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Invisalign Vs. Braces (The Pros and Cons of Each)

Braces vs invisalignInvisalign and braces transform your smile and give you a chance to feel better about yourself. While Invisalign is virtually invisible and more flexible, braces are a better choice when treating complex dental concerns. If you are considering orthodontic correction, visit Dr. Gibbs at Gibbs Orthodontic Associates to learn the pros and cons of each treatment method to make a better decision and achieve desired outcomes. With his professional and experienced team, Dr. Gibbs works hard to recommend the best treatment for your dental issues, boosting your confidence and keeping your mouth healthy.

Many types of braces offer incredible results and straighten your teeth most successfully. Traditional braces remain most popular, but the new technology and innovation have made clear aligners a preferred choice of people seeking a discreet option.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign clear alignersInvisalign is a brand of clear aligners, an orthodontic device that helps to correct crooked and misaligned teeth. Also known as invisible braces, clear aligners are custom-made mouthpieces molded from medical-grade plastic by taking a 3D scan of the patient’s mouth. They apply even pressure to the teeth, guiding them into the desired position in small steps. Clear aligners are a discreet alternative to traditional metal braces.

It is essential to consider the pros and cons of Invisalign and compare them with other types of braces to determine which one would suit you best.

Advantages of Invisalign

Advantages of Invisalign include the following:

They look better

The best thing about Invisalign is that the aligners are virtually undetectable. They closely fit the teeth and are nearly invisible. Most people love the idea that their friends and coworkers cannot see they are undergoing orthodontic treatment. It also works well for self-conscious teens who don’t like the unsightly metal braces.

With Invisalign, you don’t have to explain to others why you are wearing braces and if they are working their magic. Also, you don’t have to worry about smiling or opening your mouth when talking to others. All you will see in pictures or mirrors is the progress of your ever-improving smile.

They can be taken out for eating

The best thing about Invisalign is that you don’t have to keep on wearing them all the time. While you must wear them for 20 to 22 hours every day for best results, they can be removed when you are eating. This means you do not have to give up on your favorite food or drinks or make changes to your eating habits that usually happens with metal or ceramic braces as eating certain types of foods becomes difficult or causes discomfort.

They do not affect your dental cleaning routine

Dental care is easy with Invisalign, and you can continue to brush and floss your teeth without facing any difficulty. You just have to remove the Invisalign aligners for brushing and flossing. With nothing on the teeth, you can continue with your dental care routine as before to prevent cavities and gum diseases.

They are comfortable to wear

Invisalign fit well with the teeth and do not cause any cuts or sores that are often experienced with conventional braces. Positioning the teeth around can be uncomfortable and painful, but there are fewer gum and mouth problems. Invisalign aligners are made of special plastic and customized to fit each patient’s mouth, which ensures you do not get cuts on the inside of the cheeks.

They require fewer dental visits

A 3D scan of your mouth and teeth is used for creating customized retainers in the laboratory, which does not take long. As there is no need for tightening the wires and making adjustments, Invisalign treatments require fewer visits to the orthodontist.  The orthodontist will schedule the appointments after some months to keep a check on your progress and recommend when you should change the sets of aligners.

Disadvantages of Invisalign

There are several disadvantages of Invisalign that you must keep in mind before considering them for your orthodontic needs.

They require discipline

To reposition your teeth and get the maximum benefit from your Invisalign, you must wear them for at least 20 to 22 hours every day. Wearing them less often or forgetting to wear them for maximum hours may slow their progress or affect the final results. As they are easy to take out and need to be removed for eating, brushing, and flossing, only disciplined people can benefit from them by following the orthodontist’s guidelines.

The main reason Invisalign treatment fails is the patients’ lack of compliance with wearing the aligner. Also, losing aligners is another concern, which costs more money and extends treatment time.

Taking out the aligners and putting them in can be a hassle

Aligners have to be removed before eating and drinking anything other than water. If you are out in public, you need to remove your aligners discreetly and keep them safe.  Before putting them on again, you need to brush your teeth to prevent the food particles from sticking to your teeth and staining the aligners. Putting on the aligners without cleaning your teeth increases the risk of cavities and bad breath.

It often becomes a hassle to take out the aligners and put them back, particularly if you don’t want people around you to know you are wearing them.

