If you’re looking to orthodontic treatment to improve your smile, you may be wondering if braces or Invisalign are a better option for you. Dr. Ryan Williams compares and contrasts the two treatment options.
Enid, Oklahoma – Your smile is an important part of who you are, but if you spend your time hiding yours because you’re embarrassed by crooked or misaligned teeth, what message is that sending? Luckily, orthodontic treatment is common for patients of all ages, so whether you are 12 or 52, it’s always the right time to get a smile you’ll be proud to show off.
Today, there are a host of treatment options available. Two of the most common are braces and Invisalign. Braces are the traditional way of straightening teeth using brackets and wires. There is a reason they are still the most commonly used method – they are effective and efficient. But more and more patients are turning to more discreet options such as Invisalign. Invisalign uses a series of clear, comfortable and removable aligners to move your teeth to their ideal locations. So, which option is best for you – braces or Invisalign?
“Braces and Invisalign each have their advantages, as well as their disadvantages,” says Dr. Ryan Williams of Rose Rock Orthodontics. “As with anything else in life, each treatment option may have features that you really like, but they also may have some that you don’t love. The best way to know which is right for you is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified orthodontist.”
In the meantime, however, let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages to both treatment modalities.
Benefits of metal braces
The biggest advantage to metal braces is that this treatment is suitable for all patients, no matter how severe the orthodontic issue is. Traditional braces are the most powerful and efficient treatment option available. They apply the necessary force to guide even the most difficult cases.
Today’s braces aren’t the same as those of the past. Not only are metal braces sleeker and more discreet than ever, traditional bracket and wire braces can also be clear or made of ceramic material to allow for them to blend in better with your natural tooth color. And if you really want the dependability of metal braces, but want to be as discreet as possible, lingual braces are an option. These braces fit along the lingual, or tongue, side of the teeth, rendering them completely invisible to others.
Another reason people love metal braces is because they are the most cost effective option available. They also can typically work faster than other treatment types.
Drawbacks to metal braces
Unless you opt for lingual braces, traditional bracket and wire braces are always going to be visible. Even with clear braces, others will still be able to see them. This is usually one of the biggest drawbacks people find with braces.
Because you will have brackets bonded to your teeth and wires attached to the brackets, you’ll need to be careful about what you eat. You’ll need to avoid anything too sticky, chewy, crunchy or hard during the course of your treatment. Brushing and flossing also takes a bit more dedication as you work around the brackets and under the wires.
Braces also require more frequent visits to the orthodontist to monitor progress and adjust your braces.
Benefits of Invisalign
Patients love Invisalign because the aligners are made of clear plastic, making them almost invisible to others. The aligners are comfortable, and fit snugly over the teeth to gently guide them to their new locations. Invisalign offers one of the most discreet ways to improve your smile.
Patients also love that the aligners are removable. That means you take them out to eat, so you don’t have to worry about changing your diet during your treatment. You can still enjoy all your favorite foods. And because they are removable, taking care of your smile is as easy as always. You don’t have pesky brackets and wires to brush and floss around.
Because there are no wires to adjust, you’ll require fewer visits to your orthodontist’s office. This is great for busy teens and adults.
Invisalign aligners are designed to be comfortable. There are no brackets or wires to irritate the inside of your mouth. The aligners are made of a smooth, BPA-free plastic.
Drawbacks to Invisalign
One of the biggest advantages of Invisalign is also one of its biggest disadvantages. Invisalign is removable, which can make it very tempting to take out for an occasion, or forget to put back in after taking your aligners out to eat or drink. Invisalign patients must be very disciplined because in order to be effective, the aligners must be worn a minimum of 22 hours a day. They should only be removed to eat, drink, brush and floss.
Your aligners have to be removed when eating and drinking anything but water, which can be difficult to get used to. But this is important to prevent damage to your aligners.
Invisalign costs slightly more than braces. While the costs today are certainly more on par with that of braces, Invisalign will still typically cost a bit more than traditional braces.
Another drawback to Invisalign is that it may not be the most ideal treatment option for more severe cases. Some malocclusions are still best served by traditional braces.
To learn more about the pros and cons of braces and Invisalign and to see which may be the best to treat your unique smile needs, a consultation with a certified orthodontist is recommended. Dr. Williams and his team at Rose Rock Dental treat patients of all ages, using the very latest in treatment options. If you are ready to learn more about which treatment option may be right for you, call Rose Rock Orthodontics at 580-540-3211.