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Dental Excellence UK Blog

Invisalign vs. Clear X Aligners - Which is Right for You?

Posted by Dental Excellence UK on Mar 11, 2021 9:50:52 AM
Dental Excellence UK
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When it comes to dentistry and any problems you may have with your teeth, there are plenty of options should you choose to look for a fix. Whether it’s an issue you’ve simply grown up with or a bad habit you adopted when young that’s caused the issue, nobody wants to have imperfect teeth.

As you’ve grown older you’re likely put off by the thought of having a clunky metal brace in your mouth but still desire a solution to your dental problems. The good news is that there are treatments which eradicate the need for metal or wires and can work on your teeth whilst remaining seemingly invisible.

These treatments have been developed over a number of years and with the use of modern technology have been perfected to provide stunning results. Dental problems are more common than you may think and come in many different forms, affecting various areas of the mouth. However, you may have looked around and wondered how other people have perfect teeth but you don’t. Well, let’s take a look at some of the causes which might lead you to look for corrective treatment.

What causes misaligned teeth?

Unfortunately, identifying the cause of why your teeth may be crooked, misaligned or overcrowded isn’t always easy, especially at young ages when your permanent teeth will only just be coming through. Major issues only start to show around the age of 6 when baby teeth make way for the adult teeth. If issues are spotted at this age then acting quickly is the key to fixing them, as the longer you wait the more troublesome a fix can be. As the adult teeth are coming through, your mouth is in a state of growth and is at its most susceptible to change. The older you get, the longer it’s been since this growth period and more difficult it is to realign your teeth.

Of course, it isn’t as easy as simply rolling up to the orthodontist and getting those beloved train tacks thrown on, as there are factors which may prevent this. You may have even thought when you were young that you didn’t need or want any dentistry correction, but as you’ve got older decided otherwise, or perhaps the issue has worsened.

Born with bad teeth

One of the most common causes of crooked teeth is simply that you’re born with them. Often genetics can play a huge part in the way in which your teeth form and grow over time, sometimes resulting in issues which are out of your control. The best example of this would be overcrowding of teeth. Of course, there’s nothing you could do or any bad habits you could adopt which would lead to an overcrowding of teeth, this is simply something you will inherit from your parents.

Overcrowded teeth can cause a range of issues such as a misshapen jaw as your body attempts to adapt and accommodate the extra space needed by your teeth. This can also affect your facial structure as your jaw defines a large portion of your face. Often this kind of issue requires a more intensive treatment such as an operation, but there are also many mild cases which can be remedied by introducing elastic bands into a set of metal braces.

Unhealthy habits

Habits which can cause teeth to become misaligned or misshapen can be as seemingly harmless as using a dummy or sucking on a thumb. Babies and toddlers adopt these habits to keep them occupied and bring them comfort, which of course helps parents get a good night's sleep.

However, if these habits persist or become highly frequent, they can cause lasting damage to the teeth in the form of a malocclusion. This is due to the mouth being in the crucial stage of growth which we mentioned earlier and as this external pressure is put on the teeth, the mouth adapts to accommodate the pressure which is unnatural.

Brushing, flossing & mouthwash

As children, the last thing you want to do is spend time in front of the bathroom mirror brushing your teeth when it feels like that time could be better spent playing or seeing friends. The same goes for caring for your teeth in general, when you’re a child or even a teenager, you don’t think about looking after your teeth.

If you regularly visited the dentist when you were young you will no doubt have had the importance of flossing and brushing twice a day drilled into you and after all, dentists know best. The more time, effort and care you put into your teeth at a young age will reduce the number of issues you’ll face as you grow up. Neglecting brushing your teeth allows plaque to build up around the tooth and the longer it’s left there, the more damage it can do as it eats away at your enamel, causing cavities and gum disease. Brushing thoroughly is also important too as plaque can build up under the gums which can kill the roots of your teeth and break down the bones which support them.

