Invisalign vs. Braces

Traditional braces are usually what patients think of when they need orthodontic treatment to fix their crooked teeth. But braces aren’t always the best choice for everyone. Invisalign is a clear alternative that gives patients a discreet and comfortable treatment option for straightening their smiles.

What’s the real difference between these two treatments, and which is best for you? Let’s take a look and find out. 

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Comparing Orthodontic Treatment Plans

When looking at both treatment options, it’s important to know their differences and what sets each apart from the other. Here are some of the most notable differences between these two orthodontic treatments:

Cost of Treatment

One thing to consider is your budget and how much you can spend on getting straight teeth. The cost of braces can range from $1,500 to $5,500. Invisalign, on the other hand, can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000. Both of these costs will depend on several factors, such as how severe your case is and how long treatment will last.

Aesthetics

Many adults find that the appearance of braces is not ideal and is the last resort to fix their orthodontic issues. Metal braces are obvious and not discreet. Invisalign plastic aligners are clear and nearly invisible. These invisible braces are an ideal choice for many patients looking to discreetly fix their misaligned teeth.

Comfort

Comfort is one of the biggest disadvantages of braces. Traditional braces can be uncomfortable for patients due to the rough metal brackets and metal wires that can irritate the gums and mouth. Invisalign aligner trays are smooth and comfortable and don't irritate the mouth.

Effectiveness

Invisalign may not be a good treatment for patients with severe orthodontic issues. Both treatments are effective in treating misaligned smiles and shifting them into their correct position, but Invisalign is better suited for patients with mild to moderate misalignment.

Treatment Time

Treatment time can vary between these two treatments. With traditional braces, patients, on average, complete their treatment in about 18 to 24 months. Invisalign offers faster treatment times, with patients finishing treatment in as little as six months. The average treatment time for Invisalign also being 12 months. These can all vary from patient to patient, depending on the severity of their case.

Convenience

Invisalign aligners are known for their convenience. These removable aligners allow patients to remove them when eating and brushing their teeth so that they can maintain optimal oral health. Traditional braces, on the other hand, are fixed on the teeth and cannot be removed until you have finished treatment, which can make maintaining good oral hygiene difficult.

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Dental Insurance

One thing these two treatments have in common is that they are typically covered all the same by dental insurance plans. If your policy covers orthodontics in some capacity, traditional metal braces and Invisalign are typically covered exactly the same.

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The Invisalign Treatment Process

To start the Invisalign process, you’ll come in for a consultation to determine if this treatment is right for you. Then we will take impressions of your teeth to create a 3-D model of your smile. We will use this to send to the Invisalign lab, where the aligners will be made.

Your aligner trays should be worn for at least 22 hours per day, only removing them to eat and brush your teeth. You’ll wear each set of plastic trays for two weeks at a time before moving on to the next set. This allows for gradual tooth movement, and they can shift into their correct position and give you a beautiful, straight smile. 

Following the completion of treatment, patients will typically be fitted for a retainer to help maintain their new straight smile and keep their teeth from shifting out of place. Most patients receive a permanent retainer that is placed on the back of their teeth and is invisible when worn.

Schedule a Consultation with Our Orthodontist

If you’re interested in learning more about Invisalign or if you would like to schedule a consultation with our team, please contact us today! We’d love to help you get started on your journey towards straighter teeth and a beautiful smile.