teeth, thus guaranteeing a perfect fit. However, to align the teeth, the shape of the trays is altered slightly – based on the desired tooth position. The clear plastic look of the trays used has earned these aligners the name, “clear aligners.” Invisalign® is the most popular type of clear aligner.

Advantages of Aligners


Clear aligners offer several benefits:
•  They are comfortable to wear due to the soft plastic material.
•  They are removable and thus can be easily cleaned.
•  They offer faster results compared to braces.
•  Due to the soft plastic material, they are less likely to cause injuries or teeth damage.
•  They are attractive and offer a discrete solution to dental problems.

Disadvantages of Aligners


Even with the numerous advantages, clear aligners also have some drawbacks:
•  They are an expensive solution compared to braces.
•  It can be tempting to remove them, making it hard to achieve the recommended 20 to 22 hours of wear per day.

Both braces and aligners are unique, each in their way. However, the fact remains that each can help you to straighten your teeth, improve your dental health, and improve your appearance. Call us, Dougherty Orthodontics, at (747) 264-5164 to find out more about both solutions.

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