Choosing between Invisalign and braces seems a hard choice as each of these dental treatments comes with its pros and cons. Depending on the severity of the misalignment issues, the pros and cons of one might outweigh that of others. On one side, invisible braces aligners are more convenient and esthetically pleasant, whereas metallic braces prove more effective with severe misalignments.
The choice of Invisalign vs. Braces depends on several factors i.e., misalignment severity, level of commitment, personal choice, and cost, etc. Making an informed decision is quite imperative as the successful progress of alignment depends on the choice of treatment. Here we have gathered the pros and cons of both Invisalign and metallic braces to help you make a final choice.
Invisalign is a comparatively new orthodontic treatment that is defined as the “clear aligners straighten teeth“. The aligners are designed in the form of plastic trays using thermoplastic material. Dental impressions, as well as 3D dental X-rays, are used to construct the final product. Several sets of aligners are required throughout the treatment to perfectly align the teeth. The treatment duration may vary between 6 months to 18 months depending upon the type and severity of misalignment.
Braces come in several different types such as metallic, ceramic, and lingual, etc. The most common type is the metallic braces which make use of brackets and wires to fix misalignments. Metallic braces are installed permanently in the mouth for the entire duration of treatment. Using metallic braces might lead to uncomfortable sensations, bruises, cuts, injuries, and food restrictions. Another downside of such braces is their prominent visibility, due to which many people avoid metallic braces.
Another type of braces that pose less problem with appearance and visibility is ceramic braces. Due to their construction material, they blend easily with the teeth’ color and are much more aesthetically pleasing when compared to metallic braces. They might get stained due to improper use or negligence. Lingual braces are another common type available in the market that sticks conveniently to the inner side of the teeth. They are not much effective in correcting misalignment as compared to ceramic or metallic braces.
Invisalign vs Braces treatment A tough choice
Nature of Misalignment
Misalignments come in a variety of forms e.g., overcrowding, underbite, overbite, crossbite, speech difficulties, etc. The severity of misalignment can precisely determine the course of treatment.
Moderately misaligned teeth can be handled well with Invisalign. However, for severely misaligned teeth, braces are a better option as they retract the teeth in their correct position through a rigorous application of force. Invisalign might not be equally effective as the treatment success depends upon the patient’s commitment to wearing invisible braces aligners.
The most prominent advantage of the invisible braces aligners is their invisible nature. If not stained or damaged over the use, the Invisalign remains completely invisible which offers a confident and cheerful smile to the people struggling with alignment problems. The plastic material of the aligner is quite comfortable to use as it does not damage the dental pad.
On the other hand, metallic braces use metallic wires to align teeth into places that pose problems with eating and drinking. Metallic wires might cause injuries and bruises in the gums and inner cheeks. So, Invisalign as clear aligners to straighten teeth is the clear winner when it comes to ease of use.
The treatment duration for Invisalign is generally shorter than that of braces, yet it varies from patient to patient. With advancing technology, the treatment time has shrunk to nearly 18 months for severely misaligned teeth. Invisalign needs to be worn 22 hours a day, so if a patient is careless with regularly using Invisalign, it might lengthen the duration of treatment.
Orthodontic treatment with braces requires 24 months to complete the treatment. Depending upon the severity of misalignment, the duration can expand and shrink for up to 36 months and 12 months respectively. Treatment duration depends upon age, the severity of the problem, type of treatment (ceramic braces, metal braces, clear braces, etc.), and patient’s consistency and determination.
Using Invisalign braces aligners come with a strict care regime. There is no restriction on the type of food; however, the aligners must be taken off before eating the food. Eating food with aligners might stain and bruise them, which reduces their impact and quality. Brushing and flossing teeth after eating food reduce the instances of dental decay. It is imperative to regularly clean the aligners with a special Invisalign solution provided by the orthodontist to retain its quality.
Braces are permanently installed; therefore, extra care is required to avoid hurting the palette, gums, or cheeks. Frequently brushing and flossing the teeth, as well as using mouthwash not only keep the bacteria off of the mouth but also remove the stuck food particles. Braces cannot be removed by medical aid so if a patient faces some injury due to bent wires, an immediate medical appointment is necessary to fix the case.
When considering the cost perspective, metal braces are comparatively more affordable than invisible braces aligners. The cost for Invisalign is approximated to be between $3500-$9000. On the other hand, braces cost around $2500-$6000.
Insurance companies offer coverage for both Invisalign and braces. However, you can get more coverage for metallic braces. So, metallic braces are a clear winner in terms of cost.