Invisalign vs Traditional Braces: Which Is Right for You?

You have made the positive decision to straighten your teeth! Congratulations! 

The next step is to choose the best way to achieve your goal of a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime. A common comparison is looking at Invisalign vs traditional braces. Which will meet your goals the most effectively? The decision depends on your personal preferences, how much re-alignment is needed, the dental team you choose, and your budget. 

We will compare these two options, how they work to straighten teeth and align jaws, and which may be best for you. 

The Basics of Straightening Teeth

The science of straightening teeth and aligning bone around the teeth is called orthodontia. Many dentists handle the basic orthodontic needs of their patients, especially with Invisalign clear aligners, while others refer patients to orthodontists. In either case, both the dentist and the orthodontist have the same goal: to assist their patients in having a beautiful, healthy smile while offering the highest-quality dental work available.

There are several sciences involved in moving teeth and bone: Physics, chemistry, and biology: 

  • Physics applies to the necessary direction of tooth movement resulting from an applied force.
  • Chemistry refers to the body’s response to the force.
  • Biology is the body’s reaction to the chemical signal resulting in the tooth’s movement.

For teeth to move through bone, force is applied by braces or aligners to the teeth first. This signals cells called osteoclasts to move the teeth in the direction needed. A space develops where the tooth was before it moved and the osteoclasts signal new bone to develop in the space. It’s an amazing process!

Traditional braces are attached to the teeth to put constant, directed force on the teeth that are to be moved. Invisalign aligners are a series of aligners (sometimes called trays) that are worn nearly all day each day. They also place gentle pressure on the teeth to move them into the desired alignment. In either case, the patient must follow their treatment plan closely to get the results they want.

This is the reason it is critical to choose the best type of orthodontic devices for your goals and to use those devices as directed. With this in mind, should you choose traditional braces or the newer, extremely effective technology of Invisalign clear aligners? Read on for a comparison of the two.

A Comparison of Traditional Braces and Invisalign

For decades, braces have been chosen by thousands of families to straighten teeth. In fact, according to Humana, over four million people of all ages in the U.S. wear braces to correct problems like overbites, crooked teeth, spacing problems, and overcrowded teeth.

Today, there is a less conspicuous way to straighten teeth, and both methods accomplish the same goals. Since 1997, 2.4 million patients have used the Invisalign system to straighten teeth.

Now that you will be making this decision, which is best for you? Invisalign vs braces? Here are the pros and cons of both types of orthodontic devices:

Traditional Braces Pros and Cons

Traditional braces have brackets that are bonded to each tooth with adhesive and use wires and small elastics to connect the brackets. As the elastics become tighter and the wires are tightened by the dental team, it increases the pressure on the bracket wires. This slowly moves the teeth into the desired place.

It is important to note here that several types of braces fall into this category: Metal braces, clear ceramic braces, self-ligating braces, and lingual braces. Each of these types attaches to the teeth and is tightened by the dentist or orthodontist. They are not removable by the patient. Ceramic braces and lingual braces are much less noticeable than metal braces but are not “invisible” like clear aligners.

Pros:

  • They are less expensive than clear aligners.
  • They have been used for many years with positive results.
  • There are more types of braces to choose from today.
  • Treatment is often faster.
  • Braces don’t get lost since they can’t be removed by the patient.
  • They can handle more difficult orthodontic problems.
  • They are usually the best choice for children.

Cons:

  • Depending on the type chosen, they are usually more visible.
  • The patient must limit their food choices.
  • Brushing and flossing are more difficult.
  • Cavities can develop due to increased difficulty in thoroughly cleaning and brushing.
  • Traditional braces require more visits to the orthodontist.
  • The soft tissue in the mouth can get irritated by the braces and form a sore. 

Invisalign Pros and Cons

The Invisalign system is a succession of clear plastic aligners that use consistent, gentle pressure to move the teeth. The aligners must be worn for 20 – 22 hours each day.

Pros:

  • They are nearly invisible on the teeth.
  • They are easily removed to brush and floss.
  • They are removed to eat, which means there are no food restrictions.
  • Clear aligners sometimes offer shorter treatment times.
  • Invisalign is more comfortable to wear.
  • They require fewer visits to the dentist or orthodontist.

Cons:

  • They are usually more expensive.
  • They are sometimes damaged or lost since the wearer can take them out.
  • Staying on the treatment plan requires more discipline.
  • Aligners aren’t recommended for complex dental problems.
  • Removing them to eat, brush, floss, and clean them requires strict adherence to a schedule.

Invisalign vs traditional braces? Now you have the information you need to make this decision!

Strafford Dental Can Help You Achieve a Beautiful, Straight Smile!

The two broad categories of braces available to you today are traditional braces that are attached to your teeth and removable Invisalign clear aligners. As you can see, each type has pros and cons, and the choice for you depends on your dental team, your personal preferences, the severity of your dental issues, and your budget. 

By comparing these pros and cons, along with discussing your options with us at Strafford Dental Associates, you can make the best decision as we work together to achieve your goals.

Our team specializes in using Invisalign clear aligners to give our patients a straight, beautiful smile that will increase confidence for a lifetime.

Contact us today to set up an appointment!