Invisalign can invisibly straighten your teeth, and you can even take them out for up to two hours each day for special events — so why would anyone choose braces? There are very good reasons, and no two patients (or mouths) are the same. Only your orthodontist can tell you if Invisalign or braces is better for you. However, if you want to do your own research, start with the basics: From a price standpoint, it can be negligible. Invisalign is clear, while braces can come in a variety of colors, from classic silver to pink or blue and even tooth colored. Of course, braces are worn around the clock and Invisalign is worn for 22-24 hours each day. The clear winner seems to be Invisalign, but not so fast.
Typically, braces are worn for two years, but Invisalign may be necessary for only 18 months — this all depends on the patient, so check with your orthodontist. Price can vary a lot with braces, and at the high end, they’re comparable to Invisalign. However, at the low end they can be about 33 percent of the Invisalign cost. Many dental insurance plans cover part or all of orthodontics, so make sure your insurance company is working with your orthodontist. You may also be able to work out financing with your dental team.
A Comparison Cheat Sheet
Most patients with braces check in with their orthodontist once a month, whereas Invisalign users swap out aligners every two weeks. If an aligner is lost, it can be a costly replacement (unless the patient is a teenager on the Invisalign Teen Program, then it can be covered). Braces excel at tackling complicated issues, and you can’t lose them. This makes them a great match for patients who need a little help in the self-discipline department, or anyone with complex dental issues to address. Braces also don’t require additional cleaning steps, although a water flosser might be helpful since traditional flossing can be a challenge.
Patients who have Invisalign need to remove their aligners before eating or drinking, which can be tough for some people — like athletes who regularly sip on water during long workouts. You also need to brush your teeth after every meal when you have Invisalign, which can be annoying in situations like vacations, eating out or simply when you forget your travel toothbrush and aren’t going home soon after a dinner out.
Finally, the braces-versus-Invisalign debate comes down to what you’re trying to achieve. Braces are fantastic for any type of orthodontic treatment and especially recommended for athletes. However, Invisalign can be a great choice for those facing bridgework, back tooth issues, rotating canines or premolars, and vertical teeth movement.
Contact Johnson Elite Orthodontics for a free consultation about whether braces or Invisalign would be best for you or your child.