Flossing, although not as popular as brushing in terms of a regular dental care routine, is arguably just as crucial. A standard toothbrush simply can’t get in between the teeth to clean those hard to reach areas, which is why it’s so important to floss in order to remove that unreachable bacteria build-up. Food can get caught in these areas too and, if not removed, breed bacteria which can massively increase the likelihood of gum disease. Mouthwash is not something which should be used as a replacement for brushing or flossing. Think of it as the wax finish you would put on a car after washing it! Mouthwash is capable of killing bacteria, revitalising gums and keeping your teeth free from decay. It’s best used in tandem with flossing and brushing to help keep your teeth as healthy as possible. 

Are braces a good choice?

The question of whether braces are right for you or not really lies with the individual. Factors which will come into play when making a decision are likely to be cost, comfort and appearance. Depending on the severity of your dental issues you may not have the choice between comfort or appearance as metal braces are sometimes required to fix misaligned or crooked teeth.

Opting for braces when young is a safe bet as they will work much more effectively on a younger person than they will on an adult, reducing the amount of time you’ll have to put up with them. Also, when you’re an adult, incorporating braces into your lifestyle can be difficult and disruptive, especially when you factor in all of those trips to the orthodontist. If you decided not to have braces when you were younger and need them now but don’t want to hide your smile or face the discomfort, there are other options available. 

The first traditional option you’ll be familiar with is standard metal braces. The second option is ceramic braces which are similar but offer a much more discreet appearance and the third is lingual braces which are placed on the back of the teeth rather than the front. For milder and more aesthetic concerns, aligners like Invisalign and the Clear X Aligners are the most natural-looking and least disruptive type of orthodontics.

  • Metal braces & Ceramic braces

The most common type of braces are metal braces and consist of a bracket which is placed onto each tooth using an adhesive and a wire which connects the brackets. The wire is then gradually tightened to force the teeth to change position over time.

These types of braces are most common as they’re the cheapest, but not necessarily the most desired as they result in a large amount of discomfort due to the metal brackets and also engulf a large portion of a person's smile.

Similar in build to metal braces, this type uses ceramic instead of metal to create a colour which more closely resembles that of the tooth. Unfortunately, these aren’t much comfier than metal braces as they use the same wire/bracket structure.

Although these offer a more natural appearance, they are more expensive than standard metal braces too and can become stained due to the lighter colour, so extra care and attention is needed.

  • Lingual braces

Lingual braces appear invisible from the outside, but only because they are placed on the inside of the teeth rather than on display around the front. It may sound appealing but it depends whether you value appearance over comfort as the constant contact they have with your tongue can cause more discomfort than other options.

Treatments which are similar to braces but offer benefits such as a dramatic improvement in comfort, a more natural appearance and limited trips to the orthodontist are Invisalign and Clear X Aligners.

Invisible Braces and Invisalign

There are lots of different brands of invisible braces which are similar to braces but are very different in their application. If you’re familiar with the design you’ll know that they are transparent retainers which are moulded specifically to your teeth. The treatment works by providing the patient with a series of trays, each slightly different from the last, to be worn and swapped out over time, gradually moving the teeth.

This treatment offers more in the way of comfort and natural appearance but aren’t always as effective as metal or ceramic braces. Similarly, Invisalign retainers aren’t capable of fixing all dental issues and in cases of twisted teeth or severely crooked teeth, metal braces will be required.

That being said, invisible braces and aligners have many benefits and are the preferred choice for a lot of patients, especially adults. Aligner-style treatments, though they may be preferable for some youngsters, aren’t as effective due to their teeth still growing, making the creation of fixed-size retainers more difficult.

Key benefits

The first and arguably most important benefit of Invisalign is the invisible appearance. Due to metal and ceramic braces hindering your smile and hiding your pearly whites, the option of a completely transparent retainer is a far better choice for keeping up your confidence. Another huge factor is the improved comfort of Invisalign in comparison to other choices. The smooth plastic trays won’t encroach on your gums or tongue, keeping your mouth free from sores and aches. There are likely to be times when your teeth will ache as they adjust but it’ll be considerably more comfortable than if you had standard braces. Each retainer is designed to fit your mouth, so although it may feel a little alien at first, you’ll adapt to the treatment quicker than you may think.

