Invisalign or Traditional Braces – Which Is Best For You

It’s the age old questions that orthodontists face: What works best: Invisalign, or braces?

As a patient, the most important question to ask when considering your treatment options is not “What works best?” it is “What will work best for me?”

Largely the decision depends on each individual’s mouth and jaw. For some people standard metal braces are the best decision. For other Invisalign might be the best fit. This decision is one your orthodontist will help you make! The decision is made based on jaw structure, bite line and current teeth alignment.

In order for you, the patient to understand the differences between standard braces and Invisalign, you will have to realize how the different treatments work:

Invisalign uses translucent, aligners (almost like light, clear retainers) to shift teeth into place ever so slightly. When you wear Invisalign, you have to wear them for no less than 22 hours every single day. Invisalign aligners are changed every two weeks. Typical treatment time for Invisalign can take between nine months to a year depending on the severity of your teeth.

Metal braces uses small brackets that are attached to the front of a patient’s teeth and then connected by a single wire. This wire puts pressure on the teeth, moving them as the wire is tightened. Once a month or every four weeks, the orthodontist will tighten the wire, which causes a shift in the teeth. Standard metal braces can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to fix teeth based on how sever the patients teeth were in the first place.

Like anything, both treatment options have positives and negatives. In most situations, Invisalign and standard metal braces are both possible and practical treatment possibilities. Below are a few questions to ask yourself if you have the option of choosing between Invisalign and traditional braces:

How extensive is your case?

Invisalign and metal braces are often considered to be equally as effective. Most of the conditions that braces can correct, Invisalign can do just as well. These corrections include:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Open bite
  • Over bite
  • Gaps
  • Under bite

Nonetheless, sometimes an orthodontist sees severe cases, Invisalign doesn’t have the necessary components to treat. The conditions include:

  • Crossbites
  • Jaw widening
  • Excessively crooked teeth

How often do you want to visit the orthodontist?

With Invisalign, you must go in to the dentist or orthodontist to get new trays every two weeks, compared to every four weeks with metal braces. This results in more frequent trips to the dentist meaning you will need to get more time off of work or school.

Do you mind if people can see your braces?

One of the selling features on Invisalign is the virtual transparency it has! Most often, other people won’t even notice if someone is wearing Invisalign. As many know, it is not possible to hide normal metal braces like that. Often times this isn’t an issue with younger children. However, most adults often hate the idea of everybody knowing they are wearing braces, making Invisalign a clear winner.

At the end of the day, Invisalign and braces can treat a lot of the same cases and get you the same results. When you ask the question, “Which is better” know that the one that is right for you depends on your preferences.

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