If you or a loved one are about to embark on orthodontic treatment, you’re likely weighing all your options. Thankfully there are several teeth-straightening options available, with metal braces and Invisalign being two of the most common.
Both Invisalign and braces are highly recommended and effective methods for transforming smiles, but what are the most significant differences?
- Metal braces are more traditional and use a series of brackets and wires attached to the outside of the teeth.
- Invisalign hit the market in the late 90s and has since become a very popular alternative to braces. This approach uses a series of clear, customized aligners that move teeth in stages.
Here are some things to consider when deciding which option is best suited for you or your loved one:
Metal versus clear plastic
Perhaps the biggest difference between metal braces and Invisalign is how they look, or in the case of Invisalign, how they don’t. Metal braces are highly visible, while Invisalign is much more discreet. The clear aligners are almost invisible so some may not even notice you’re wearing them. This makes Invisalign an incredibly popular choice for both adults and teens too!
Invisalign can be removed
Metal braces and wires may be inconvenient for some patients, as eating overly sticky or crunchy foods such as hard candy, popcorn, nuts, and caramel is discouraged. Alternatively, because Invisalign aligners can be and should be removed when eating, patients are free to eat as they wish without fear of breaking or damaging any hardware. Invisalign also proves convenient for various moments such as photo taking or big events when one doesn’t want to be self-conscious about their smile.
Oral hygiene is easier with Invisalign
Because Invisalign can be removed, it’s easier for patients to brush and floss as they normally would. Though metal braces may take some maneuvering, patients have to be extra cautious and diligent about maintaining good oral health. Failure to do so can result in several issues such as permanent tooth discoloration/staining, tooth decay, and gum disease. Brackets on the teeth can trap food and plaque against the tooth, which can then break down enamel. For many younger patients, the ease and convenience of removing Invisalign makes it easier to maintain good oral hygiene habits.
Invisalign requires fewer appointments
Appointments to adjust and check braces can be time-consuming for both teens and their parents. Invisalign liners are computer generated, so much of the work happens at the very start of the process. Appointments are less frequent and more efficient, as they typically just call for receiving a new set of aligners. No adjustments are needed!
Comfort is key
While any orthodontic work will be slightly uncomfortable because teeth are being shifted, metal braces do cause more mouth and gum problems than Invisalign. Because the aligners are custom fitted and made of plastic there are usually no cuts on a patient’s mouth or inside their cheek.
Pricing is comparable
Contrary to what some may think, the cost of Invisalign can be similar to that of metal braces. Advancements have been made in the technology and material production of Invisalign, which has made it more affordable. Talk to your dentist about various pricing options relative to your desired treatment plan, as the cost comparison may surprise you!
Let’s discuss your options!
Here at Wilton Smiles, we’re here to provide you with comprehensive information regarding all your orthodontic options.
Rest assured that you have a collaborative partner here to help you achieve the smile of your dreams.
Connect with us at (860) 397-6693 or click here to schedule a virtual appointment.