The added benefit of cleanliness is one that most patients won’t think of, especially if they’ve never had braces before and don’t know the difficulties of brushing with metal braces on. Brackets and wires on the teeth can effectively shield against brushing, which in turn protects plaque from being removed. With Invisalign, you can remove your retainer freely to brush your teeth and can also clean your retainer to maintain the best hygiene.

The Invisalign treatment also comes with a lot fewer restrictions on your daily life than other braces. Trips to the orthodontist will be infrequent as there is no need for changing parts of braces or in-depth checkups. You’ll also be able to enjoy food and drink more freely once you remove your retainer, making for a more seamless transition into treatment.

Whilst Invisalign retainers seem like the most advanced solution in terms of teeth alignment and improving a patient's dental condition, there is actually a treatment which offers even more in terms of modern dental treatment. Clear X Aligners change the way you view dental treatment and makes the whole experience more personal.

Clear X Aligners

This treatment is similar to Invisalign in the way that it works but actually improves upon it in many key ways. This has been made possible by incredible 4D technology which replaces your trips to the orthodontist and increases the overall effectiveness of the treatment. The 4D technology comes in the form of the aligner case which houses your retainer and has the ability to reshape the tray to the next step in your process. The case heats up the retainer to mould it into a new shape every week as your teeth gradually move to fit the aligner and reach your goals. Clear X Aligners also come with a companion app which allows you to track your progress, keep up to date with your treatment cycle and set reminders to boost your retainer. The app also acts as your very own dental assistant, offering help and advice along the way!

The actual Clear X Aligner may look almost exactly like a traditional Invisalign retainer, but the difference is there’s only one, compared to the multiple Invisalign retainers which you’ll have to juggle. Having just one retainer leads to a series of key benefits.

Key benefits

Much like the Invisalign-style treatments, the most prevalent benefit of the Clear X brand is the transparent appearance of the retainer. Whether you’re a model, in customer service or working a job which requires you to have a professional appearance, the Clear X treatment is designed to be integrated comfortably into your day to day life.

Another feature which makes management of your treatment more manageable is the Clear X app. Designed to help you through your treatment, the app also allows you to look back at your progress upon completion and see the results of your commitment.

Looking after the planet and being mindful of our waste is more important than ever with issues surrounding global warming becoming more serious. Clear X Aligners minimise wasted single-use plastic in the best way possible, completely removing the additional trays you would otherwise need with an Invisalign or other similar treatment. Not only does the removal of extra plastic trays help save the planet, but it also helps save your wallet too. Clear X Aligners can be more cost-effective than other methods thanks to the single tray and the self-management of your treatment, which means fewer trips to the dentist or orthodontist

With the help of the booster case reshaping your tray, Clear X Aligners are able to offer much faster results than some other treatments. The tracking app is able to more accurately measure your progress and which stage you’re at to help you advance more quickly. By collecting data on each patient over the course of their treatment Clear X is able to provide you with precise and up to date feedback on your growth, which is an amazing feeling for our patients!

Are Clear X Aligners right for you?

When it comes down to the debate of which treatment you should choose for your needs, the answer isn’t clean cut. But, by educating yourself of the benefits of both treatments you can make a much more informed decision about which suits you best. Your dentist will also always be happy to help support you and offer their expert insight into the right treatment plan for you.

Opting for Clear X Aligners treatment not only brings with it the range of benefits listed above, but you’ll also receive premium care from our team of specialists throughout the entire Clear X process. At Dental Excellence we work across the country in Liverpool, Manchester, London and Dublin to provide greater access to a larger number of customers. To get started with your Clear X Aligners treatment today, call us on 0151 729 0000 or book a consultation with a member of our team at our luxury smile makeover centre. 

Topics: Clear X Aligners