They cost more

Invisalign is not very expensive, but they are not cheap either. The treatment cost depends on the severity of the treatment needed to your teeth. Also, refinements (additional trays) maybe necessary to finalize your treatment.  Due to advances in 3D scanning technology and the flexible material involved in making the aligners, the cost of Invisalign is almost similar to braces now.

Depending on dental complications, treatment often becomes difficult if it is impossible to achieve desired results with Invisalign. In such cases, your orthodontist may discuss the possibility of finalizing tooth positions with braces which could increase the cost. Lingual or inside braces are often compared to Invisalign as they both offer an almost invisible appearance. Like Invisalign, lingual braces are a customized option and cost more than traditional braces.

They may need attachments

Some people may require attachments to help the aligners grip and position teeth correctly. You may only need attachments for only a couple of teeth, or you may need them on most teeth. These button-like attachments are similar to the color of your teeth, and it seems like you are wearing clear braces rather than aligners.

They are not for complex corrections

Clear aligners cannot treat extreme cases of overcrowding or crooked teeth and malocclusions. They work best for people who need only minor straightening. Treatment with Invisalign is limited because the removable braces system does not give orthodontists as much control over creating specific types of tooth movements.

They can break

Invisalign cracking or breaking is not a rare phenomenon. Even though the trays are made using durable plastic, they can develop cracks or even break apart if you are not careful when putting them in or removing them. They can also fracture if you do not handle them correctly when cleaning them or try to push them to fit in with the misaligned tooth.

As they are supposed to be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day, a break or fracture without immediate replacement can also affect your teeth straightening schedule.

The advantages and disadvantages of Invisalign can determine the effectiveness of orthodontic care you can expect. They are the most important aspect you should consider before choosing clear aligners.

What are braces?

Dental bracesBraces are the most effective method for treating extreme overcrowding and cooked teeth or malocclusions to improve the look and feel of your smile. They are made of metal or ceramic, wires, and bonding material that attaches them to your teeth. The brackets are attached to the outside surface of the teeth, and thin metal wires are threaded through them. Rubber bands are placed over each bracket to hold the wires in place.

The wires are adjusted periodically, which exerts pressure on the teeth and manipulates them into the desired position.

Advantages of braces

Traditional braces offer a lot of advantages.

They can correct complex orthodontic issues

Traditional braces are the most effective solution for all types of complex orthodontic issues and give you a chance to smile better. Even if you have multiple facial and dental problems, they can correct the alignment of your teeth by planning the treatment down to the individual shifts of each tooth.

Braces can help with problems including:

  • Misalignment
  • Gaps between the teeth
  • Overcrowding
  • Protruding teeth
  • Underbites
  • Overbites
  • Crossbites

Metal braces use anchors and an archwire to pull the teeth into place. They are the most powerful treatment method for moving teeth into the required position. They offer dramatic and life-changing results for patients with severe orthodontic complications.

They help to achieve perfect results

Braces are a universal treatment that works for minor and difficult cases and deliver almost perfect results. As they are directly attached to each tooth, braces are more practical than clear aligners and move teeth into the anticipated position more effectively. They can improve your smile even in the most complicated cases.

There are several types of braces to choose from

Braces are not limited to traditional contraptions or orthodontic devices made from metal brackets and wires. Technology has evolved metal braces too and now they are available in smaller sizes and several other types are also available in the market. You can even opt for ceramic or lingual braces that are less noticeable and work as well. It is now possible to enjoy the benefits of braces without going for the metal look if you have social or professional reasons.

They work fast

The speed of treatment is a significant factor for many people as they want to complete the orthodontic treatment as quickly as possible. Even though the length of dental treatment depends on the specific issues you are facing, traditional braces work relatively faster than any other option. They can straighten teeth and close gaps more quickly than Invisalign. Most patients can expect to wear them for an average of 18 – 24 months to align their crooked teeth into place. As they stick to the teeth and cannot be removed, they offer successful results in lesser time.

They are more affordable

Braces, in many cases are less expensive than Invisalign, and they are easy to afford. Some dental insurance plans may cover a certain percentage of orthodontic treatments, particularly for children and teens. Braces are more likely to be covered than Invisalign.

In case they are not covered by insurance, you can discuss your options with your orthodontists and finance your treatment with flexible payment plans specially designed to make teeth straightening treatments more affordable. These plans help you get the best treatment timely, even if you cannot pay upfront.

