A Comparison of Pros And Cons of Braces vs Invisalign
Metal braces have long been the main traditional method of straightening teeth, and later down the road Invisalign was introduced to the market as an alternative treatment with different strengths and weaknesses. What’s a better choice for you – Invisalign or braces? Our goal at Braces By Henry is to help you consider all the options in order to seek the proper treatment that works best for you. Today, we’ll compare and contrast the 2 very popular ways to straighten your smile to help you get a better understanding and help decide which would be the best fit for you.
Invisalign vs Braces: A Break Down of the Basics
Orthodontic braces have been around since the early 1800s, with teeth-aligning practices dating all the way back to the ancient Egyptians. Braces have been well-established in the dental industry for teeth alignment. Traditional braces require metal brackets to attach to the teeth, with wires and rubber bands slowly tightening and pulling your teeth to its desired alignment over a long period of time (2 years on average). Modern braces provide options to choose bracket colors that match closely to your enamel for better camouflage. Braces do require more maintenance than Invisalign. The brackets and wires can often be in the way and pose challenges to proper hygiene. Water piks are recommended to access hard to reach areas of the teeth and gums. You can expect follow-up visits every 4-6 weeks to change out the bands and along with the wires as needed. Make a note that you will have to make up for every appointment you miss!
Invisalign, on the other hand, has been widely used for the last 15 years, and has been increasing in popularity. Is Invisalign better than braces? This newer aligning method is designed to be invisible, using customized smooth, clear plastic aligner trays worn over your teeth to slowly straighten it over time without irritating the gums or cheeks as the brackets and wires sometimes do. This treatment option allows the patient to remove their trays as they please to eat, drink, floss, and brush. Invisalign allows easy access to your teeth as normal. However, it is important to stick to the recommended guidelines of wear. With Invisalign, you can expect follow-up visits every 4-6 weeks and changing your custom aligner every 2 weeks as part of the straightening process. Missing any appointments for follow-up visits or new aligners may undo or prolong progress.
Let’s Compare Braces vs Invisalign Pros & Cons
Both are great options for effectively straightening your teeth, but which treatment process is better for you? Let’s compare the pros and cons of each to help you decide.
- Have been around much longer than Invisalign as the main and extremely efficient method for teeth alignment
- Majority of orthodontists specialize in braces and offer this treatment at their office
- Quicker treatment option for any patients at risk of non-compliance
- Can be customized with colored rubber bands
- Highly visible when smiling
- May not be a good option for patients with pre-existing dental health conditions
- Comes with certain food restrictions and may require repair for broken brackets or wires
- Treatment time averages between 18 months to 3 years
- Practicing good hygiene may be challenging since not removable
- Tend to be more comfortable to wear than braces
- Much less noticeable method than braces
- Treatment time averages between 6-18 months, depending on patient’s needs (if routinely worn 20-22 hours every day)
- Considered less invasive than braces
- No food restrictions
- Can be removed to eat, floss, and teeth brushing
- Easier to maintain good dental hygiene during treatment
- Cost comparable to braces
- Treatment may take longer for patients who remove their trays too frequently
- Since trays are removable, can get lost or misplaced often, sometimes requiring replacements which adds costs
- May not be good option for patients with severely crooked teeth
- Can be more expensive than braces if patients require extensive alignment
When it comes to comparing these two effective treatments, it can be tough to decide. Adults and teens alike are often self-conscious about their teeth and may opt for Invisalign for a discrete and appealing look that is removable. Remember, non-compliant patients may have a hard time achieving their desired smiles if they fail to wear their trays for the recommended time each day. This does not apply to metal or ceramic braces because you are unable to remove them as you please. Whether you choose traditional braces or Invisalign, you can bet they will help improve your smile and have a major impact on your overall oral health. Hopefully this adds a little more insight on your treatment options!
We invite you to come in for a free consultation by clicking the “Schedule a Free New Patient Exam” button top right. Our experts at Align Orthodontics have over 26 years of experience to help you decide which option works better for you and offer affordable Invisalign prices similar to that of braces.