If you are considering treatment for straightening your teeth, Invisalign vs braces is one of the options you may have to address. Both have their pros and cons, but Invisalign has some clear benefits over traditional braces.
However, before making a decision between Invisalign vs braces, be sure to speak to an orthodontist about suitability for your preferred treatment.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign treatment uses a succession of custom-made removable clear plastic aligners. Given to you in batches that last 6-8 weeks, the aligners are worn over the teeth—rather like a mouthguard. You need to wear them for around 22 hours a day.
Each aligner moves the teeth in tiny increments until they achieve their desired position. After 1-2 weeks of wear, you change the aligner for the next one in the batch. Visits to the dentist are every 6-8 weeks.
How do traditional braces work?
Traditional braces are still the most typical way of straightening crooked teeth. They consist of metal brackets that your dentist permanently affixes to the front of the teeth. However, more aesthetic options, including clear or tooth-coloured ceramic brackets, are now available. Dentists can also fix the brackets to the back of the teeth (lingual braces).
Metal wires and rubber bands are attached to the brackets and apply gentle pressure to the teeth, slowly forcing them to move. Every month, you must see the dentist to tighten the braces.
Invisalign vs braces – Which is better?
In the braces vs Invisalign debate, the advantages of the latter are:
Invisalign looks better
The clear aligners used in the treatment are virtually invisible. For adults considering braces vs Invisalign, this is a huge advantage to prevent self-consciousness, particularly at work and with clients.
Invisalign aligners are removable
Although you should wear your aligners for 20-22 hours a day, they can be taken out for eating.
So, you don’t have to alter your diet, which you may have to do with traditional braces, that can get damaged when eating certain foods like ribs or corn-on-the-cob.
Also, if you play contact sports, the aligner can be easily removed and replaced with a mouthguard to protect your teeth from damage.
It’s easier to clean your teeth with removable aligners
Wearing braces makes it difficult to clean and floss the teeth. You will have to use a small-headed toothbrush and special orthodontic floss to clean behind the wires.
With Invisalign, you can maintain your regular oral hygiene routine as the aligners are removable.
Aligners are more comfortable to wear
You will experience tenderness in your mouth with the forces exerted on your teeth with both Invisalign and traditional braces. But you are likely to have fewer soft tissue problems with Invisalign. Braces can rub the inside of the lips or cheeks causing abrasions, that may require regular saltwater rinses to reduce inflammation.
Invisalign requires fewer visits to the dentist
As the aligners are laboratory-made and worn in sequential order, there is no need to visit the dentist as often as you would with traditional braces, which the dentist must adjust. Visits are kept to a minimum to check your progress and issue the next batch of aligners when necessary. Fewer visits to the dentist also mean you don’t have to take as much time off work.
Invisalign vs Braces – The Bottom Line
Invisalign is an excellent option over traditional braces in many ways. However, the decision must be made in consultation with an orthodontist, as the best treatment option will depend on your orthodontic problem.
For more information about Invisalign vs braces, request a FREE consultation with one of our experienced dentists or call us on (02) 9100 0188 today.