If you want to achieve a straighter smile, then you may have already looked up teeth-straightening solutions. Perhaps the most popular option for you is braces. But, if you want a more discreet, almost “invisible” alternative, Invisalign is the way to go.
But how do you decide which of these two is most suitable for you and your smile?
The type of orthodontic treatment for you is highly dependent on your bite problem and what needs to be fixed. Invisalign is not always the best solution for complicated cases. So, it is always best to seek the professional advice of an orthodontist to ensure a desirable and predictable outcome.
Learn more about braces vs Invisalign in this article. And by the end of it, we should be able to give you a better understanding of which is the right choice for you.
Braces vs Invisalign: What are they?
First, let us know the basics about these treatments. Traditional braces use metal brackets with a wire that spans across the teeth to connect them. The wires are often used in conjunction with elastic rubbers and other metal attachments. With every braces adjustment, the elastics are replaced and tightened to aid in tooth movement and bite correction.
Meanwhile, Invisalign is a modern, metal-free teeth straightening system. This treatment uses customized, clear plastic trays that fit snugly over the teeth. The aligner trays are made using 3D scanning and printing. Then, with a series of tightly fitted trays replaced every 2 weeks, the teeth move to the desired position until they are aligned.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Braces
If you are leaning towards the braces option, here are some advantages you can enjoy:
Suitable for all bite problems
Braces are versatile and can correct most if not all, types of malocclusion. It uses durable elastics to straighten the teeth and improve the bite. So, if you have severe crowding or complicated bite concerns, braces are the ideal treatment solution for you.
Less visible alternatives available
Modern braces no longer involve just traditional metal braces. You can opt for other less visible alternatives such as lingual braces which are placed on the back of the teeth or ceramic braces which are almost invisible when smiling.
Because of the heavy orthodontic forces applied to the teeth using braces, you can expect a faster treatment. Most cases have an average treatment time of 12 – 18 months. However, this still depends on your case and the frequency of your dental visits.
Meanwhile, some of the disadvantages you can experience with braces are:
Poor overall comfort
Metals on the teeth and the orthodontic wire are prone to cause scratches on the lips, tongue, or inner cheek. Chewing, biting, and even smiling may also cause some discomfort, especially after braces adjustment.
Plaque accumulation and bad breath
Metal braces are non-removable so they can be quite hard to clean. Special interdental floss and frequent toothbrushing should be done to remove plaque. If this is not done properly, you can expect the teeth to be more prone to discolouration and decay.
Metal smile appearance
The unappealing look of braces is perhaps one of the main reasons why most patients opt for the Invisalign treatment.
Frequent dentist visits
Braces are adjusted every 3 – 4 weeks or according to your orthodontist’s advice. This requires you to visit the clinic at least once a month which can be quite a hassle for those leading busy lives.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Invisalign
Invisalign pros over braces are:
Maximum patient comfort
Invisalign trays are made with the patient’s comfort in mind. They feature a lightweight material with no rough and sharp edges. So, you can expect little to no mouth sores even with a whole day of use.
Lesser dental visits
Invisalign trays are to be replaced every 2 weeks. These custom aligners are delivered or readily available to you. No need to visit your dentist every month. Simply stick to the treatment plan and replace the aligners as instructed.
Removable, easily maintained
Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign is removable. You can easily clean them to remove plaque and other debris. This prevents possible tooth decay and improves your overall oral health.
Some of the cons are:
High patient compliance
The aligner trays must be worn for at least 20 – 22 hours to achieve the desired effect. They can only be removed when eating or drinking. Therefore, patient discipline is very important to prevent treatment delays and other possible complications.
Food and drink restrictions
Your Invisalign must be removed when you are eating or drinking anything other than water. Because it is a clear tray, it can easily stain and damage depending on your diet.
Invisalign is a highly innovative treatment that utilizes 3D scanning and printing technology. Because of the modern approach and the expensive equipment required for the procedure, orthodontists typically charge more for Invisalign compared to braces.
Not suitable for many treatments
Lastly, not all patients are suitable for Invisalign. A thorough diagnosis and comprehensive examination must be done to determine if Invisalign can help with your orthodontic problem. Generally, patients with complicated cases may not be good Invisalign candidates.
Braces vs Invisalign – How to make the right decision for you?
After going over some pros and cons of braces and Invisalign, the next step to knowing which is the right treatment for you is to book a visit with your trusted orthodontist.
Orthodontic cases need a proper diagnostic work-up and consultation so your orthodontist can create a treatment plan that would work best for you. This includes the use of mouth scans, teeth moulds and casts, and X-rays. Discuss with your orthodontist your expectations in treatment and smile goals so they can help you decide.
Braces vs Invisalign – The Bottom Line
Ultimately, braces and Invisalign have their own pros and cons. It is important that you weigh these options with your orthodontist so they can give you proper advice on which best fits your lifestyle and orthodontic concerns.
At Sierra Dental in Signal Hill, we have expert orthodontists who are highly skilled and experienced in both braces and Invisalign treatment. Schedule your initial consultation today so they can help you evaluate which is the best option for your smile.