They are durable and last longer

Braces are a great investment, both in terms of time and money, as compared to Invisalign aligners that may get damaged with mishandling. Metal braces are strong and last throughout your treatment. They can withstand the daily wear and tear which results from biting, chewing, and brushing.

Made of steel and titanium, traditional braces do not interrupt your life. As long as you avoid prohibited foods, you don’t have to worry about them breaking. You can continue with normal activities, including sports and rigorous exercise, as they are durable and made to deliver effective results.

Disadvantages of braces

Along with several advantages, braces have some drawbacks too.

They are very prominent

Traditional metal braces are very noticeable as the stainless steel stands out against the whiteness of the teeth despite their availability in small size. They will be visible when you speak or smile. Metal braces may make you self-conscious about your appearance in social settings or the workplace.

They make brushing difficult

The brackets cover your teeth which makes it difficult to brush and floss. It becomes tough to clean every tooth thoroughly, which requires you to be extra careful with dental hygiene. You need to be diligent with brushing, flossing, and rinsing to ensure you do not end up with plaque buildup around the braces or staining and decay.

If you fail to brush or floss correctly, it can lead to decalcification and loss of calcium in the enamel of teeth resulting in permanent white, chalky marks.

They come with food restrictions

Metal braces come with food restrictions. Your orthodontist will advise you to avoid eating and drinking anything that dislodges the brackets from the tooth, breaks the archwires, or increases the chances of cavities. Hard and crunchy snacks, sweets and soda, and especially any sticky, gummy candy are strictly off limits for people wearing braces. These items are risky as they can easily break small parts of the braces.

Multiple breakages can result in costly replacement and prolong the treatment time too.

They can cause sores in the mouth

Braces take time to get used to and often cause irritation or cuts along the inside of the mouth till you get adjusted to them. Persistent rubbing of the brackets against the soft skin can irritate the area and lead to a sore. Doctors recommend covering the sores with orthodontic wax to avoid pain and discomfort.

They require regular adjustment or tightening

Traditional braces have to be regularly adjusted or tightened so they continue to move your teeth in the right direction. Periodic follow-ups are required with these braces, and the orthodontist will want to keep an eye on your progress to see how well the treatment is working. You must make time for these appointments to ensure you get desired results.

Also, when the braces are tightened or adjusted, it can result in discomfort or cause sores in the mouth for a few days. During this time, you should only eat soft foods.

The advantages of conventional braces make them the right choice for moving teeth into the desired position, particularly for complex cases. These braces have stood the test of time and remain a preferred choice of orthodontists in New York City and across the world.

Invisalign vs. braces – which is more effective?

Braces and Invisalign are popular orthodontic treatments that can treat crowded, protruding, or crooked teeth to improve the look and feel of your smile. Both the teeth-straightening methods work by exerting pressure to realign the teeth and jaw and correct a malocclusion, sometimes called a bad bite.

While Invisalign and braces aim to correct problems with the alignment and spacing of your teeth, there are significant differences between these orthodontic treatments in terms of:

  • Appearance
  • Comfort
  • Effectiveness
  • Speed
  • Price

Braces are more effective, fast, and durable and offer several advantages. Invisalign may offer a more aesthetic means of straightening teeth, but is not always the recommended treatment method and also not the best option for more complex orthodontic cases.

The type of orthodontic treatment suitable for you depends on the orthodontic problem you need to address. Getting expert advice from your orthodontist is essential as it can not only enhance your smile and overall health but also enables you to eat better and speak clearly.

Before deciding which treatment you should go for, ask your orthodontist about the process and the time it will take for it to work. An experienced orthodontist can advise you on the best treatment option for your specific situation so that you can make an informed decision.

Visit Dr. Gibbs at Gibbs Orthodontic Associates if you want to know which orthodontic treatment has the maximum advantages and will work best for you. He assesses the current situation and makes individualized recommendations to align your teeth. Dr. Eric Gibbs also focuses on your personal preferences and priorities. He explains the pros and cons of Invisalign and braces to make the decision easy. The smart solutions can benefit anyone who needs orthodontic care and give you a chance to look and feel better within no time. You can look forward to achieving your dream smile from a dedicated and compassionate team of top orthodontists that cares for you.

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