The top difference between Invisalign and braces – Which one is best for your smile?

By Date posted: Last updated: October 22, 2022
Invisalign and braces

Straightening your teeth has to do with more than just aesthetics. While it improves your smile, what it also does is that it corrects your bite and makes your teeth easier to clean & thereby helping prevent cavities, and more. If you are looking at straightening your teeth, the two popular options are traditional braces and Invisalign.

Let us look at the major differences between the Invisalign and Braces:

Difference between Invisalign and Braces

1. Material & Appearance

First things first, Invisalign is a clear aligner made up of BPA-free plastic. They are designed to be invisible and can be worn over your teeth & removed easily. Some Invisalign patients require attachments to help the aligners move the teeth into place. These small button-like attachments are fixed on the teeth and are a tad more visible than the clear aligners.

Braces, on the other hand, are made up of wires that tie down brackets made up of ceramic, metal, or a combination of the two.

Adults, who are hesitant about wearing braces because they are visible, can benefit from the invisibility of aligners.

2. Procedure

When it comes to traditional braces, the process begins with undergoing a thorough dental exam as well as dental x-ray imaging. The orthodontist will secure the brackets to your teeth and thread a wire through them to keep them in place with bands. You may also need to wear a retainer after your braces are removed.

Getting fitted for Invisalign also involves a dental examination followed by imaging to ensure you get custom-fit aligner trays. You will be required to switch to a new set of aligners every one to two weeks on average. Superior imaging technologies will ensure that you get to see simulations of how your teeth will be aligned over a period.

3. Comfort

In terms of comfort, Invisalign tends to be more comfortable than metal braces as metal braces can sometimes create sores in the mouth. Made of plastic, Invisalign does not tend to irritate the gums. Additionally, the fact that Invisalign can be removed and worn easily adds to the overall comfort. However, it is worth mentioning here that the efficacy of Invisalign comes from wearing it for 20-22 hours daily & hence a high degree of discipline is required.

4. Efficacy

When it comes to complex alignment issues, traditional braces can be more effective. However, Invisalign works as a very effective treatment particularly for moderately crowded teeth.

5. Dietary restrictions

Invisalign requires you to remove the aligners when you are eating or drinking anything other than water, it comes with no dietary restrictions. With braces you need to particularly avoid hard and sticky substances that can damage your braces.

6. Cleaning your teeth

Once again since Invisalign is removable, oral hygiene is easy to maintain. Of course, you need to make sure that the trays once removed are cleaned. Also, after every meal, it is important to ensure that you brush or at least rinse your mouth before you put on the trays again. With braces, brushing and flossing, though extremely important, can be tough.

7. Cost efficiency

Typically, braces are more affordable compared to Invisalign. While the cost of braces depends upon the severity of the case and the duration of treatment, they typically tend to cost between $1,800 to $5,500. Invisalign on the other hand, with their 3D scanning technology, flexible material & more, costs an average of $5000.

8. Consultations

With braces, you are required to visit your dentist every 4-6 weeks. Invisalign follow-up visits can be 10-12 weeks apart. However, you need to change your trays every 10 days on average.

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9. Treatment duration

The treatment duration in both cases depends on your individual problem. On average, most Invisalign cases are completed in a year. However, if you aren’t disciplined about wearing the aligners for the required 20-22 hours in a day, your treatment will not produce optimal results. In fact, most cases of Invisalign treatment failure have to do with the lack of patient compliance and discipline.

With braces, you may need 12-18 months of treatment to correct your smile. Whether it is braces of aligners, it is your orthodontist who will be able to determine the exact length of your treatment depending upon the complexity of the case.

When should you use braces? When should you use Invisalign?

Your orthodontist will be able to recommend the right treatment plan for you based on:

  • The alignment / level of correction required.
  • Bite correction needed.
  • Your lifestyle.

If there is a complex misalignment, your orthodontist may recommend braces; if not, aligners may work well for you. Essentially, both offer a reliable way of teeth correction. Do ask whatever questions you have and decide which pros & cons matter to you the most.

In the final analysis, remember to go with the advice of your doctor who will be able to help you with achieving the most optimal results. If you are living in Pleasanton or the nearby Pleasanton area, then you can contact Dr. Sharda Patel. An effective dental visit will be able to achieve the smile of your dreams. Schedule your dental appointment now to make your smile attractive.