Are you thinking about getting your own or your child’s teeth straightened? Indeed, a very wise decision. However, when you visit the orthodontist, you will probably be presented with two options chose from; braces or Invisalign aligners. Being parents, you would naturally want what is best for your kid. So, you might wonder “which is better: braces or Invisalign?”
Choosing the right orthodontic treatment option for your child is a difficult decision. You need to consider so many factors like the estimated cost, duration of treatment and the number of visits required. This article gives a comparison between braces and Invisalign aligners so that you make an informed decision and choose the option which best suits you or your child’s needs.
What are Braces and Invisalign Aligners?
Let’s start with a brief overview of the braces and Invisalign aligners.
- What are Braces? – Braces are fixed metallic appliances that are attached to each tooth with adhesive cement. The braces, also known as the brackets, contain slots through which a metallic wire passes through. (section deleted, we don’t use the rubber ligatures anymore)
- How Do Braces work? – The orthodontic wires used with braces are made from different metal alloys and are available in different diameters. Dentists use different types of wires, which exert a direct force on the teeth and move them into the desired position and angulation. When the treatment with braces has been completed, and the desired results have been achieved, your dentist will use removable or fixed retainers to prevent the teeth from moving back.
- What is Invisalign? – Invisalign is a system or removable transparent aligners in which multiple sets of aligners are sequentially worn for correcting different types of orthodontic problems.
- How Invisalign Works? – The Invisalign removable aligners are designed in such a way that each set of aligners will gradually move your teeth to a predetermined position. When you wear the next of aligners after 14 days, they will continue to move your teeth as planned by your dentist. In this way, you will continue to wear new aligners every 14 days until the desired results have been achieved. At this stage, your dentist will give you clear retainers, which have been specifically designed for the Invisalign system.
Braces and Invisalign: What’s the Difference?
Now, let’s make a comparison between the conventional braces and Invisalign aligners.
A common question we get is how much do braces costs? How much does Invisalign cost?
We understand that that cost is one of the most important factors which you need to consider while choosing between Invisalign and braces is the estimated cost of treatment. When treating misaligned teeth with metal braces, you can expect to pay anywhere between $5000 to $9000. When it comes to the Invisalign aligners, it may cost you between $6000 to $10000 to get your teeth straightened. However, the actual cost of treatment may vary according to the severity of the orthodontic problem and the fees of the orthodontic practice you chose for your treatment.
Since braces are made from metal alloys, their shiny metallic appearance is a cosmetic concern for many patients. Therefore, many people refuse to get treated with braces because they affect their smile and facial appearance. On the other hand, the Invisalign aligners are prepared from a unique transparent polymer. As a result, they are not visible when you speak or smile. Therefore, due to their excellent aesthetics, the Invisalign aligners are quickly replacing the conventional braces and the most commonly used orthodontic treatment option throughout the world.
How Long Does the Treatment Take?
Whether your child is wearing braces or removable aligners, the duration of your treatment will depend on various factors such as the complexity of the problem and adherence to the dentist’s instruction regarding the use of aligners. However, generally, the duration of treatment can vary between 12-24 months when you are wearing braces. On the other hand, treatment with the Invisalign clear aligners may require anywhere between 6-18 months to complete.
Frequency of Visits
When we talk about metal braces, you need to see your dentist after every 4-6 weeks for a general check-up or re-adjustment, if required. In the case of Invisalign removable aligner, the need for frequent check-up visits is reduced considerably. This is because your dentist will give you all the sets of aligners when your treatment begins. You simply need to switch to the next numbered set of aligners after wearing the previous ones for 14 days. With Invisalign, you may need to visit your dentist after every 6-8 weeks. Therefore, Invisalign is best for people who are very busy and cannot visit their dentists very frequently.
Your dietary choices are quite limited when you are getting treated with braces. Braces are appliances which are fixed to the teeth with an adhesive material. Therefore, dentists advise their patients to avoid eating sticky or hard foods during their treatment, as doing so may result in the dislodgment of their braces from the teeth.
On the other hand, there is no such restriction when we talk about Invisalign aligners. Why? Because you can remove your aligners whenever you want to eat anything. So, you can enjoy all your favourite foods and drinks without any restrictions. Just make sure that you clean your teeth and wash your aligners with water before putting them back on! Failing to do so may result in staining and discolouration of your aligners.
Oral Hygiene Maintenance
Oral hygiene maintenance becomes even more critical when you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. In the case of braces, the food particles tend to stick to the brackets, or in the space between two teeth. Unfortunately, regular toothbrushes are unable to clean these areas, resulting in higher chances of developing teeth cavities or gum problems.
Oral hygiene maintenance is simple when it comes to the Invisalign aligners. Just remove your aligners whenever you brush your teeth or floss and remove them back on after rinsing with warm water. So, in terms of oral hygiene maintenance, the Invisalign aligners are superior to the conventional metallic braces.
Comfort and Convenience
You might have seen people complaining about how uncomfortable the braces are. This is because the sharp edges of the brackets tend to injure the lips and cheeks, especially during the initial days of treatment. They also create a significant problem during eating and speaking. The Invisalign aligners have eliminated these problems. The aligners used in the Invisalign system are prepared by using high grade and flexible polymers. Therefore, they will adopt the shape of your mouth as you speak and will not cause discomfort or any injury. This is also one of the reasons why many people now prefer Invisalign aligners over the conventional braces for their treatment.
So, Which Option Is Better?
Both braces and Invisalign aligners are excellent options for treating orthodontic problems. Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to decide which of them is a better option as both have their own merits and demerits. However, we have presented a comparison between them which will help you in choosing the right option while considering your oral health and cosmetic needs. Moreover, your dentist is the best person to suggest a treatment option which best suits your needs. So, consider all the factors mentioned above, consult your dentist and health cover company, and then decide!
Enamel Dental Studio offers both traditional braces and Invisalign aligners and many of our patients have had great success with them. Contact us today and book a consultation. We’d be only too happy to help you make an informed decision on which option best suits your needs.
We wish you a healthy, charming and a beautiful smile!