Invisalign vs Braces

Orthodontic treatment is a great way for patients to improve the health of their mouth as well as its added cosmetic benefits. When teeth are overcrowded and crooked, they are much more difficult to clean and more susceptible to decay than teeth that are straight and well aligned. Orthodontic treatment can help bring teeth to a proper alignment giving the patient an easier time cleaning their teeth as well as a good bite which can reduce jaw pain and even help prevent the possibility of other dental issues such as fractured teeth or TMJ problems.


Ortho treatment has a number of styles available for patients. When most people think about orthodontic treatment, they associate that with the metal brackets and wires that plagued many children for decades. Fortunately, clear aligners have become one of the easiest ways to proceed with orthodontic treatment without the pain of traditional metal wires and brackets. One of the most popular and well-known brands of clear aligner orthodontic treatment is Invisalign.


Braces using metal wires and brackets are usually better for patients with extreme malalignment and malocclusion. Traditional braces use a metal bracket that is bonded directly to the front of the teeth and is used to hold a metal arch wire, which is tightened and adjusted to shift the teeth into an ideal position. Traditional braces can be placed with clear brackets with white arch wires available which may be more static for some patients.


Clear aligners use a series of BPA free, clear plastic trays that the patient wears for at least 22 hours per day. When a tooth needs to be rotated using clear aligners, a tooth colored attachment is bonded to the tooth to rotate or vertically shift it. The aligner trays fit over the attachments so they are not really able to be felt by the patient. Each set of aligner trays is worn for 10 to 14 days before they are switched to the next set, gradually shifting the teeth into place. Aligner trays are virtually invisible and are ideal for patients of any age, especially those adults that are in the workforce and may not want to have a mouth full of metal at their next board meeting!


What are the benefits of getting Invisalign instead of braces?

The most obvious benefit of Invisalign is aesthetics! Invisalign is also safer for patients who participate in sports. A basketball to the mouth with brackets can cause a lot of damage but Invisalign is flush with the teeth and smooth and will not cut the inside of the patient's mouth. Invisalign trays are also easier to contend with during oral hygiene. When a patient has to floss and brush around wires and brackets, it can be difficult to properly clean your teeth. With aligner trays, the patient simply removes the trays, continues with their oral care routine as usual, cleans the trays, and puts them back in!


Should I get Invisalign?

One of the most important factors when determining if you should have traditional braces or opt for Invisalign is your ability to be compliant. The only way Invisalign can work is if you wear your trays as instructed, at least 22 hours per day, removing them only for eating and oral hygiene. For patients who have trouble sticking to treatment, braces may be the better option since they cannot be removed by the patient and they have no choice but to be compliant!


Not everyone is a candidate for Invisalign clear eyeliner orthodontic treatment but your dentist can help you determine what path will give you the best results. Patients with more severe crowding or bite issues may be better served with traditional braces.

If you want a straight and healthy smile, speak with your dentist to determine which treatment path will be best for you!


Disadvantages of Invisalign