Invisalign vs. Braces
Many people have malocclusion problems that compromise oral functions and give the teeth a crooked, uneven appearance. Orthodontic treatment corrects the position of the teeth and jaw to give patients a straighter and healthier bite. Traditionally, people have relied on braces for their orthodontic care, but now Invisalign® offers another option.
Invisalign corrects common malocclusion problems, while offering patients a more discreet and comfortable treatment than braces. Dr. Jan O’Keefe Belote discusses the key differences regarding Invisalign vs. braces with her Flowood, MS, patients so that they can choose the technique that best suits their unique needs and desires.
Invisalign vs. Braces: Candidacy
The first consideration when exploring orthodontic treatment options is determining which will effectively correct your malocclusion problems. In regards to treatment candidacy, braces and Invisalign are usually very similar. Both orthodontic techniques can correct common malocclusion problems, such as an overbite, underbite, or crossbite, as well as improve the position of crooked teeth. The one notable difference is that Invisalign may not be effective on the most severe malocclusion problems, whereas braces usually are.
Invisalign vs. Braces: The Treatment Technique
Both Invisalign and braces address malocclusion problems by applying subtle pressure that encourages necessary movement. What really sets braces and Invisalign apart is the techniques that are used to correct the position of the teeth and jaw throughout treatment.
During braces treatment, patients wear a series of metal brackets and wires. The brackets are bonded to each tooth and are connected by thin wires. At each dental appointment, the wires are adjusted so that the teeth continually receive pressure to encourage movement. Braces are effective, but they stand out against the teeth, and can make the teeth more difficult to clean.
During Invisalign treatment, patients progress through a series of clear plastic aligner trays. Patients switch to a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks so that the teeth and jaw are under constant, but gentle, pressure. Invisalign aligner trays are removable. For treatment to be effective, aligners must be worn for at least 20 to 22 hours a day, but they can be removed for eating, drinking, and brushing the teeth. Invisalign aligners are also virtually invisible, which makes them far more discreet than braces.
Invisalign vs. Braces: The Treatment Timeline
The length of orthodontic treatment depends largely on the type of malocclusion problems being corrected, and the severity of the concerns. However, when comparing braces and Invisalign, the treatment timeline should be roughly the same for each.
Invisalign vs. Braces: The Cost
Treatment cost is another area where braces and Invisalign are pretty similar. As with the treatment timeline, the cost of each treatment method is mostly dependent on the type and severity of malocclusion problems, but there should not be a large difference in cost between the two techniques.
Which Is Right for Me?
Unless our Flowood patients suffer from severe malocclusion problems, they should be candidates for either Invisalign or braces. When both treatment methods are appropriate, it really comes down to patient preference. In many cases, people prefer Invisalign over braces because they are more discreet and comfortable, and offer the added convenience of being removable.
A personal consultation is the best way for individuals to determine if Invisalign or braces is right for them. If you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your orthodontic needs and desires, we invite you to contact our dental practice online or call us at (601) 936-2526.