While straightening teeth was once a rare treatment for only those with severe dental malocclusion, today it has become more mainstream. With discreet and faster options like Invisalign providing a speedy alternative to metal braces, orthodontics have become worth the time, if only to get a get better smile.
There are many benefits of straightening your teeth, including preventing tooth loss, gum disease, and health risks associated with gum disease, such as heart disease. People with a beautiful smile also radiate confidence.
It is clear that straight teeth play a vital role in your physical and emotional health, especially for a teenager who’s extremely conscious about the opinions of those around them. But given the option between conventional braces and Invisalign, which one is worth the trouble? Both are good treatments for crooked or misaligned teeth, but they work differently. To find the ideal solution for you, it is important to examine the pros and cons of each option.
Braces vs Invisalign: pros and cons
How severe is your case?
Both braces and invisalign are effective solutions for most common teeth-straightening issues, when worn according to the recommendations of an orthodontist. Invisalign are most effective when used to treat mild to severe cases, such as overcrowding, gaps, underbite, and overbite. For more severe cases, such as malocclusions, crossbites, extremely crooked teeth, and other serious teeth and jaw flaws, it is better to opt for braces, because they can incorporate more wires and bands to rotate the teeth and shift the jawline.
Does your lifestyle suit braces or Invisalign better?
One of the best features of invisalign is that the aligners are removable. This is great for those involved in sports, so they don’t have to worry about damaging the braces when hit in the mouth. People who play instruments can also do it properly without braces interfering with the process. Finally, there are no restrictions to what you can eat with invisalign, unlike braces which have a long list of foods you should not take, from apples to popcorn.
While Invisalign is more convenient, it also comes with specific daily obligations that may be not be suitable for some people. For instance, if you frequently forget to wear your aligners, have to remove them many times, or misplace them, Invisalign might not be the best option for you. Many transparent plastic trays mistakenly end up in the washing machine or out in the scorching sun. You must wear the trays as instructed and store them properly for Invisalign to work. Because of this, some people like braces, which cannot be lost or removed at home.
In as far as lifestyle goes, you should also take into account that braces require adjusting every 4 weeks. Invisalign, on the other hand, requires that you change the aligners every 2 weeks. Fortunately, your orthodontist may give you several sets of aligners at a time (3-4 sets), so you can change them when the time comes without necessarily scheduling an appointment. So if you don’t want extra trips to the dentist, invisalign is a great choice.
How well can you clean your teeth with braces?
While dental braces align your teeth using a system of brackets fixed to your teeth and bound together by metal wires and small rubber bands, Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners that are custom-made for your teeth. You simply wear the aligners over your teeth and change them for a new set every two weeks – as your teeth gradually shift into place. Considering their mode of operation, braces make it difficult for toothbrush bristles to reach some areas, and nearly impossible to floss unless you use dental floss for braces. This makes maintaining dental hygiene with braces quite difficult. Removable aligners, on the other hand, can be removed when you need to eat and clean your teeth. This makes it easy to maintain proper hygiene by brushing and flossing normally.
How conscious are you about your looks?
Some people, especially teens, feel self-conscious about misaligned teeth, and using bulky and noticeable braces can further damage their confidence. Invisalign, on the other hand, is virtually transparent, and people rarely notice someone wearing them unless they are told. Because Invisalign aligners are almost invisible on your teeth, they may be a more aesthetically acceptable option. This is one of the reasons why they are so well-liked among teens and adults. Braces might not be the best option for you if you think they would make you smile less or cover your mouth more when in social settings. For a more aesthetically pleasing option, you might also consider the less obtrusive ceramic braces and lingual braces, which are worn on the backs of teeth. On the hand, kids may also have the option to choose the color of their braces.
How fast does Invisalign work?
The amount of time taken to complete your orthodontic treatment with either traditional braces or Invisalign is not set on stone. Your orthodontist will give you an estimate of the process and duration depending on the specifics of your individual treatment plan. The extent of a person’s dental and facial problems determines how quickly either orthodontic procedure can straighten their teeth
That said, Invisalign tends to be faster than braces. Unlike braces, which put pressure on the teeth that are out of place, Invisalign gradually realigns all of the teeth at once. Traditional braces are typically worn for one to three years, whereas the average treatment time with Invisalign is between six months and two years.
While aligners generally require a shorter course of treatment compared to conventional braces, studies show that the results obtained from patients with severe cases of malocclusion are not quite satisfactory when compared to those who choose braces. As such, it is often perceived that braces are better suited to treat severe overbites, even if treatment takes longer, while Invisalign is a good option for mild to moderate overbites since you can get the desired results sooner without the hassle of braces.
Invisalign vs braces: price
The price of Invisalign could also play a role in determining your choice of treatment. Invisalign can cost anything between $3,000 and $7,000. Despite the fact that both procedures are frequently fully or partially covered by dental insurance, braces tend to be less expensive than Invisalign. The location you live in and the orthodontist you choose are two additional factors that could affect the cost of both treatments.
Research has shown that Invisalign, is successful in treating mild to moderate orthodontic problems. Traditional braces may be a better option for treating severe malocclusion cases. Moreover, braces may not be as effective in treating mild or moderate cases as Invisalign. Although some people might need the addition of rubber bands to meet their treatment objectives, they are also less noticeable when worn.
For optimal results, it’s critical to wear the aligners as instructed. Whether you choose Invisalign or braces, you need a customized treatment plan that is based on your specific case.