Braces VS. Invisalign: How to Choose
Crooked, misaligned teeth and a poor bite can interfere with your quality of life and inhibit your satisfaction with your appearance. You may feel certain you want to take action to improve your smile, but with several different options on the market, it can be difficult to tell which direction is best. Both braces and Invisalign will straighten your teeth, boosting your self-confidence and increasing the functionality of your jaw. Below we will explore the pros and cons of each choice and discuss which one might be ideal for you.
What are braces?
Braces are traditionally metal brackets attached to the outer surface of your teeth. Today, there are a few different options for the material used, including ceramic. Small wires are connected to the brackets to place pressure on the teeth and move them into the correct position. Rubber bands are used to further manipulate the jaw and combat your particular orthodontic concerns.
Some of the advantages of braces include:
- Can treat multiple dental issues – No case is too difficult to be treated with braces. Whether you have an underbite, an overbite, gapped teeth, or overcrowded teeth, braces can fix the problem.
- Can achieve a nearly flawless smile – Braces can move the teeth a significant amount, accomplishing your primary aesthetic goals.
- Time-efficient solution – Braces can help you finish your treatment quickly.
Some disadvantages of braces include:
- Poor aesthetic appearance – Some patients feel self-conscious when they smile and reveal a mouth full of metal.
- Difficult to care for – It can be challenging to brush and floss your teeth with braces. If you don’t do it properly, plaque buildup can lead to cavities. You will need to follow your orthodontist’s directions carefully.
- Difficult to eat and drink certain foods – Patients will need to avoid hard or sticky foods, which can dislodge the brackets. If the brackets get pried loose, it can prolong treatment time to fix them.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign relies on clear plastic alignment devices that are customized to the patient’s jaw through the use of a 3D scan. The aligners incrementally move the teeth into the desired position, improving the overall look of your smile.
Some advantages of Invisalign include:
- Appealing aesthetic presentation – Patients enjoy the fact that Invisalign is virtually undetectable. Adults and teens alike don’t have to worry others will notice their treatment.
- The aligners can be removed – While patients do need to wear Invisalign 20-22 hours per day, the devices can be taken out while eating, allowing patients to enjoy all their favorite foods without discomfort.
- Flossing and brushing are easy – Since Invisalign is removable, patients can easily maintain their dental hygiene during treatment, preventing cavities and plaque buildup.
- Minimal time in the office – With Invisalign, you won’t need to visit your orthodontist very often since your treatment plan is created at the start and typically doesn’t require revisions as you go along.
- Invisalign is comfortable – Since Invisalign doesn’t come with wires and rubber bands, the treatment may be less painful for your gums and mouth. You won’t experience cuts or abrasions as you might with metal braces.
Some disadvantages of Invisalign include:
- Discipline is required – Patients will need to keep their aligners on for an adequate amount of time each day in order for the treatment to work. Patient compliance is key in order to achieve the desired outcome.
- Removing aligners may be inconvenient – It can be a hassle to have to remove the aligners every time you want to eat or drink something. Then you’ll need to brush your teeth before putting the aligners back on.
- Cannot treat all dental issues – Invisalign aligners are not recommended for complex orthodontic issues.
Which treatment is right for you?
An experienced orthodontist will be able to counsel you effectively regarding the best option for your individual case. Not everyone will qualify to receive Invisalign, as the system is not viable for more complex cases. Factors such as cost, total treatment time, comfort, maintaining hygiene, and aesthetics will all affect your final decision. Either way, you can expect an improvement in your appearance and the self-confidence that comes with loving your smile.
What is the takeaway?
When it comes to choosing the best orthodontic treatment for you, knowledge is key. Our team at Hardin Dentistry is eager to speak with you about your options for improving the form and function of your teeth. We will go over the pros and cons of each choice carefully so that your expectations are realistic. We will then create a treatment plan customized to your needs and goals. Call us today to get started!