Bracket-and-wire braces are probably the most familiar, and recognizable, orthodontic treatment. However, many people now correct their crooked teeth without the use of braces, instead opting to use aligners to reposition their teeth. Each method is capable of moving your teeth into proper alignment. Invisalign aligners are discreet, and because they are removable, they are less intrusive than bracket-and-wire braces. If you have more severely misaligned teeth, you may need to use braces to make more advanced adjustments. Your dentist can review your individual needs, and discuss your concerns, and help you determine which option is preferable for you.
Braces employ brackets and wires to gradually shift your teeth into their ideal positions. Traditionally, braces have used metal brackets, and stainless steel wires, but updates to orthodontic technology have changed the materials that can be used. Wires can now be made from a nickel-titanium alloy, which can be more comfortable, and require fewer adjustments from your orthodontist. While braces are more visible than aligners, patients may opt to use ceramic brackets, which are tooth-colored, and can blend with the color of your teeth. While ceramics are still more noticeable than Invisalign aligners, they are still more difficult to detect than traditional metal brackets.
Invisalign shifts your teeth into place gradually, by using a sequence of custom-shaped aligner inserts. Because Invisalign uses a clear material to construct their aligners, they are extremely difficult for people to notice. People who use aligners can remove them to eat, and to clean their teeth, so there is no interference with their daily habits. It is important to wear your aligners as much as possible, or risk extending your treatment time.