Invisalign Vs. Braces

As orthodontic treatment becomes so commonplace, discriminating against braces is seen less often. Now, the heavy metal brackets and equipment have evolved into less obvious metal devices to fix your crooked smile. But these are still visible enough to make a lot of people insecure.

Another solution to improving your smile is Invisalign. It’s a type of orthodontic treatment that can correct imperfections. It works like braces, but without the obvious metal equipment worn for years.

 

Invisalign is the name brand in the field of clear aligners. Since its amazing impact on the world of orthodontics back in 1997, other brands have tried to follow Invisalign’s footsteps. However, the original system was the first complete clear aligner product and still continues to be the leading choice.

Developed by Stanford University students Zia Chishti and Kelsey Worth, Invisalign’s has a special aim. The product was created to offer people who need orthodontic treatment a discrete option. With its series of clear plastic aligners that are removable, the company’s designers were able to achieve this goal. 

But braces are still a frequently used treatment for crooked smiles. There are advantages to the metal straighteners.

If you’re trying to decide between traditional braces and Invisalign, here is everything you should know in order to make your decision!

Benefits of Traditional Braces

Only an orthodontist can apply traditional braces. But the Invisalign treatment method is also highly specialized. To be able to use Invisalign aligners, the provider must be trained and certified in this innovative technique.

Invisalign gets its name from the clear material used to make the retainers. This material is a type of plastic called polyurethane resin. In technical terms, the resins used are a blend of two types of safe, medical-grade material. These are methylene diphenyl diisocyanate and 1.6-hexanediol.

Depending on your situation, you can get the same results as if you used traditional metal braces. The difference is that you’re using comfortable, removable aligners.

In some cases, your dentist or orthodontist may recommend braces, even if you prefer the Invisalign treatment. This may be for many reasons, such as:

  • Traditional braces are usually more affordable than Invisalign treatments, depending on the severity of your situation. 
  • Metal braces may solve your alignment or occlusion problem faster than any other alternative route.
  • Traditional braces are bonded to your teeth and can’t be removed, so you can’t “forget” to put them back after you take them out. Retainers and clear aligners are removable, but that also means they’re easily misplaced, lost, and forgotten.

Traditional braces continue to be popular, even with the accessibility of Invisalign. However, your dentist may suggest braces simply because he or she is not an Invisalign provider. If you go to one, like Serene Dental, you may find you prefer this dental solution.

Benefits of Invisalign

While only an orthodontist can apply traditional braces, the Invisalign treatment method is also highly specialized. To be able to use Invisalign aligners, the provider must be trained and certified in this innovative technique.

Invisalign gets its name from the clear material used to make the retainers. This material is a type of plastic called polyurethane resin. In technical terms, the resins used are a blend of two types of safe, medical-grade material. These are methylene diphenyl diisocyanate and 1.6-hexanediol.

Depending on your situation, you can get the same results as if you used traditional metal braces. The difference is that you’re using comfortable, removable aligners.

Invisalign’s procedure is unique and very advanced. If your dentist agrees that you could benefit from this type of treatment, you’ll schedule a consultation. At that appointment, you’ll receive a complete digital scan of your mouth. This is done with a 5D imaging program called iTero, only used by Invisalign.

The imaging program takes away the need for the yucky and uncomfortable dental impressions you’d need to have with braces. Because it’s a computerized program, it is usually ready within five minutes. Your dentist can use the visual designs provided to show you what your finished teeth will look like after a completed course of trays.

When you’re ready to get started, the program will send off an order to the lab to create a custom-made series of trays just for you. These will be replaced as you’re monitored every few weeks, slowly shifting your teeth until they’re aligned the way you want them.

It’s typical to receive a new tray every two to three weeks, depending on how your teeth are progressing. The new tray is created as your teeth shift and those movements are monitored through this period.

Braces Vs. Invisalign

If you’re still asking, “Should I get braces or Invisalign,” it’s time to break each down even further. Check out these frequently asked questions. They may help you understand exactly what each of these treatments includes.

  • Is Invisalign as effective as traditional braces? Since the first primitive braces date all the way back to ancient Egyptian mummies, it’s safe to say they’ve come a long way. Over centuries, they’ve been perfected and adjusted into the method we use today. So they’ve had lots of time to become as effective as possible.

Invisalign has only been around for a few decades. However, the computer technology we use today is pretty far advanced. The developers didn’t need centuries or millennia to find the best way to straighten your teeth. With the right program and materials, Invisalign’s results are comparable to, and, in some cases, even better than braces.

In severe cases, your dentist may recommend braces. This is because conditions like impacted teeth and severe crowding need specialized treatments. They may respond better to the sturdiness of braces.

If your teeth are severely misaligned, the strong grip of the brackets used in braces can realign them. They have a tension that is created with the brackets that can move even the most impacted of teeth.

