When it comes to straightening your teeth or correcting a bite, there are many options available. Two of the most popular treatments are Invisalign and braces. Both have advantages and disadvantages depending on each individual case.
When deciding which is better for you, first, you need to consider many factors. The speed of treatment, appearance, cost, and comfort will all play a part in your decision between the invisible aligners and the traditional braces.
But which one is right for you? Let’s take a closer look at all the aspects of Invisalign and braces. Including
- Which is better?
- Which is faster?
- The pros and cons of wearing clear aligners vs fixed braces
- How to decide which is best for you?
Invisalign braces are a method of orthodontic treatment that uses clear, removable aligners to gently move teeth into their desired position. Each set of aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours per day.
Invisalign treatments can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete, depending on the severity of the case.
Braces are the traditional way of straightening teeth by using metal brackets with wires connecting them. The brackets are attached to the front of your teeth and tightened periodically by a dentist or orthodontist until they reach the desired position.
Braces treatments typically range from one to three years, depending on the case. There are different types of fixed braces. These include the following:
Metal braces are the most common type of braces used in orthodontics. They are made out of stainless steel and consist of metal brackets that are attached to each tooth with an adhesive.
Ceramic braces are similar to metal braces, but they use clear, tooth-coloured ceramic brackets instead of metal ones. This makes them less noticeable on the teeth.
Lingual braces are different in that they are attached to the back of the teeth instead of the front. This makes them almost completely invisible when you smile.
Self-ligating braces use special clips instead of elastic bands to hold the wire onto the brackets. This helps reduce friction and makes it easier for your dentist or orthodontist to adjust them during treatment.
Invisalign vs Braces: Procedure
When it comes to Invisalign and braces, the procedures are quite different. In Invisalign treatment, plastic aligners that fit over your teeth are made in a lab. Each set of aligners is meant to be worn for two weeks before being replaced with the next in the series. As Invisalign aligners fit snugly over your teeth, you don’t need regular adjustments as you do with braces.
In comparison, braces involve metal brackets attached to each tooth with an adhesive. They are then connected by a wire and tightened periodically by a dentist or orthodontist until they reach the desired position.
After Invisalign treatment, patients can expect their teeth to look straighter and their bite to be corrected. In the months following treatment, Invisalign patients may need to wear retainers to keep their teeth in alignment and prevent them from shifting back into their original positions.
After braces treatment, your teeth should be straight, properly aligned and have a better bite than before. In addition, you will have an improved smile and facial profile due to the changes made by the orthodontist during the braces treatment process. You will also likely need to wear retainers for a few months after removing your braces in order to maintain your new smile.
Traditional braces vs Invisalign: Similarities and differences
Whether you want to straighten your teeth, close a gap, or reduce crowding in your teeth, the main goal of braces and Invisalign is the same, which is to bring and align your teeth together.
Both traditional braces and Invisalign are orthodontic treatments used to straighten teeth and correct a bite. Traditional metal braces use brackets that are glued to the front of each tooth and connected with wires. At the same time, Invisalign consists of clear plastic aligners made from a medical-grade thermoplastic material called SmartTrack.
Traditional braces need to be adjusted every month or so, whereas Invisalign is designed to move your teeth in small increments over time without needing any adjustments.
The main benefit of aligners is that they are difficult to spot, which is why they are also called ‘invisible braces’. Since they can be removed, it’s easy to clean your teeth while you’re still wearing them.
However, some people find it difficult to wear them for 20-22 hours per day. So, they’re not allowed to eat or drink anything except water while wearing them. Unlike traditional braces, which allow you to eat whenever you want. However, some foods are not allowed in your diet while having your braces.
Although Invisalign can fix 90% of the cases, not everyone is a good candidate for it. As a rule, severe malocclusions require fixed traditional braces.
Traditional braces are difficult to clean and require special care, while aligners allow you to clean your teeth normally by taking them off.
Unlike braces, aligners can be a bit challenging when it comes to maintenance, as they can be lost or damaged. Braces only require regular checkups and adjustments.
The Advantages of Invisalign
The Invisalign clear aligners are nearly invisible, making them a great choice for adults who don’t want to look like they are wearing braces.
The thermoplastic material of Invisalign aligners is gentle on the teeth and gums, which means it can be more comfortable than metal braces.
