Invisalign vs. Braces: Which Orthodontic Treatment Is Right for You?
When it comes to orthodontic treatment, the options of Invisalign and traditional braces have revolutionized the field. Both techniques aim to correct dental misalignments and achieve a beautiful smile. However, each option comes with its own set of pros and cons that need to be carefully considered. In this blog, we will delve into the advantages and disadvantages of Invisalign and braces to help you make an informed decision for yourself or your child.
Invisalign treatment is a great option for adults or teens who want to straighten their teeth but don’t want to wear traditional braces. Invisalign is a modern orthodontic treatment that uses a series of custom-made, clear plastic aligners to gradually shift teeth into their proper position. Here are some of the advantages and drawbacks associated with Invisalign:
Pros of Invisalign
Aesthetics: Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible when worn which makes them a popular choice for those who prefer a discreet treatment option. This is particularly beneficial for teenagers and adults who may feel self-conscious about the visibility of traditional braces. No one knows you’re wearing them except you!
Removability: One of the significant advantages of Invisalign is the ability to remove the aligners when eating, brushing, or flossing. This makes it easier to maintain good oral hygiene and enjoy a wider variety of foods without restrictions.
Comfort: Invisalign aligners are made of smooth plastic, minimizing the discomfort and irritation commonly associated with braces. The absence of wires and brackets reduces the likelihood of mouth sores or injuries caused by traditional braces.
Convenience: Invisalign typically requires fewer visits to the orthodontist compared to braces, as there is no need for adjustments or wire changes. This can be particularly advantageous for individuals with busy schedules or those living far away from their orthodontist’s office. The aligners are numbered and worn for one week each, so your time in treatment is well defined.
Cons of Invisalign
Compliance: Since Invisalign aligners are removable, patient compliance is crucial for successful treatment. Individuals must commit to wearing the aligners for at least 20-22 hours a day to achieve the desired results. Lack of compliance may prolong the treatment duration or compromise its effectiveness.
Traditional metal braces consist of metal brackets that are glued to the teeth and connected by wires, which are periodically adjusted to exert gentle pressure that gradually moves the teeth into their correct positions.
Metal braces are very strong and correct most types of orthodontic bite problems. At first, they may irritate your cheeks or gums. But don’t worry – after a few weeks, your mouth will adjust.
At Fry, we use special self-ligating brackets for your braces. Rather than the traditional metal ties, they use a sliding mechanism that holds the wire in place which allows for an easier to clean and more comfortable experience.
The advantages and disadvantages of traditional braces include:
Pros of Braces
Effective for All Cases: Braces are the go-to treatment for orthodontic issues ranging from mild to severe. Their versatility allows orthodontists to address complex cases and achieve precise tooth alignment.
Most Popular and Efficient Option: When looking at Invisalign vs. braces, metal braces are the most common treatment. They tend to take the least amount of time, too. However, for any of our orthodontic services, the average treatment time is about 16 months.
Limited Compliance Concerns: Unlike Invisalign, braces are fixed appliances that do not require patient compliance, meaning you don’t have to remember to put them on or take them out. Once they are placed on the teeth, they work continuously to correct misalignments without the risk of being removed or lost. Metal braces are strong and rarely break – you just have to be mindful of what you eat and stay dedicated to keeping them clean. Check out our helpful orthodontic videos to learn more about your braces and how to care for them!
Personalization Options: Metal braces are appealing to children and teens because of the option to personalize their smile with colorful bands. Best of all, you can change your mind and get new colors each time you come in!
Cons of Braces
Maintenance and Oral Hygiene: Braces require extra attention when it comes to oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing around the brackets and wires can be more challenging which can potentially lead to plaque buildup and increased risk of tooth decay or gum disease.
Discomfort: The presence of wires and brackets can cause initial discomfort and mouth sores as the mouth adjusts to their presence. Routine adjustments may also cause temporary soreness, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
Aesthetic Concerns: Traditional metal braces are highly visible and can be a source of self-consciousness, particularly for older teenagers and adults. However, advances in orthodontics have introduced options like ceramic braces that are less noticeable. Read more on that below.
Another Option: Ceramic Braces
Ceramic braces are similar to traditional metal braces, but they have clear or tooth-colored brackets that blend in with the patient’s teeth. Adults and teens often choose ceramic braces because they blend in with the teeth and are less noticeable than metal braces. Similar to Invisalign, ceramic braces appeal to those who prefer a less noticeable treatment option while improving their smile.
Schedule Your FREE Initial Exam
Ready to start your smile journey? We have 13 convenient locations across the Kansas City metro, spread throughout Overland Park, Olathe, Shawnee, Prairie Village, Ottawa, Lee’s Summit, Raytown, Northland, Blue Springs, Leavenworth, and Lawrence.
We offer traditional braces and Invisalign for both teens and adults. At Fry Orthodontics, your initial exam is FREE of charge. Schedule an in-office orthodontic visit or opt for a virtual visit to get started.