Braces or Clear Aligners: Which is Right for You?

Braces or Clear Aligners: Which is Right for You?

Patients with crooked, crowded, or misaligned teeth that visit our Erie dental office may have received a referral to see an orthodontist for corrective treatment.

If you’re faced with needing orthodontic treatment, the first question that usually comes to mind is whether clear aligners or traditional braces makes the best choice for your orthodontic needs?

Both have their advantages, and knowing which to pick can become a source of stress for patients who don’t have the knowledge needed to make an informed decision one way or the other. Fortunately, researchers have sought to provide an objective answer by reviewing multiple scientific studies to determine the pros and cons of each type of orthodontic treatment.

“Clear aligners have an advantage in segmented movement of teeth and shorted treatment duration but were not as effective as braces in producing adequate occlusal contact, controlling teeth torque, and retention,” wrote the research team in their findings.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Shaoxing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Shaoxing, China.

The Pros and Cons

Earlier research has previously compared the effectiveness of traditional braces and clear aligners. However, with the technology behind clear aligners accelerating at such a fast pace, the research team from Shaoxing Hospital thought it prudent to review the current scientific literature.

As part of their study, researchers searched large medical databases for clinical studies that evaluated the varying effectiveness of clear aligners and traditional bracket and wire braces.

After examining the available research, the team selected eight studies they determined of high enough quality to warrant inclusion. The studies featured randomized control trials and clinical comparative studies that investigated both treatment efficiency and effectiveness.

Patients who wore clear aligners enjoyed improved comfort, oral hygiene, and aesthetics when compared to those wearing traditional braces. They also enjoy significantly faster treatment times when compared to those with bracket and wire braces.

Conversely, traditional braces were far more effective at controlling the exact movement of a patient’s teeth. Patients who underwent traditional orthodontic treatment were also less likely to experience any kind of regression in the position of their teeth following the completion of their orthodontic care.

Selecting the Right Option for You

So what would our team recommend to patients visiting our Erie dental office? Well, it depends.

Aligners may provide the better treatment option for patients who need only minor corrections and want to accelerate their treatment times. Traditional fixed braces may then provide a better option for patients with more severe cases of malocclusion.

The researchers did note that the results of their study shouldn’t be considered absolute because the studies used in the review were all very different from each other and therefore could not provide a uniform set of data in which to work with.

Both types of orthodontic treatment can successful improve a patients current and long-term oral health. However, determining which is right for you depends a lot on personal preference.

If you don’t mind the idea of wearing metal braces for between one to two years if it means enjoying the perfectly sculpted smile you desire, then traditional braces may be the way to go.

If you want to correct minor imperfections in the state of your smile discreetly, then clear aligners could hold some appeal.

Fortunately, when you visit our Erie dental office, we can help to answer a few of those questions when referring you to an orthodontist.

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