If you’re wanting to improve your smile, you probably have a few questions about Invisalign vs. braces. We’ll break down the pros and cons of both clear aligners such as Invisalign and braces so that you can make the best decision for your unique situation.
What Are Braces?
Braces are the most common orthodontic treatment available. They consist of two main elements – metal wires and brackets, which are glued to your teeth. The bracket acts as an anchor point for the wire; by tightening or loosening this wire, we can exert pressure on certain teeth, causing them to move into place over time.
There are different types of braces available, but the most popular are metal braces.
What Is Invisalign?
The term Invisalign is actually a brand name. They are a type of clear aligner which was one of the first to hit the market. Aligners are made from clear plastic and fit snugly over your teeth. They work by putting pressure on your teeth in a similar way to braces, but because they are clear, they are much less visible than metal braces.
A scan is taken of your teeth, which is used to create a custom set of aligners. You will need to wear each set of aligners for around two weeks before moving on to the next set. The total treatment time with Invisalign is usually around 12 months.
Invisalign vs. Braces
Now that you know a little bit more about each treatment let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Invisalign vs. braces.
Remember, this is a guide only, and the best course of treatment for you as an individual should come from a qualified dental professional.
Benefits of Invisalign
One of the main selling points of Invisalign is that aligners are clear, so they are much less visible than metal braces. This makes them a popular choice for adults and teens alike. From an aesthetic perspective, Invisalign is a clear winner.
The aligners are also removable, which has several benefits. These include eating and drinking what you want during treatment (as long as the aligners are cleaned afterward). You can also brush your teeth normally and wear them only when required – such as at work or school.
This means that there is no need to change your routine during treatment, which is a big plus for many people.
Because the aligners are removable, they also require less upkeep. You will not need to see your dentist as often as you would with braces (about every six weeks instead of four). This means that it can be easier to fit Invisalign appointments into busy schedules.
Disadvantages of Invisalign
Invisalign and other clear aligners aren’t for everyone. There are some downsides to this treatment route.
What about Invisalign vs. braces cost-wise? Aligners are more expensive than traditional braces. The cost of Invisalign varies depending on your situation and treatment needs.
Treatment time is typically longer with clear aligners such as Invisalign than it is with metal braces. This is because the aligners are not as strong and exert less pressure on your teeth.
Invisalign can be more uncomfortable than braces, especially at first. This is because you will need to change to new sets of aligners every two weeks or so.
Clear aligners require more discipline than braces to use properly. Invisalign must be removed when eating and drinking anything other than water, and it can be all too easy to forget them at home or in school. If you don’t wear your aligners for the required amount of time each day, your treatment will take longer.
Benefits of Braces
Braces have been around for a long time and are tried and tested. They effectively treat a wide range of dental problems, from mild to severe.
Metal braces are the most popular type of braces, as they are affordable and durable. Braces can be adjusted quickly and easily, meaning that your treatment can be tailored specifically to your needs.
Braces are also very effective in correcting alignment problems, such as overbites and underbites.
Braces are a good choice if you have a complex dental problem that needs correcting. In more severe cases, clear aligners won’t be sufficient so braces will be necessary.
Braces are also more cost-effective than Invisalign, which is a major plus for many people.
Disadvantages of Braces
Traditional metal braces have a few downsides that you should consider before deciding on this course of treatment.
When it comes to braces vs. Invisalign from an aesthetic perspective, metal braces probably won’t come out on top. They are very visible on your teeth and will require you to change your lifestyle during treatment.
With braces, you won’t be able to eat things such as hard food or sticky sweets.
Braces can be uncomfortable at first, as they take some time to get used to. The metal brackets and wires can irritate your gums and mouth. This usually improves over time, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re considering braces.
Metal braces also need more upkeep than Invisalign. The brackets and wires must be checked regularly by your dentist or orthodontist. This means you will have more frequent appointments than with aligners.
Braces Or Invisalign: Which is Right For You?
Overall, braces are a good choice if you have a complex dental problem that needs correcting. They are more affordable than Invisalign, durable, and effective. However, they require more discipline to use properly and come with some downsides such as aesthetics and comfort.
On the other hand, Invisalign is good for simpler problems such as mild crookedness and gaps. They are more convenient to use, and they can be used with a wide range of dental problems. However, they are less effective than braces in correcting complex alignment issues.
If you’re trying to decide between Invisalign vs. braces for your smile needs, the best way to find out is by consulting your dentist.
All About Braces are experts in teeth straightening. With three convenient locations in Denver, Aurora, and Lakewood, Colorado, contact one of our Orthodontist Near You today to start improving your smile!