Traditional Metal Braces


Recently, with the introduction of invisalign, it has become very common for patients to ask whether it is possible to avoid wearing braces altogether in order to treat their crooked teeth or bad bite.
While traditional braces ( metal or ceramic ) may not be as aesthetically pleasing as invisalign, there are some complex orthodontic cases that cannot be treated with invisalign. In the following clinical situations, invisalign has its limitations:


1) If your molars are poorly-aligned with bite problems, traditional braces would be more appropriate. Traditional braces are capable of correcting severely-tilted teeth, wherereas invisalign is only capable of correcting very mildly-tilted teeth.

2) If your teeth are more rounded in shape, for example, peg-shaped upper lateral incisors or rounded premolars, invisalign will have a limited ability to rotate these teeth, as it has lesser grip on teeth than traditional braces.
On the other hand, the brackets of traditional teeth are glued to the teeth, and so, this leaves the orthodontist with complete control of any rotational movement. An experienced orthodontist will be able to calibrate the rotational forces with braces so as to make very precise and minute tooth rotational movements.

3) If your teeth requires vertical movements to be made, for example, teeth that are too low compared to adjacent teeth, traditional braces would be preferred. As traditional braces are firmly attached to the teeth, various magnitudes of vertical tooth movement can be accomplished by a well-trained orthodontist .


On the other hand, invisalign would be more suitable for patients who do not wish to wear traditional braces. Most patients love invisalign because nobody can see that they are undergoing orthodontic treatment – the treatment is not visible at all!. Also, they are comfortable and easy to use.


At the beginning , invisalign used to be employed only for simple cases. However, in the past decade or so, there have been many improvements and refinements in the invisalign treatment process. Nowadays, invisalign can be used to treat moderately severe crowding and crooked teeth. The closing of gaps can be easily corrected with invisalign. Even cases of deep bite can be treated with invisalign, unlike in the past.


However, a patient’s compliance with invisalign is of paramount importance, as these aligners must be worn 22 hours a day and must be changed every 2-3 weeks. But patients must bear in mind that teeth in traditional braces move faster and are capable of more refined tooth movements. So if your case is complex and you have expectations, traditional braces might be more suitable even though they are more visible. With recent advances in traditional braces such as smaller metal brackets or ceramic brackets, the visibility of traditional braces has become less of an issue. In fact in this modern society, wearing braces is very widely-accepted and especially with their colourful bracket ties, wearing traditional braces can make quite a fashion statement these days.


The principal disadvantage of invisalign is its cost. Generally , invisalign costs at least 30 to 50 percent more than traditional braces. Ultimately ,the patients lifestyle will dictate the most appropriate treatment. Most school-going teenagers will choose traditional braces ,while working adults are more inclined towards ceramic braces or invisalign. With so many options available these days, the patient is really spoiled for choice!