What are invisible braces?
by Dr. Amer Hussain, on Dec 2, 2019 10:45:00 AM
Now, we know what your thinking. Why would we write an article defining invisible braces? The answer is pretty clear, isn’t it? Or so it seems. With growing trend of more discreet orthodontic treatments, the once clear definition of “invisible braces” has now been sprinkled with ambiguity.
This brings us to our point: what are invisible braces?
There’s no doubt that one of the most requested types of orthodontic treatment is “invisible braces” - which basically mean braces with a minimal appearance. Traditional braces have the typical image that probably popped in your head, wires and brackets that are bonded to the front of every tooth.
Invisible braces are designed to be less apparent in the mouth which makes them a popular choice for braces for adults.
The term invisible braces has now become an umbrella term for several orthodontic treatment options, invisible braces can refer to clear aligners (or Invisalign), clear or ceramic braces or lingual braces. Now although they all are under the same umbrella term, there are differences between them.
Here’s what you need to know about each.
Ceramic or Clear Braces
Clear or ceramic braces are very similar to traditional metal braces when it comes to what they’re made of. Both types of braces use brackets, wires and sometimes elastics, but the difference between the two is that clear or ceramic braces have clear or tooth-coloured brackets to help them blend with the teeth.
Aside from their colour, there is no other significant differences between metal braces and clear or ceramic braces. The care, treatment plan and treatment time will all be the same. Clear or ceramic braces are a great option for patients who may need traditional braces but don’t necessarily want the metal mouth look.
Clear Aligners or Invisalign
Clear aligners are a huge growing trend for the simple reason: they’re almost completely invisible on the teeth. Clear aligners and Invisalign are made of custom-made trays that gradually shift your teeth as your progress through your trays. Your orthodontist will make a mould of your teeth (either from a 3D scan or putty impressions) and then design your trays from there.
Clear aligners require a lot of responsibility on you, they must be worn for around 20-22 hours a day and removed every time you eat or drink anything other than water.
But don’t let the responsibility scare you away, clear aligners and Invisalign are a fantastic option for those who want to straighten their teeth without braces or anyone knowing.
Clear aligners or Invisalign are also great options for those with minor to moderate orthodontic issues. That being said, if you have complex or require surgery clear aligners or Invisalign may not be for you.
Lingual Braces also known as Damon Braces
Lingual braces are almost exactly like traditional metal braces (or their clear cousin — clear braces) but instead of being placed on the front of the teeth, lingual braces are placed on the inside of the teeth. Orthodontists started offering lingual braces more as the growing trend of adults getting orthodontic treatment increased.
Lingual braces work the same as braces that are applied to the front of the teeth but there will be some differences. Their biggest pro is that they are pretty much invisible from the outside but since lingual braces are placed on the inside of your mouth, there might be more difficulty feeling comfortable and speaking.
Now all of these orthodontic treatments can be fantastic treatment options for you but in order to find out which treatment option is the absolute best, it’s recommended to book a consultation with an orthodontist. The world of orthodontics is wide and vast, and an orthodontist will guide you on your journey to a straighter smile.