Sometimes patients ask us questions about the differences between Invisalign versus Braces. Everyone wants a confident smile, and now people, including adults, are increasingly interested in some of the alternatives to traditional metal braces.
In many cases, it is possible to achieve the smile you dream of with Invisalign. Of course, this depends on your needs and the health of your teeth and gums. Your first step to learning whether you are a good candidate for braces or Invisalign is to schedule a thorough examination and consultation.
This article is not intended as a substitute for professional dental advice. There are so many variations in oral health that your best advice will come from an ongoing relationship with a dentist who is looking out for your oral health. This is also why we don’t recommend the self-serve style tooth straightening options.
The choice boils down to which option is most appropriate for your needs and your budget.
A Quick Comparison of Braces and Invisalign
When people think of braces, these are what they imagine. Metal brackets are glued to the teeth, and the orthodontist uses wires that attach to the brackets to slowly shift the alignment of your teeth. Some modern braces use brackets and wires that match your teeth or are even in fun, contrasting colors. Braces can be less expensive, depending on the situation, and require less self-motivation.
Instead of brackets and wires, your dentist uses clear BPA-free plastic trays to gradually realign your teeth. Many patients find the trays comfortable and an easier, more attractive alternative to metal braces. However, the patient must follow instructions and consistently wear the trays for the best results.
Either method can achieve the same goals — gradually changing the alignment of your teeth. Both also require the supervision of a qualified dental professional.
Since so many patients ask us about Invisalign, we want to highlight some of the unique benefits of this option. Other non-brand names invisible aligners are available. We don’t recommend them for a variety of reasons, including the quality of the materials and track record of proven results. If you have questions, feel free to ask.
Initial Considerations When Choosing Invisalign Versus Braces
Adults often prefer Invisalign versus braces because of the subtle, virtually unnoticeable appearance of clear aligners. They feel less self-conscious then they do with a mouth full of visible metal.
From a distance, friends, colleagues, and strangers might not even notice that you are wearing Invisalign. Also they can be easily removed for things like eating or posing for a photo.
When it comes to oral hygiene and gum health, Invisalign is a preferred option because you can simply brush and floss your teeth as usual. You simply remove your aligner for oral care. Maintaining clean and healthy teeth and gums is a little more challenging with traditional braces. Invisalign does require that you brush your teeth after each meal and before putting the aligners back in your mouth to avoid staining and other issues.
Busy people often like the convenience of Invisalign because the visits to the dentist tend to be shorter, and the appointment intervals can be longer. Some even opt to see an out-of-town expert because the less frequent visits can justify the added travel time per visit.
For effective treatment, patients must wear their Invisalign aligners for 22 hours every day throughout the process. When weighing the options between Invisalign versus Braces, the dentist may want to discuss how long your treatment is likely to take. People often burn out on wearing aligners all day, every day. Many minor issues can be fixed within months, so every case is a little different.
The Invisalign Process
If you are considering Invisalign, always see a dentist who is certified like the team at Southview Dentistry. For example, Dr. Kelly not only completed training for the correct use of Invisalign, but she also regularly attends continuing education courses to keep up on best practices.
During your initial appointment, Dr. Kelly takes photographs and a digital impression of your teeth. She uses this to determine the necessary steps to move your teeth in the “right direction” for your goals. After you approve the plan, your first set of aligners are created. She will see you on average, every six weeks to check on progress and adjust your treatment as necessary.
Much of the work happens every day at home. As a patient, you wear the aligners for 22 hours daily and clean your teeth after each meal. The length of time involved in the process will vary based on the initial alignment of your teeth and how well you comply with treatment and respond to treatment.
In Summary, A Few Advantages of Invisalign Versus Braces
Both braces and Invisalign help you realign your teeth. Here are a few reasons why so many patients prefer Invisalign:
- You can continue to eat your favorite foods. Patients with braces sometimes have to avoid certain foods that might get stuck in the braces.
- You can remove the trays whenever you want, but be aware that successful treatment is dependent on wearing them 22 hours a day.
- People who might feel self-conscious wearing metal braces may prefer the very discreet appearance of Invisalign.
- You can brush and floss as normal, versus following specialized oral hygiene practices. People with braces have to use other methods like a water flosser to clean around the metal brackets.
- The tray is usually comfortable.
- Traditional braces sometimes require more frequent orthodontist appointments that last longer.
We hope this article helps you understand the pros and cons of choosing between Invisalign versus braces. This is a highly personal decision, but many teens and adults find they love Invisalign.
To find out which option is right for you, schedule a consultation with a trained professional. Charlotte-area residents have trusted their smiles to Southview Dentistry for over a decade. We love helping our patients transition into a healthy and confident smile!
Contact Southview Dentistry today to schedule your consultation.