Comparing Braces to Invisalign: Which Is More Effective?

Achieving your dream smile will not only let you gain confidence in your appearance but can also prevent serious dental issues down the line.

Deciding how you’d like to straighten your teeth can be a difficult choice to make, but we’re here to help. Review our comparison of braces to Invisalign so that we can aid you in your treatment selection.

Comparing Braces to Invisalign: What Are These Treatments?

Before we explore the advantages and disadvantages of each treatment, we’d like to review what each one is.

Braces are metal brackets a dentist places on a patient’s crooked teeth. These brackets connect via wires, and all the components work together to shift the teeth into the desired position.

Invisalign is a teeth-straightening treatment that involves the use of plastic aligners. A dentist will take an impression of a patient’s teeth and send the impression to a lab. Then, the lab will create custom aligners for the patient to wear over a specified period.

Like braces, the aligners will shift the patient’s teeth to a straighter, healthier position.

Each treatment method strives to produce the same outcome. However, these methods aren’t equal in many aspects. Next in our guide, we’ll explore each one’s pros and cons.

The Pros of Braces

Braces are the older, more traditional teeth-straightening method. Explore the benefits of this tried-and-true treatment option below.

Ability to Address Various Dental Issues

One of the most important benefits of braces is that they address a wide variety of dental issues. They can remediate the following issues:

  • Misaligned and crooked teeth
  • Overcrowding
  • Gaps
  • A misaligned jaw
  • Underbites and overbites
  • An irregular dental midline

Multiple Types to Choose From

Did you know that braces don’t always look like the clunky metal brackets that TV shows commonly depict? In fact, there are multiple types of braces to choose from.

For example, there are ceramic braces available. These braces are tooth-colored, so they’re less noticeable to other people.

You can also opt for lingual braces, which go on the back of your teeth instead of the front. Their placement makes them almost invisible to the people you speak with.

These different types incur different costs and require different maintenance practices, so it’s best to talk to your orthodontist to decide on the right type.

Faster Treatment Results (Potentially)

Once your orthodontist places your braces on, you should get comfortable. You’ll have the brackets and wires on for the duration of your treatment. The inability to remove braces means the patient can’t impede the treatment, making them a great option for younger children or working individuals with busy lives.

The Cons of Braces

As great as braces are, they come with a couple of cons you should be aware of. Let’s take a quick a look at them.

Adoption of New Oral Hygiene Practices

Understanding how to brush and floss with braces has a learning curve. You’ll need to brush each bracket individually and thread the floss in between each tooth (or use a water pick). As long as you’re willing to learn and adjust, this con shouldn’t be a big deal.

Regular Appointment Attendance

When you get braces, you must visit your orthodontist frequently (at least once every month). He or she will tighten your brackets and monitor your progress to ensure your treatment is going according to plan.

The Pros of Invisalign

Invisalign is a more recent teeth-straightening method, but it’s nonetheless effective and highly sought after by patients.

In fact, more than 10 million patients have used Invisalign successfully. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of Invisalign.

Maintain Your Eating Habits

Are you not ready to give up your normal eating habits? If so, the removable nature of Invisalign may be right for you.

You can take out your aligners and eat anything your heart desires, including popcorn and gum. You won’t have to worry about your cravings ruining your corrective devices.

Mask Your Treatment

Once the orthotics lab creates your aligners, you may have anywhere between fifteen and forty-five sets of clear trays to wear over your entire treatment. 

These trays are clear, so they’re practically invisible to anyone you speak with. The transparency of Invisalign trays makes them attractive to school-aged patients who don’t want to have the “brace face” look. Additionally, working adults opt for Invisalign over braces to maintain a more professional appearance.

The Cons of Invisalign

Invisalign is an innovative treatment option, but it isn’t perfect. Before you start it, you should educate yourself on these cons.

The Discipline Required

For Invisalign to be effective, patients must wear their aligners for at least 20 hours per day (although they should strive for 22 hours per day). Some patients comply with this request easily, while others struggle to keep up with it. It can be easy to forget to put your aligners back in, so you must be aware of the commitment before you begin treatment.

Inability to Address Serious Issues

An orthodontist can’t use Invisalign to fix serious structural issues with your teeth. Patients most often opt for Invisalign if they want to make cosmetic improvements rather than address a major problem (like a severe overbite).

Braces or Invisalign: Which Is Right for Me?

Every patient will have unique dental needs, so we can’t offer a finalized solution without first evaluating your case.

Contact our team at Graber & Gyllenhaal Orthodontics to schedule a consultation! We’ll review your situation, compare braces to Invisalign with your circumstances in mind, and recommend the treatment plan that’s right for you.