More than 4 million Americans wear braces, including about a million adults. Those numbers show the importance of having a great-looking smile, no matter what age you may be.
On top of that, more than 10 million teens and adults have had Invisalign® treatment since the clear aligners were first introduced. In fact, plenty of adults and teens opt for Invisalign for their clear, almost-invisible design.
Although both braces and Invisalign aligners are used to correct alignment problems, there are some significant differences between the two treatments. At Freedom Orthodontics in Cedar Park, Texas, Brendan Smith, DDS, MS, offers both treatments to give patients the most appropriate care and the best results. Here’s how to decide which option is right for you.
Factors to consider
Experts say when choosing a diamond, pay attention to the “four Cs”: clarity, carats, color, and cut. You’re not going to find orthodontic treatment at your local jeweler, but there’s no denying the results of orthodontic treatment can be far more valuable than any gemstone.
In the spirit of those four Cs, we’ve pulled together a slightly larger list of seven Cs you should consider when deciding between Invisalign and traditional braces.
One of the main reasons people want Invisalign is because the aligners are virtually invisible while they’re worn. Braces tend to be more visible — but thanks to today’s tooth-colored materials, they’re a lot harder to spot than metal braces used to be.
The choice between Invisalign and traditional braces also depends in part on the alignment concerns you’re facing. Braces just work better for correcting some types of alignment problems. If you have one of those issues, braces are the obvious better choice.
With Invisalign, you’ll have fewer office visits compared with traditional braces, so it’s a little easier on your busy schedule. Since you take your aligners off for meals, you can eat whatever foods you want — there’s no need to plan a menu around your appliances. In this C, Invisalign edges out traditional braces.
Invisalign tends to cost more than traditional braces, and some insurance companies may not cover the cost of treatment.
However, in recent years, Invisalign costs have come down, making them more comparable to traditional braces. And some insurance companies are being more generous in their coverage options, so it pays (literally) to ask about your insurance company’s reimbursement policies.
Invisalign is a hands-down winner when it comes to cleaning and caring for your appliances. With Invisalign, you pop out your aligners and brush and floss like normal. With braces, it takes some patience and skill to learn how to clean and floss around wires and brackets. The good news: With a little practice, you can easily master the techniques.
There’s no denying that Invisalign’s smooth design makes them super comfortable to wear. Braces may not be quite as comfortable, but here, too, improvements in design and materials make today’s braces a lot more lightweight and comfortable than they used to be.
Once your braces are on, they’re on until your orthodontist takes them off. With Invisalign, it’s up to you to wear them as directed — pretty much all day and all night, taking them out only for meals and brushing. If you don’t, treatment can take a lot longer. If you think you might be tempted to skip wearing your aligners, braces are definitely the better choice.
The next step toward a more beautiful smile
No matter which option you choose, there’s one more C you can be sure of: confidence. When your alignment issues are finally corrected, you’ll be amazed at the impact it can have on your confidence — and that’s a benefit you can enjoy for the rest of your life.
To learn more about braces and Invisalign treatments, call our office or book a visit online today.