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Compare braces

  Invisalign Traditional braces Ceramic braces Lingual braces
Description Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable plastic trays (aligners) that fit over teeth. Aligners are custom-made and changed every two weeks in order to gradually move teeth into the desired position. Traditional braces are stainless steel brackets and wires that are attached to the outside of the teeth. Wires are adjusted throughout treatment in order to gradually move teeth into the desired position. Traditional ceramic braces are clear brackets that are attached to the outside of the teeth. Wires are adjusted throughout treatment in order to gradually move teeth into the desired position. Lingual braces are metal brackets and wires that are bonded to the back of teeth. Wires are adjusted throughout treatment in order to gradually move teeth into the desired position.
Aesthetics Virtually invisible. High visibility. Less visible than traditional braces but more visible than lingual braces and Invisalign. Low visibility.
Cost Treatment cost varies. Treatment cost varies. Treatment cost varies. Treatment cost varies.
Efficiency Suitable for most cases from mild to moderate complexity. Treatment outcomes are dependant on the experience level of the practitioner. Suitable for nearly all cases. Suitable for most cases from mild to moderate complexity. However, it is more difficult for practitioners to manage lingual brace treatment than it is to treat patients with conventional
braces.
Oral hygiene Invisalign aligners can be removed for normal brushing and flossing. Therefore it’s easier to maintain a good level of oral hygiene throughout the course of treatment. Oral hygiene is harder to maintain with fixed braces when brushing and flossing. For these reasons, there is a general tendency towards increased plaque accumulation and gingival inflammation3. With lingual appliances, because of their position on the back of teeth, it is more difficult to brush and floss normally during treatment. This increases the chance of plaque retention and possible tooth decay3.
Comfort Most people experience temporary, minor discomfort at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This short-term effect is typically described as a feeling of pressure. Speech may be temporarily affected at the beginning of treatment. Mouth sores/ulcers may be triggered by irritation from components of the braces. Broken brackets and wires can cause discomfort and may require urgent attention from your treating practitioner. Lingual appliances can have an affect on the tongue position and may affect speech throughout treatment 4. Mouth sores/ulcers may be triggered by irritation from components of the braces.
Compliance Research shows that because aligners are virtually invisible, there is a high level of patient acceptance with Invisalign treatment3, 4. High level of compliance – braces are fixed to the teeth for the duration of treatment. However, levels of compliance with elastic wear can vary from patient to patient. Also, 5% of patients in fixed treatment experience bracket breakage6.
Removable Removable, but aligners should be worn a minimum of 20-22 hours a day to be most
effective
Not removable. Braces are fixed to the teeth for the duration of orthodontic treatment.

1. Invisalign website: www.invisalign.com.au
2. Australian Orthodontic Association website: www.aso.org.au
3. Improving Periodontal Health through Invisalign treatment, by Robert L. Boyd, DDS, MEd
4. Invisalign Australia survey amongst six Invisalign Teen providers. Data on file
5. Data on file at Align Technology
6. Bonding in Orthodontics, by Björn U. Zachrisson, Tamer Büyükyilmaz
7. National survey data on file at Invisalign Australia