At Century Orthodontics, we know that choosing the right orthodontic treatment for you or your child can be a big decision. Two of the most popular options are traditional braces and Invisalign. So, it isn’t too surprising that one of the most frequently asked questions we get is “Which is better, braces or Invisalign?” Let’s take a closer look at the features and benefits of both options to help you decide which one is best for you.
Braces have been a tried-and-true method of straightening teeth for many years. They consist of brackets that are bonded to the teeth and connected by archwires. Over time, the archwires are adjusted to gradually move the teeth into their correct positions. Braces can be made of metal or ceramic.
Invisalign, on the other hand, uses a series of clear, removable aligners to straighten teeth. These aligners are custom-made for each patient using 3D imaging technology. Patients wear each set of aligners for about two weeks, then switch to the next set in the series. Over time, the aligners gradually move the teeth into their desired positions.
So, which is better, braces or Invisalign? The truth is, it depends on your unique needs and preferences! Although braces may have been the gold standard for many years, Invisalign technology has advanced in recent years to the point that in many cases we can achieve just as amazing results with Invisalign as we can with braces. Here are some factors to consider when choosing between braces and Invisalign:
BRACES: You can opt for metal or ceramic tooth-colored braces, add fun-colored elastic ties to showcase your personality, or choose our self-ligating brackets to skip the colorful ties.
INVISALIGN: The aligners are made of plastic and are virtually transparent, making them hardly noticeable in person or in pictures. In some cases, tooth-colored attachments are necessary to aid the movement of teeth.
If the appearance of your orthodontic treatment is a concern, Invisalign may be the better option for you. The clear aligners are virtually invisible, making them a popular choice for adults and teenagers who don't want their orthodontic treatment to be noticeable. However, if you don't mind the look of braces, they can be a great option as well.
BRACES: Extra care is needed for brushing and flossing due to the presence of brackets and wires.
INVISALIGN: The aligners are easily removable for regular brushing and flossing.
Since aligners are removable, patients can maintain their regular oral hygiene routine without any hassle. This makes it easier to ensure good oral hygiene during treatment. With braces, cleaning between the brackets and wires requires additional effort and care to prevent white spots from forming around the brackets.
BRACES: Brackets or pokey wires may cause irritation to cheeks and lips. Additional precautions or adjustments are necessary for contact sports or playing certain musical instruments.
INVISALIGN: Generally offers less discomfort during treatment, with no pokey wires.
Both braces and Invisalign can cause some discomfort during treatment. Braces may lead to irritation or soreness on the inside of the cheeks and lips, while Invisalign aligners may create slight pressure or soreness on the teeth. However, Invisalign aligners are generally considered to be more comfortable than braces.
BRACES: Appointments are required every 6-8 weeks for adjustments, with the possibility of additional visits for addressing pokey wires or broken brackets between regular appointments.
INVISALIGN: Appointments are needed every 8-10 weeks for aligner checks, with fewer chances of requiring additional visits.
In terms of convenience, Invisalign requires fewer appointments and is less likely to have unexpected visits.
BRACES: Braces can be worn while eating and drinking, but chewy and sticky foods should be avoided. Hard foods, such as apples, need to be cut into bite-sized pieces.
INVISALIGN: The aligners are removable, allowing you to eat what you want. However, it's important to remove them when drinking anything except water to prevent harm to your teeth or discoloration of the aligners.
Invisalign allows for unrestricted eating, but precautions are necessary to protect the aligners and teeth.
BRACES: Braces are firmly bonded to your teeth, eliminating the risk of losing or forgetting to wear them. They work 24/7.
INVISALIGN:The aligners must be worn for 22 hours per day and should only be removed when eating or drinking.
Compliance plays a significant role when deciding between braces and Invisalign. Wearing Invisalign aligners as recommended is crucial for treatment success. Unlike braces, which are fixed in place and can't be removed by the patient, Invisalign aligners are removable. This offers the freedom to eat and brush your teeth without restrictions. However, it's essential to wear the aligners for the recommended 20-22 hours a day. Failure to do so can prolong the treatment time or even cause the teeth to revert to their previous positions.
BRACES: Effective for addressing a wide range of orthodontic issues, including severe cases. In certain situations, braces may be faster than Invisalign.
INVISALIGN: The treatment plan is digitally simulated and optimized for the most efficient outcome. In some cases, Invisalign may be faster than braces.
The treatment duration depends on individual cases, but both braces and Invisalign can provide effective results.
Both braces and Invisalign require retainers after completing active treatment to keep teeth in their desired position.
Each person's teeth and jaw alignment are unique, necessitating a personalized treatment plan tailored to their specific needs. Whether you choose braces or Invisalign, it's essential that your treatment plan is overseen by a qualified orthodontist. Orthodontists are specialists who have completed an additional two to three years of training beyond dental school, focusing specifically on orthodontic treatment. This additional training and education equip them with the skills and expertise needed to handle complex orthodontic cases, including Invisalign treatment.
As an orthodontist, Dr. Hagge possesses the unique qualifications to accurately evaluate and diagnose any orthodontic issue. He will collaborate with you to determine the treatment option that best suits your specific case. By choosing Dr. Hagge, you ensure that you receive the highest level of care possible, resulting in the best outcome for your orthodontic treatment.
Remember, what matters most is finding the right treatment option that aligns with your specific needs and goals. Whether you choose braces or Invisalign, our goal at Century Orthodontics is to help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile that you can be proud of. If you're interested in learning more about your orthodontic treatment options or scheduling a complimentary consultation, don't hesitate to give us a call at (707) 443-1390. We look forward to helping you achieve the smile of your dreams!