When you’re looking for ways to correct your or a loved one’s smile, there are two major options: traditional braces or Invisalign braces. You may think this decision is a, “Which is better?” situation, but in reality, it’s more about what’s right for your specific case. We’ll break down the major differences to help you make an informed decision about your orthodontal care.
Both braces and Invisalign are effective at correcting a wide range of dental issues, including overbite and underbite, gap teeth, crowded teeth, and more. However, the truth is that traditional braces are the only option for severely rotated or crooked teeth — Invisalign’s aligners simply can’t grip teeth the way metal braces can.
In addition, because Invisalign aligners can be removed at will, orthodontists sometimes see tooth correction that doesn’t progress as quickly as designed. This is because braces users cannot remove their devices, whereas Invisalign owners can at any time. The result is an interruption in treatment that can extend the total time of treatment.
So for mild to moderate correction, Invisalign works just as well as braces, but can’t perform effectively with more intense teeth correction. And due to the fact that Invisalign patients can remove their treatments, the effectiveness of Invisalign depends heavily on the compliance and consistency of patients.
The cost of any orthodontic treatment is an investment in a healthy, beautiful smile that will last a lifetime. Depending on the severity of the needed correction, braces can cost several thousands of dollars throughout the course of treatment, and for the same condition, Invisalign will cost more.
There are so many variables when it comes to orthodontia, so the best way to know how much one treatment will cost over another is to contact an orthodontist, who can provide a detailed quote after your initial consultation. They will also tell you what financing and payment plans are available to make a straight smile affordable for almost any budget.
Time of Treatment
Because your teeth are made of bone and have deep roots, any orthodontic treatment will take time to correct. Braces, which are geared for more severe and thorough dental correction, typically stay on a patient’s teeth for around two years.
Invisalign treatment typically takes less time, between as little as six to 18 months, because Invisalign users typically have fewer and less intense issues to correct. However, this is complicated by the fact that Invisalign aligners can be removed at any time, which interrupts the treatment process and can lead to longer treatment times.
There’s no question that braces aren’t exactly a flattering feature to have for multiple years of orthodontic treatment. And that’s where Invisalign shines best; convenience. The aligners are clear, form-fitting to your teeth, and don’t make it any harder to brush or floss. In addition, Invisalign lets you keep eating whatever you want, without the aches and discomfort you would normally feel after a braces adjustment.
Braces, on the other hand, are a mouthful. They can cause pain if wires aren’t clipped just right after an adjustment, they can scratch against your lips, and they famously trap obnoxious food particles like popcorn kernels in hard-to-reach places. Braces are typically hard to clean, requiring extra devices like picks and special toothbrush heads to get between the wires and brackets.
An Orthodontia Plan For You
The question of braces versus Invisalign isn’t as clear cut as simply which is a better treatment. Invisalign and traditional braces both present their own pros and cons for an orthodontic treatment plan. It comes down to the unique desires and condition of the patient. Always contact an experienced orthodontist to help you figure out which orthodontic treatment plan is best for you or your child.