In some cases, you may be able to choose between Invisalign or braces. In other instances, your orthodontist might make the call for you. You’re probably wondering if one’s better than the other, more affordable or more effective.
The obvious benefits of Invisalign win over a lot of people early, but what’s most important is that you select an orthodontic treatment that will do the best job for you. Get the wrong orthodontics, and you may have to fix your teeth all over again in the future! Both treatments were crafted to straighten teeth, improve your smile and better your oral hygiene.
First, consider history. Invisalign has been around for only 16 years, so obviously braces have a longer proven history. That may or may not mean anything in a few decades, after we learn more about the long-term effects of Invisalign.
The systems work very differently. Braces use metal wires and brackets while Invisalign uses a series of clear aligners. However, today’s braces brackets can closely match the color of your tooth enamel, making them very discrete.
Invisalign is clear, while braces are usually silver (but you can pay for that enamel-colored upgrade). Patients who like pops of color can choose a variety of band colors with braces.
The typical braces wearer has braces on around the clock for about two years. Invisalign wearers can remove the aligners for a couple of hours each day, and the treatment lasts from six to 18 months.
Comparing costs is nearly impossible, since it varies drastically from client to client. In many cases, braces and Invisalign cost nearly the same. If you have dental insurance, a portion may be covered.
Dental hygiene with braces is another big concern. Braces wearers often do better with a water pick instead of floss. You can remove Invisilign to brush/floss your teeth normally, and you can soak the trays in a sanitizing solution to clean them.
Typically, you see your orthodontist every month for braces follow-up appointments. Invisalign patients change their aligners every two weeks and see their orthodontist every five weeks.
Follow-up care is something too many patients overlook. Retainers are often a fact of life after orthodontia, whether you have braces or Invisalign, although you might need to wear your retainer only at night.
Comparing effectiveness between the two methods is critical. Braces are often better for complicated issues (and you’re not tempted to take them out!).
Orthodontics come with some natural discomfort. Braces can cause mild pain and soreness after appointments and while teeth move. Invisalign can also cause mild discomfort when teeth move.
Braces can cause tooth discoloration as well, but it’s not permanent.
So, who shouldn’t choose braces? Those who engage in rough contact sports on a regular basis. Invisalign should be avoided in patients with bridgework, vertical tooth movement, problems with bite in the back teeth, and anyone who can’t commit to keeping them in regularly.
Contact Johnson Elite Orthodontics today for a free consultation and help deciding if Invisalign or braces are right for you.