  • Is it better to have permanent or removable straighteners? Again, there are pros and cons to each of these options. 

When you choose braces, they are bonded to your teeth and can’t be removed without specialized equipment. The advantage to this is that they’re constantly moving your teeth into place. Another benefit is that you don’t have to remember to put them back in your mouth after you take them out to eat.

Invisalign aligners can be removed, but they still have to be in your mouth, in position, at least 22 hours every day to do the job. If you forget to put them in place before you go to sleep, you’ve lost a lot of their effectiveness. And you don’t have to worry about accidentally throwing them out with your discarded meal trash.

  • Finances are important. What’s the real Invisalign vs. braces cost? For a lot of families, the decision on Invisalign or braces boils down to the price of each. 

Braces tend to be cheaper, costing on average between $1,700 and $3,500. This, of course, depends on how severe your condition is and where the braces need to be paced, as well as your geographic location. Invisalign can range from $2,400 to $9,000.

Additionally, some insurance plans will cover one or the other. If you have a state-subsidized insurance plan, it most likely will partially or fully cover braces but not Invisalign.

Check with your dentist to see what the most cost-effective option is for you. Some offices also offer things like family discounts, monthly payment plans, and their own financing. 

  • I need results as soon as possible. With Invisalign vs. braces, which is faster? The answer to that question depends on the severity of your condition and how well you follow your treatment plan. If you’re looking for a fast-tracked solution, talk to your dentist to see if it’s feasible. 

With Invisalign, it’s possible to accidentally delay your own treatment by forgetting to wear your aligners. If that’s a concern of yours, braces may be the way to go. However, when worn correctly, Invisalign is proven to be as effective as braces in treating many conditions.

Another plus to Invisalign if time is your biggest worry is that they require less time in the office. Your trays are created in a series. As long as your progress is being monitored by your dentist, you may be able to keep up your treatment at home in between sets.

Appointments for braces require a monthly visit to adjust the brackets and tighten the wires as your teeth shift.

Invisalign is often the faster way to correct a lot of orthodontic conditions because the force is applied holistically to the teeth. With braces, the movement is geared towards shifting each individual tooth. It’s not uncommon for Invisalign patients to finish their treatment anywhere from 12 to 18 months, or less for milder problems.

When you use a trusted expert to take care of your teeth, you know they’re going to steer you in the right direction. You might think you’re better off with one treatment method, only to find out that your dentist suggests the opposite one!

A Quick Overview of the Advantages and Disadvantages of Each

It’s okay if you still have questions and uncertainties. It’s your mouth, your health, and your financial investment. 

Use this quick “pro and con” list to guide your questions and write them down before your dental consultation:

  • When it comes to esthetics, Invisalign looks better than braces. Invisalign are almost invisible. If you’re concerned about your appearance or in a professional industry, these have the advantage over braces.

  • Invisalign aligners are removable. You can take them out when you need to eat or if it’s a necessity. But they do have to be worn for 22 hours or more every day, so this isn’t an amazing perk. Braces may have the advantage here because you don’t have to worry about putting them back in or losing them. On the other hand, it’s easier to eat without metal braces getting in the way.

  • You can brush and floss your teeth seamlessly with Invisalign. Simply remove the aligner and take care of your teeth as you normally would. With braces, you have to learn how to care for your teeth in a special way.

  • Invisalign treatments take up less time. You don’t have to make scheduled monthly appointments to tighten your equipment. You just need to go in when it’s time to have your progress monitored and get your new set of aligners.

  • Braces are usually the more affordable solution, depending on your individual case. You also need to be sure you’re seeing a certified Invisalign provider, like those at Serene Dental, if you want to benefit from clear aligner treatments.

  • Invisalign is not recommended for people who have complex mouth conditions. If your orthodontic case is too severe, your dentist may recommend you get braces instead of Invisalign. Once your misalignment or occlusion is less severe, it may be possible to switch to Invisalign if that’s what you prefer at that time.

Use this list to decide if you’re leaning more towards Invisalign or traditional braces. Write down your questions and bring them to your next appointment. This step makes it easier for you to remember what you wanted to ask, and helps the dentist know what your concerns are.

Ready for Straighter Teeth? Schedule an Appointment Today 

If you’re unhappy with your smile, you don’t have to deal with it for the rest of your life. With so many orthodontic and dental options available now, there’s never been a better time to fix your smile!

The professional experts at Serene Dental will evaluate your oral health. We’ll let you know if you’re a candidate for Invisalign or if braces are a better option. Either way, the sooner you start your journey to a healthy, straighter smile, the faster you’ll get there!

Schedule an appointment with Serene Dental today to see how our experts can help you reach your goal of a healthy, straighter smile.