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Is Invisalign or braces a better option for teeth that have relapsed?

Braces & Invisalign Cosmetic Dentistry Invisalign

Hello. I wore braces for 17 months at the age of 13 to correct my severe overbite. I stopped wearing retainers 2 years after my braces removal as I was complacent. I'm now 18 turning 19, and I realised that my teeth has shifted gradually. There's now this moderate gap between my 2 teeth where a teeth was extracted to make space for my braces. I can feel the gap with my tongue, and I don't like how food gets stuck really easily as a result. I would definitely want to do something about the gap (it's moderately significant), but have no idea what to do next. Would Invisalign or wearing conventional braces for a short 6 - 8 months be more effective? (I am less keen on wearing braces again) Thanks alot!!

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (3)

Hi Jol

From the description of your problem, both Invisalign and braces are suitable tools for closing the gaps that has opened up.

You will need to consider the pros and cons of the 2 different treatment tools.

Invisalign:

Pros:

1) More comfortable 

2) Removable, hence no restriction in terms of eating

3) Easier for oral hygiene maintenance 

4) Virtually invisible

Cons: 

1) Higher cost 

2) Patient compliance is crucial (optimal wear of 22 hours per day)

Braces:

Pros:

1) Cheaper option

2) Fixes to teeth, hence minimal compliance needed

Cons:

1) Less aesthetic

2) More painful

3) More difficult to maintain oral hygiene 

Do consider these points before deciding the best option for you.

1115 views 19 Mar 2018

Sorry to hear that your teeth has relapsed from your previous braces treatment. 

Both conventional fixed braces and Invisalign are effective in moving and straightening teeth, regardless of whether it is for relapse or new cases.

Most relapse cases occurs with shifting of the multiple teeth rather than just one of two teeth, as teeth cooperates and function together. Hence, orthodontic treatment usually occurs on both arches together to ensure good functionality of teeth. 

Conventional fixed braces have long-standing successful history in correcting misalignment of teeth, whereas Invisalign is comparatively new in the market (about 20~ odd years). However, Invisalign has gone through tremendous improvement over the years and is now able to achieve results which are higher in complexity and also achieve results in a shorter time frame, thanks to the huge database that they accumulated over a short period of time due to its high popularity.

As you have experienced before, fixed braces involve brackets that are glued to the teeth. In contrast, Invisalign is a mould of your teeth which can be removed anytime and anywhere. 

Invisalign is more suitable for a patient when they need minimal disruption to their everyday lives (invisibility, better comfort, less ulceration, minimal disruption to eating habits etc.). However, do note that Invisalign recommends wearing their trays for 20-22 hours per day. Hence, good discipline entails. 

Both methods require excellent dental hygiene as both increases the possibility of cavity and gum problems. In this aspect, patients with Invisalign would probably fare better as it is easier to clean the Invisalign trays and their teeth, compared to digging under the metal brackets for fixed braces.

On another note, invisalign offers Invisalign light, which is meant for correcting very minor misalignment of teeth, with a lower cost. However, this is on case to case basis, depending on suitability. Since your’s is a relapse case, you might enquire if you are suitable for this. 

Ultimately, deciding which method is best for you requires you to have a consultation with your dentist, to find out the severity of your relapse and suitability of each option, personalized to you. 

Hope this helps and good luck with your treatment. 

1111 views 19 Mar 2018

Certainly, both Invisalign and conventional braces are options that you can consider for orthodontic re-treatment. Studies have shown that both modalities are effective in the treatment of simple relapse cases.

It is advisable to visit an orthodontist for an examination and discussion on what will be the best option for you. 

For more information, please join us at our 'Smile.Sparkle.Shine' public forum at NDCS on 24th of March 2018. http://bit.ly/2DQuCh6

1040 views 22 Mar 2018
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