When it comes to orthodontic care, patients now have more options than ever. Invisalign, Damon braces, ceramic bridges, and traditional metal braces can correct all kinds of misalignments in teeth. The two most popular options are Invisalign and traditional metal braces. When comparing Invisalign vs. braces, how do you know which one should you get?
Invisalign vs. Braces: How to Choose
Keep in mind that Invisalign is not an effective option for everyone, but braces can be used for most corrections. If both options are available to you, consider these factors to make the right choice based on your needs, expectations, and lifestyle.
When it comes to appearance, the winner in the Invisalign vs braces battle is literally clear. Invisalign, which uses clear alignment trays that fit the shape of your teeth, is completely transparent and therefore difficult to notice. Braces, on the other hand, use metal brackets and wires to correct teeth, which are hard to miss. Adults or children that are especially self-conscious about their appearance may prefer Invisalign.
The patient has little control over this issue. Invisalign will make subtle corrections to teeth, but it isn’t recommended for complex orthodontic issues. If teeth require only slight straightening or subtle movements, Invisalign might be the ideal option. However, if you have significant gaps, overcrowding, or turned teeth, braces will be faster and more effective.
Length of Treatment
Since they are made for less extreme corrections than braces, patients generally do not wear Invisalign as long as braces, however, braces move teeth faster. Patients usually wear Invisalign between 6 and 18 months, while braces stay on anywhere between 18 months and three years, depending on the issue.
Comfort Level of Each
Invisalign uses a series of trays molded into just the right shape, which gently moves teeth in the right direction over time. Braces use metal wire and secure brackets to put pressure on teeth and move them faster. Since they are made of metal and apply more pressure, braces cause more friction and discomfort than Invisalign. Most patients agree the discomfort of Invisalign is small.
When it comes to the cleanliness of Invisalign vs. metal braces, it depends on the patient. Invisalign trays must be removed when eating or drinking or they will become stained. Patients should brush their teeth before putting the trays back in. The trays also require regular cleaning. This isn’t necessary with braces, however, patients must be more diligent when brushing and flossing, as particles can easily get caught in the wires and brackets.
Frequency of Orthodontic Visits
When it comes to orthodontic visits, there is no clear winner between Invisalign vs braces. Patients should make appointments every 4 to 6 weeks, regardless of the type of corrector they use. However, Invisalign trays will be changed every two weeks, while braces will only be tightened during orthodontic appointments.
Both braces and Invisalign require diligence and discipline. When wearing braces, patients must stay away from foods like gum, popcorn, and apples, which can get stuck in the wires or brackets. Patients must also brush and floss carefully to avoid tooth decay. Since Invisalign trays are removable, patients must make themselves wear them at least 20 hours a day, otherwise, they won’t work. They must also brush their teeth and clean the trays diligently to avoid staining.
Cost of Invisalign vs. Cost of Metal Braces
Total cost is often a deciding factor between Invisalign vs braces. Invisalign is more expensive than braces, usually by 20 to 50 percent. Getting an accurate estimate before choosing a corrector will help you compare the costs of each. To get an idea of your cost of treatment, use our monthly payment calculator for orthodontics.
When deciding between Invisalign vs braces, consider all the factors and ask yourself which option would work best for you. If you’re not sure, ask your orthodontic specialist which they would recommend. Both Invisalign and braces are long-term investments, so it’s a good idea to compare prices, compare specialists, and budget accordingly. To learn more or get an estimate for Invisalign or braces, make an appointment at one of our 20 locations in and around the Las Vegas-Henderson area.