What Are The Differences Between Invisalign® And Braces?
Getting your teeth straightened can be a daunting prospect – especially if you’re not sure what solution you’re looking for, or which treatment is right for you. Of course, listening to the advice of a medical professional should be your first port of call, and you’ll often be presented with options when it comes to treatment. One of the most common choices that is presented to patients who need their teeth straightened is that of, ‘Invisalign® or braces?’.
The Invisalign® process involves the use of a series of clear, mouthguard-like plastic fittings that are worn in the patient’s mouth. The fittings are moulded specifically to your teeth, and every two weeks the fitting is changed to a straighter mould so as to gradually shift your teeth to their correct position over time.
Braces, as you’ve likely seen or heard, are an apparatus of brackets that stretch over your teeth. The brackets are held together by wires that are tightened over the teeth – this tightness eventually brings your teeth into line when worn over an extended period of time.
As with any long-term medical treatment, there are upsides and downsides to each option. The main variables here are the cost, aesthetics and logistics of Invisalign® versus traditional braces. There is no right answer for everyone, and it’s important that you pick the method you’re most comfortable with to be set on the path to a smile you can really be proud of!
The first point of consideration in this decision is cost – the trick is finding the balance between your best treatment method whilst trying to avoid breaking the bank! The answer here is different for everyone, but the following is worth consideration.
Traditional braces can be much more affordable compared to Invisalign®, simply because the technology has been available and widely used for longer. While there are other considerations to take into account when deciding, cost usually favours braces for most patients.
The point of aesthetics comes up a lot in conversations about straightening teeth. If you’re going to have a plastic or metal device of some kind in your mouth for months on end, it may as well look good, right?
Traditional braces are the most physically visible of the two options, as they are made of metal and not a clear material. Invisalign® fittings are plastic and see-through, usually making them the more attractive option for those who don’t want to draw attention to their teeth. It is worth considering, though, that modern braces are far less conspicuous than they used to be – this is owing to the fact that the brackets (the parts that adhere to the teeth) are much smaller. On the other hand, if you don’t mind your braces being visible there are a number of colour options available so there’s always the opportunity to just go to town with it!
The final area that braces differ from Invisalign® fittings lies in the realm of logistics – you’re going to have these things in your mouth for a long while, and each option comes with its own upsides and limitations in your day-today life.
Dentists will often recommend braces for patients whose teeth are severely crowded, out of place or sitting at drastically different heights. However, for basic alignment and minor cases of drifting teeth, Invisalign® will be more than sufficient.
When considering food limitations in each case, braces are unfortunately much more constraining. This is because certain foods can get caught in the wire and brackets. Invisalign® can be removed when you’re eating, but in turn can become stained by highly pigmented drinks like wine or coffee if the patient isn’t careful.
All in all, your choice is your own and we wish you luck with it! We hope that the above points have been informative, but if you have any more questions we’d be happy to answer them in person at our Wellington branch, or over the phone. Keep smiling!