Looking to repair your teeth and get a better smile? Braces might be the first time to pop in your mind but they’re not the only solution available.
About 20% of the population has a not-so-ideal bite, which leads many to get orthodontic treatments to correct their teeth’s alignment. Braces have been the go-to option for some time now, but the use of Invisalign is also becoming a popular option.
They work the same way, but they have different advantages and disadvantages. It’s not only a matter of choosing whether you want metal brackets or clear plastic aligners. You have to factor in the cost, the maintenance, the duration, and the best method for your specific case.
Invisalign vs braces: which should you get? Find out below.
What are Braces?
Dental braces use metal brackets glued to the teeth, with wires and bands connecting these brackets. This device has been around for years. There’s even evidence suggesting that some form of braces has existed at around 1,000 B.C.
It’s the traditional choice for straightening out children’s teeth, which leads to a lot of teasing from peers, but adults are now using it as well. In fact, more and more adults invest in their smile.
Braces are efficient at treating complex issues. They stay on the teeth so users with a lack of discipline can’t remove them without a dental professional.
Patients usually notice a difference in their teeth’s alignment in a short amount of time. This increases their self-confidence and their resolve to see through the treatment.
There are also now color options that make them more fun or less noticeable.
Although these options exist, it still doesn’t take a second look to know a person has braces. This can lead to some self-esteem issues, although the stigma around braces is vanishing.
It’s also easy to get sores, pain, and discomfort on the inside of your cheeks and your gums. If you don’t observe proper hygiene, you’re more prone to tooth discoloration and hygiene.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign has the same uses as braces, but instead of sticking metal in your mouth, you use clear smooth plastic aligner trays. It uses x-rays, impressions, and photos to create a 3D image of your teeth to configure the aligner trays.
You’ll have to wear them for 22 to 24 hours a day as they move your teeth to your desired alignment.
As the name suggests, the Invisalign is almost invisible and unnoticeable even to you. This may be the option if you’re self-conscious. It doesn’t irritate the gums and cheeks like braces do, so it almost unnoticeable to you, too.
It’s removable, so you can take it out it before eating and drinking. You won’t have to worry about food bits getting stuck or eating certain food that might cause discomfort.
Being removable is also a disadvantage. You’ll have to clean it regularly, and you have to brush your teeth every time you eat as you’ll have to wear a new tray. This means you always have to remember bringing one when you go out.
It’s also a matter of discipline. You have to make sure to remember to remove then put them back on.
Invisalign isn’t suitable for more complex tooth issues as well.
Invisalign vs Braces
Now, let’s take a look at some of their major differences to help you decide better.
The average treatment time for Invisalign is 6 to 18 months. This will vary depending on how much movement your teeth need to get to your desired effect. You can do your part in shortening the timeframe by sticking to the guidelines and practicing discipline.
For dental braces, the average is between 18 months to 3 years. This varies according to the severity of your specific case.
The average cost of braces can range from $1,800 to $5,500, which depends on the severity and the duration of treatment. You’ll also have to pay extra if you want different colored ones, which includes the enamel color.
On average, the average Invisalign cost reaches $5,000. This means it’s a more expensive treatment for less serious cases. The main factor that dictates the price is the duration of the treatment.
Your insurance may cover these devices depending on your orthodontic coverage.
Braces typically come in silver, the color of metal. However, you can pay extra for other colors like pink, blue, gold, and such. You can also opt for clear braces to make them less noticeable.
Invisalign only comes in a clear material without any color.
Braces don’t need extra care aside from regular brushing and flossing. Note that if you’re not taking care of your teeth, getting braces will aggravate the consequences of the lack of proper dental hygiene. Your main priority, though, is to avoid food building up.
We recommend avoiding specific food like popcorn, gum, apples, and other chewy and crunchy favorites. You may also use an accessory like waterpiks to get to the hard to reach places.
Invisalign designed a cleaning system to help you clean your aligners. It rids the aligners of plaque, dirt, and odor in only 15 minutes.
There are other procedures, like rinsing it with lukewarm water, using a dental cleaner, and brushing it with toothpaste and a brush. You can do the cleaning as you brush your teeth, so it’s hassle-free.
As your teeth move, you’ll need your dentist to adjust your orthopedic device to make sure they’re putting enough pressure on your teeth to move to your desired alignment.
For braces, you’ll have to come in every 4 to 6 weeks. The visit only lasts 30 to 60 minutes, but there might be a slight discomfort after tightening.
For Invisalign, your aligners need replacing every 2 weeks, plus your follow-up visits are every 4 to 6 weeks.
Which Should You Get?
Still confused about Invisalign vs braces and which is better for you? Let us help you! Contact us today and schedule an appointment so we can assess which is the best treatment course for you to achieve that perfect smile.