Invisalign vs. Braces

If you or your child have crooked teeth, you may be investigating your options for repairing the issue. The two most popular choices for fixing problems with the bite or alignment of the teeth are Invisalign and braces, and each choice has its own pros and cons. In some cases, Invisalign isn’t an option, so make sure to consult an orthodontist so that you know what’s realistic. When Invisalign Rockford Illinois can be used for treatment for improperly aligned teeth, the decision between Invisalign and conventional braces comes down to personal choice.

Traditional braces tend to be at least somewhat less expensive than Invisalign. The cost of Invisalign treatment depends in part on the number of aligning trays required to complete the correction of the teeth. The price of traditional braces tends to start at around $2,500, while the initial price of Invisalign is closer to $3,000; more complicated treatments for both braces and Invisalign can run upwards of $8,000. Your orthodontist can review the specific cost of your treatment plan, and dental insurance may cover all or part of your orthodontic treatment. The most significant difference between Invisalign and braces is the aesthetic difference. While Invisalign trays aren’t completely invisible, they’re significantly less obtrusive than conventional braces. While some younger patients might enjoy selecting bright colors for their braces and orthodontic accessories, most patients prefer the practically undetectable profile of Invisalign.

As you might imagine, orthodontic treatment can be uncomfortable. Regardless of whether the treatment method is braces or Invisalign, moving the teeth by applying pressure to them can cause an ache in the jaw, though this ache usually subsides as treatment progresses and the patient grows accustomed to the feeling. Invisalign applies less-intense pressure to the teeth than braces do, which can make Invisalign treatment more comfortable than treatment with braces. In addition, braces have sharp edges, and pieces of wire can poke out, causing painful friction that can lacerate the soft tissues in the mouth. Metal braces can also pose safety risks for people who play contact sports; dentists recommend that people who have braces wear mouth guards when playing sports, if the sport cannot be avoided.

Braces have the benefit of being permanent, which means that patient compliance plays less of a role than it does in the success of Invisalign. If Invisalign patients fail to wear their aligner trays for at least 20 hours per day, they will not be as effective at straightening the teeth and overall treatment will take longer. While Invisalign can correct many issues with dental alignment, it is less effective against teeth that are significantly misaligned, overlapping, or rotated; in these and some other clinical cases, traditional braces are preferred. While braces provide the benefit of being permanent and therefore convenient, braces can also interfere with day-to-day activities like eating certain foods and cleaning the teeth properly. Invisalign provides convenience, as the aligning trays are removed for eating and cleaning and allow for confident enjoyment of an array of foods. In some patients, however, this increases the likelihood of misplacing the aligning trays or forgetting to put them back in.

Both braces and Invisalign require periodic appointments with the orthodontist during treatment. Patients with braces should plan to see the orthodontist monthly, and patients with Invisalign will see the orthodontist every four to six weeks. Once treatment with braces is completed, patients will wear a retainer while sleeping to maintain the alignment of the teeth, and Invisalign users will continue to wear a retaining tray at night for a maintenance period determined by the orthodontist. You and your orthodontist can work together to decide which treatment is best for your needs, so ask your dentist for a referral if you’re planning to correct your improperly aligned teeth.

Cost of Invisalign