There are a lot of exciting things going on in Dentistry. One of the most impressive is Invisalign. It is not really new, it has been out about 14 years, but it has taken a little time to become predictable. There is now a choice a patient can have brackets (little metal/clear anchors) glued onto the teeth and then attach a wire or wear a computer designed series of mouthguards. Each treatment has it's pros and cons.
The pros of wires- It cannot be removed so a patient knows that they will be working 24 hours a day. They cannot be used and then taken out then placed back on the teeth. The wires can be used in all situations. There are some cases where Invisalign cannot perform the necessary movements and wires must be used. Using wires can sometimes be less expensive due to cheaper lab fees.
The cons to wires are- the wires can break puncturing the cheeks and requiring an unintended trip to the dentist . Cleaning your teeth has to be impeccable because nothing is worse than taking the wires off straight new teeth and having a bunch of cavities where the brackets were attached(on the front of the teeth no less). If there were no cavities there can be a bunch of white spots(hypocalcifications) that might be able to be removed but on the whole very difficult to treat. If you have temporary crowns it is very difficult to bond brackets to them. There are the social issues if you are older.
Invisalign pros- Cleaning teeth is relatively easy you just take them out brush your teeth and put the mouth pieces back in. There is no need to come in to have the braces adjusted. They are almost invisible. No wires to break. If you lose one it is easy to get a replacement. A patient can use the trays to bleach their teeth.They work with temporary crowns.
Invisalign cons- If you take them out too often the treatment can be delayed. This is a big issue the mouthpieces must be worn at least 22 hours a day. Sometimes you have to put little tooth colored bumps(attachments) on the front of the teeth to aid in tooth movement.If you have arthritis or other dexterity issues the removal can be difficult. They are removed to eat but not to drink.