Ease of Use
The removable aligners make it easy to keep your mouth clean and hygienic.
The disadvantages of Invisalign
Not for Complex Corrections
The Invisalign system is not intended for complex corrections such as severe crowding, overbites and underbites.
Must Remove to Eat
The aligners need to be removed when eating or drinking anything other than water which can be inconvenient.
Higher Risk of Damage
The removable aligners are more prone to damage and loss, increasing the risk of needing multiple sets of aligners or even a switch back to traditional braces.
The aligners have to be worn for 20-22 hours per day, which can be difficult for some people to stick with. The success of the treatment depends heavily on the user following through and wearing them as much as possible.
The Advantages of Braces
Works for Complex Corrections
The fixed nature of traditional braces treatment makes them a better choice for complex corrections. The brackets are attached to the teeth, and the wires can be adjusted to bring them into alignment correctly, regardless of the severity of the misalignment.
The brackets and wires used with the braces are easy to maintain. The patient just needs to come in for regular check-ups and adjustments as required by their dentist or orthodontist.
Multiple Options to Choose From
Traditional braces offer several different options when it comes to styling, including metal, lingual and ceramic braces that sit behind the teeth.
Not Easily Removed
The fixed nature of traditional braces means that they can’t be removed unless your dentist or orthodontist removes them – which makes it easier to stay on track with treatment.
The Disadvantages of Braces
Traditional metal braces are highly visible, which can draw unwanted attention. The ceramic and lingual options give more flexibility in terms of styling, but the brackets and wires still stand out.
The brackets used to secure the braces can rub against your cheeks and gums, resulting in some discomfort. The wires also need to be tightened at regular intervals, which can cause some pain or discomfort.
Increased Risk of Tooth Decay
The increased risk of tooth decay is a common concern with traditional braces since it’s difficult to reach certain areas for brushing and flossing.
The patient has to be extra diligent with their oral hygiene routine while wearing them.
The patient needs to avoid certain types of hard or sticky foods that could damage the braces, which can be a bit restrictive.
Invisalign vs braces: Which is faster?
The most common question among patients is, “How long will the treatment take?”
Invisalign treatment is generally thought to be faster than traditional braces. However, the flexibility of the aligners they offer can impact your treatment period. As with every small amount of time, they’re out of your mouth, and that can delay your treatment. So that’s why braces can be more efficient than other clear aligners, but this will vary for each person.
The most important thing to know is that Invisalign treats simpler and easier cases; unlike braces, they’re designed to fix harder and more difficult cases.
In any case, the best way to know how long your treatment will take is to talk to your dentist or orthodontist. They can give you a more accurate timeline based on your specific needs and goals.
Invisalign vs braces: Cost
A common concern when considering dental options is the cost. So what about the cost of Invisalign compared to regular braces?
It’s essential to know that the cost of your orthodontic work will depend on how complicated it is and how long the treatment lasts.
Some people’s teeth only need minor movement, which can be achieved in less than half a year. However, others require significant corrections that take 18 months or more to fix.
Additionally, the longer your treatment plan is, the more time you will spend at the dentist and the more dental materials that will be needed, both of which drive up the cost.
Regardless of treatment length, metal braces are typically less expensive than Invisalign, though many patients find Invisalign’s convenience and discretion worth a few extra dollars.
Invisalign Vs Braces: Which Is Better?
In conclusion, both Invisalign and traditional metal braces have their pros and cons, and both have the same goal of giving you straighter teeth.
The right option depends on your specific orthodontic needs, how well you can follow instructions and other factors like budget and personal preference.
The best way to decide which is best for you is to consult your dentist or orthodontist. They will be able to assess your teeth and help you make an informed decision about which method of treatment is best for you.
Why Choose Boutique Dental Care?
When it comes to “Invisalign vs braces”, our highly-experienced dental team is highly skilled in both orthodontic treatments. They will ensure that any braces treatment you have balances your upper and lower jaws for a smile makeover, changing your facial profile for the better.
Whether your child or teen has been told that they need braces, or if you have never had the chance to straighten your own smile, our friendly dental team can help. We offer patients a wide variety of contemporary bracket and wire styles, as well as removable aligners, to suit both their needs and budget.
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