At Time Dental we give different options for orthodontic treatment. When there are more than one way of straightening the teeth, patients often ask if fixed braces or aligners straighten teeth the same. Both types of braces work in different ways.
The traditional way of moving and straightening teeth uses fixed orthodontic braces. This is when brackets are bonded to the outside of surface of the teeth. The brackets used to be only made of metal, but now with the advances in technology brackets are often made of clear ceramic which is extremely strong and much more discreet as they are transparent. A wire is then placed into the bracket slots that help move the teeth into the correct position. This is an excellent way of getting your teeth straight.
The treatment time with fixed brackets can range depending on your starting point and the goals that you want to achieve. Front teeth alignment can take between 6-10 months, whereas comprehensive orthodontic treatment can be from 12-24 months. As these brackets are bonded to your teeth cleaning your teeth is more challenging and you do have to avoid eating certain types of food.
Clear aligner treatment does not use wires or brackets. This type of treatment uses thin clear medical grade plastic aligners that fit over the entire tooth surface. The aligners are worn for 22 hours a day. Every seven to ten days a new set of aligners is worn which incrementally moves the teeth into a straighter position. So rather than having a wire that moves the teeth, the aligners grip the tooth in order for it to move them.
Aligner treatment can also take between 6- 24 months of treatment time. Not all cases are suitable for aligner treatment. So it is very important to have a careful detailed assessment to see if it is suitable for your situation. Aligners are often seen more convenient to wear as they can be taken out when eating and your teeth can be cleaned easier.
So when offered both options, will fixed braces or aligners straighten teeth the same? In most cases yes they will. Each case is evaluated by our clinician and then you will advised which option will work best for you.