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What is the Difference between Traditional Expanders and Clear Aligners?
When people first come to us with an interest in braces, one of the first questions that they ask is what are the reasons why should we wear or undergo traditional expanders or clear aligners. While everyone’s teeth and jaw structure are different, the one thing that we can always say is that orthodontic treatment is the ideal way to restore confidence in your appearance and enjoy greater comfort as you eat. Whether you have crooked teeth or huge gaps between each one, our orthodontist has a solution for helping you finally love your smile. Now, we encourage you to read on to learn more about the differences that exist between traditional expanders and clear aligners.
What Are the Effects after I Undergo Traditional Expanders or Clear Aligners?
The first thing that you need to know is that traditional expanders are simply metal braces. In fact, you have likely seen these worn by people that you know because they tend to be more visible than other types of orthodontic appliances. Clear plastic aligners are what most people think of when you mention Invisalign. While both of these appliances fit in your mouth in different ways, they typically lead to the same conclusion, which is improved tooth alignment.
What Are the Disadvantage and Advantage of This Two?
There are significant advantages and disadvantages that go along with each of these options, and the differences between the two can blur depending upon your preferences. For instance, older adults and teens tend to dislike how traditional expanders that cannot be removed from the mouth. However, this is an advantage for younger children and teens who may lack the self-control to replace their clear plastic aligners.
Exploring Traditional Expanders
When you are curious what are the reasons why should we wear or undergo traditional expanders or clear aligners, you should first seek a consultation with your orthodontist to find out about the problems that you may have with your teeth and jaws. This not only helps us to determine if traditional expanders may be your best option, but it can also help you to develop goals for your overall oral health and appearance. With these goals in mind, you can then decide if traditional expanders have more benefits than disadvantages.
How Traditional Expanders Are Applied
Traditional metal braces are placed on your teeth using special cement that can only be removed by your orthodontist. Once they are placed on your teeth, you must continue to visit your orthodontic clinic on a regular basis to have them tightened and checked for wear and tear. After you complete your treatment, they are removed in the clinic so that you can see your beautiful smile.
Benefits of Traditional Expanders
As mentioned above, some people prefer to know that their child’s braces cannot be removed. Traditional expanders also come with the benefit of being able to correct major issues with crooked or misaligned teeth that may not be correctable through other methods. As trends come and go, some teens also prefer the look of metal in their mouth, especially when colored bands can be used to add to the appearance. For example, kids in sports often ask for their school colors to be used when we change out the bands on their braces.
Disadvantages of Metal Braces
Since metal braces cannot be removed, you must be prepared to make lifestyle changes. For instance, hard and sticky foods must be avoided to prevent breaking the wires. Adults and self-conscious teens may also dislike the way that braces look in their mouth, and this type of braces can sometimes take longer to see results when compared to clear plastic aligners.
Talking about Clear Plastic Aligners
Right now, you are still curious about what are the disadvantage and advantage of these two. We always recommend letting us know if you are curious about how clear plastic aligners can be used to straighten your teeth. Since open communication is critical for you to enjoy the best results after your treatment, always be honest with us about your ability to follow through with each type of treatment plan. For example, if you just know that you or your child might not be able to give up your love for caramel, then clear aligners may be the right choice to prevent problems down the road.
How Clear Plastic Aligners Are Made
Clear plastic aligners are made using specialized technology that creates a realistic rendering of your mouth. This technology also lets us show you the answer to your question of what are the effects after I undergo traditional expanders or clear aligners. Once the images and measurements are created, we then send the information to a lab that creates the braces. In most cases, the clear aligners will take a week or two to come back to our office. After they arrive, you will put on your first set, and we will check to make sure that they fit as planned. You will then be provided with your next few sets of trays so that you can change them out every two weeks.
Disadvantages of Clear Aligners
The biggest disadvantage of clear plastic aligners is that they can get lost if you forget to put them in your mouth. Similar to a retainer, they can also be accidentally thrown away if your child fails to keep it safe while they eat. Fortunately, this is an easy fix since you can simply use a special storage case to keep your aligner trays in good condition until you put them back into your mouth. In some instances, you may also feel as though you talk differently when you first get the trays. This is just a temporary situation. Most people adjust to talking with the aligner trays in within just a few days.
Benefits of Clear Plastic Aligner Trays
Improved aesthetics is one thing that everyone loves about the clear trays since they are virtually undetectable from a normal distance. The aligner tray system also allows for more precise movements of your teeth since the computerized rendering is used to guide the process. Aligner trays also tend to work faster, and you may be able to shave several weeks off of the amount of time that a traditional treatment plan would require.
There are significant differences between traditional expanders and clear plastic aligners, but you should also know that these may not be your only options for getting straighter teeth. Give us a call to schedule an appointment so we can help you pick the right treatment plan for your specific needs today.
What Is the Difference between Traditional Expanders and Clear Aligners?
13046 Falcon Drive, Baxter, MN 56425
Dr. Michael McDermott earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Chemistry and Biology from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. He followed his undergraduate degrees with a doctorate in dental surgery at the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with highest distinction.
Dr. Mike then furthered his dental education by earning a masters and certificate in Orthodontics at the University of St. Louis in Missouri.