You could decide between Invisalign and braces to straighten your teeth and improve your smile. Both dental treatments work by putting pressure on your teeth over time to straighten them gradually. However, each has unique qualities, advantages, and disadvantages that could affect your choice.
Invisalign and braces can be compared in terms of cost, appearance, comfort, effectiveness, speed, and care. Based on your choice, you can select one which suits you best.
What is Invisalign?
Clear aligners from the Invisalign brand are manufactured specifically for your teeth. They offer a discreet and cost-effective option for straightening teeth because they are removable and almost unnoticeable. To gradually reposition your teeth, you wear several aligners that are changed about every one to two weeks and are different from one another.
Many dental issues, including crowded teeth, overbites, underbites, crossbites, open bites, and gaps between the teeth, can be treated with Invisalign. It might not be helpful in more difficult or complex situations that require better teeth straightening.
What are braces?
Braces are fixed appliances made up of brackets made of metal or ceramic that are wired together and attached to each tooth. An orthodontist tightens the wire regularly to exert pressure on the teeth and shift them into the proper position.
Almost any malocclusion (poor bite) or jaw and tooth misalignment can be fixed with braces. Although they are more effective and adaptable than Invisalign, they are also more uncomfortable and noticeable.
What are the Factors that you need to consider when choosing between Invisalign and braces?
Various factors, including your location, the complexity and duration of your treatment, and the orthodontist you select, affect the price of orthodontic treatments. Braces vary in price from $3,000–$7,000 in the United States. Invisalign may be comparable or a little more expensive.
Some dental insurance plans may partially cover orthodontic treatments, especially for children and teens. Braces are somewhat more likely to be protected than Invisalign. Dentists and orthodontists also offer financing and flexible payment plans to make teeth straightening treatments more affordable. Third-party healthcare financing solutions are another option to think about.
The aesthetic appeal of Invisalign over braces is one of its main advantages. Plastic aligners like Invisalign look like clear retainers and are hardly noticeable, even from close distances. They do not interfere with your smile or facial expressions.
Braces, on the other hand, are usually visible on the front of your teeth. They may affect your confidence and self-esteem, especially as an adult. However, there are some options to make braces less obvious, such as clear or tooth-colored brackets and wires or lingual braces that are attached to the back of your teeth.
Another benefit of Invisalign is its comfort level. Clear aligners are smooth and do not irritate your gums or cheeks like metal braces can. They also do not require any adjustments or tightening by an orthodontist.
However, Invisalign may also cause some discomfort initially or when you switch to a new set of aligners. You may experience some pressure or soreness on your teeth as they move⁴. You may also have excessive salivation and speak with a lisp for the first few days after starting treatment.
Braces tend to cause more pain and discomfort than Invisalign, especially in the early weeks of treatment, and each time an orthodontist tightens them. You may also have difficulty eating certain foods or cleaning your teeth with braces.
Both Invisalign and braces are effective in straightening teeth and improving oral health. However, their effectiveness may vary depending on the type and severity of your dental problem.
Braces generally work better than Invisalign for more complex or severe cases requiring more precise tooth movement or extraction. Braces can also treat vertical movements of the teeth, such as closing gaps or correcting deep bites, better than Invisalign.
Conversely, Invisalign works well for simple to moderate cases that do not require extraction or significant bite correction. Invisalign can also treat some cases that braces cannot, such as intrusions (pushing teeth into the jawbone) or extrusions (pulling teeth out of the jawbone).
The speed of treatment depends on the individual case and the patient's compliance. Braces may generally work faster than Invisalign to close gaps and align teeth. The average treatment time for braces is about 18 to 24 months, while the average treatment time for Invisalign is about 12 to 18 months.
However, some factors may affect the speed of treatment, such as the complexity of the case, the orthodontist's skill, and the patient's cooperation. For example, if you do not wear your Invisalign aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours per day as recommended, your treatment may take longer or be less effective.
Invisalign and braces require proper care and maintenance to ensure optimal results and prevent complications. However, there are some differences in how you take care of them.
Invisalign aligners are removable, so you can take them out when you eat, drink, brush, and floss. This makes cleaning your teeth easier and avoids stains, cavities, and gum disease. However, you must also regularly clean your Invisalign aligners with a soft toothbrush and mild soap or a special cleaning solution. You must also store them in a protective case when not in use and avoid exposing them to heat or direct sunlight.
Braces are fixed to your teeth, so you cannot remove them until your treatment is complete. This makes it harder to clean your teeth and avoid plaque buildup, food particles, and bacteria. You must brush and floss carefully around your braces and use special tools such as interdental brushes or water flossers. You must also avoid eating hard, sticky, or chewy foods that may damage your braces or wires.
How to decide?
The best way to decide between Invisalign and braces is to consult an orthodontist who can evaluate your dental condition and recommend the most suitable option. You should also consider your personal preferences, budget, lifestyle, and goals.
Some questions you may want to ask yourself are:
- How much do I care about the appearance of my teeth during treatment?
- How much am I willing to pay for my treatment?
- How disciplined am I in following the instructions of my orthodontist?
- How comfortable am I with wearing a device on my teeth for an extended period?
- How severe is my dental problem, and what results do I expect?
Ultimately, the choice between Invisalign and braces is yours. Both have pros and cons, but both can help you achieve a healthier and more beautiful smile.
Author Bio: Emily Taylor found the perfect fit for herself as the Online Marketing Manager at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno CA as she believes that a great smile does more than just make a person look great – it makes them feel great as well. The power of a smile has always been a mystery to Emily, and she loves researching and writing about it. She loves to write about everything to do with a healthy bite and a beautiful smile – weather is it ways to achieve it or the importance of it in the various aspects of life. What brings a big smile on Emily’s face is her family and surfing. She also likes to bake, and her children and co-workers call her the cookie fairy!