Invisalign vs Braces
At Allura Orthodontics, we offer a variety of treatment options to choose from. Braces (metal braces and clear braces) and Invisalign are the two most popular techniques used by orthodontists in straightening the teeth of their patients. They straighten teeth to give them an ideal position, improve their look, and promote proper function. Invisalign utilizes a set of clear plastic trays as a means of achieving the position. Braces, either metal or clear, on the other hand, usually make use of metal wires with an aim of getting the most ideal movement or position for the teeth.
Invisalign vs Braces – Head to Head
Invisalign is more transparent: One of patients’ favorite things about Invisalign is its virtual transparency. Most people don’t even notice someone is wearing Invisalign until they are told. In certain cases, however, Invisalign utilizes tooth colored attachments that are bonded to the teeth for effective tooth movement. In such cases, Invisalign may be more noticeable depending on the location the size of the attachments.
The metal braces on the other hand are very noticeable, and esthetically may be least preferred option. While clear braces blend into the patient’s teeth, the brackets are more noticeable than Invisalign’s transparent retainer. Clear braces still require elastic rings and elastic chains that make the braces (even clear) more noticeable than Invisalign.
Invisalign can be removed: A big problem with ceramic braces is that they make brushing and flossing teeth difficult, as well as eating. Invisalign can be easily removed for both of these necessities, keeping your mouth healthy throughout the entire treatment process.
However, this does result in one downside of Invisalign – it takes discipline. You must remove the aligner trays when you are eating or drinking (except water). Other than that, as well as brushing and flossing, the aligners must be worn for at least 22 hours per day.
Braces on the other hand are not removable. Braces, along with the wire and the rings used to hold the wire in place should remain in place between your appointments.
Oral Hygiene Maintenance
Maintenance of proper oral hygiene is easier with Invisalign as it can be removed by the patient for proper brushing and flossing. Even with electronic tooth brushes, it can be difficult to maintain good oral hygiene. With wires passing through the brackets, flossing can be a challenge.
One of the inconveniences with Invisalign is that the aligners need to be removed before eating and drinking (except water). In addition, it is often required to brush after eating or drinking, before you put the aligners back in your mouth to avoid staining. Braces, on the other hand, do not require to be removed. Brushing after eating is however encouraged with braces.
There is more discomfort associated with Invisalign treatment, especially at the time when the aligners are changed. This is due to the rigid plastic that the clear aligners are fabricated from. Braces, with the advent of super elastic Nickel Titanium wires apply much lighter forces on the teeth and cause less discomfort even when the wires are changed.
Unlike an Invisalign treatment which is extremely useful for esthetic purposes and simple dental issues, braces are functional and work efficiently for fixing complex tooth issues. Generally speaking, braces work faster than Invisalign in treating various dental malocclusions.
Invisalign aligners are custom fabricated by Align Technology lab. The lab charges approximately 25% to 35% of the total orthodontic treatment cost to the providers. Those cost transferred to the patient. Therefore, orthodontic treatment with Invisalign can cost up to 35% more than the regular braces.
Is everybody a candidate?
Not everybody is a candidate for treatment with Invisalign. Braces can treat more extensive cases: Invisalign has been developed to treat a wide variety of cases, provided they aren’t extremely severe. Braces can be used to treat a wide spectrum of orthodontic case, including more severe cases that Invisalign cannot handle.
Both Braces and Invisalign can provide the desired result. However, patient selection is more critical in Invisalign. Since everybody is not a candidate for Invisalign, poor patient selection can to poor treatment result with Invisalign. Since braces can be effectively used to treat a wide array of problems, patient selection is less of a concern with braces.
Enamel removal (also known as interproximal enamel stripping) is often required as part of treatment with Invisalign. Such enamel removal is an invasive process and can potentially lead to sensitivity if not performed properly. Braces, generally do not require enamel removal as part of the orthodontic treatment.
Clearly, in comparing Invisalign vs Braces, it’s a tight race. If you’re an adult, or have a teen, who tends to be self-conscious, Invisalign may appeal to you. And the fact that it’s removable so you can eat, drink, brush and floss more naturally, may sound desirable. But if the idea of having to remove your trays for meals or while drinking anything but water seems inconvenient, Invisalign may not be the best solution for you. Plus remember, you should brush after each meal before putting your trays back in, to avoid staining.
Exact success rates for Invisalign vs Braces are difficult to find, especially since Invisalign has not been around long enough to gather long-term data. Braces, however, have a successful track record for over 100 years. Invisalign’s success depends almost entirely on the beholder. If you don’t wear them, they won’t work. With braces, the compliance factor is minimized!
Lastly, if you need to address issues with your back teeth, need to rotate teeth or move teeth vertically, Invisalign may not even be an option. That’s why it’s critical to enlist a provider like Allura Orthodontics, experienced with both braces and Invisalign. Then your orthodontist can recommend the most effective solution to perfect your smile and teeth.