Invisalign vs. Braces: What’s the Difference?
Thinking about straightening your teeth? These days, you have more options than ever! Many patients opt for braces, the traditional method using a wire and brackets, but more and more people are opting for Invisalign, which uses clear aligners that fit over your teeth.
So what’s the difference?
Whichever you choose, braces or Invisalign will both help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile for a lifetime. Below, find answers to all your questions about the differences between these two safe, comfortable, and effective treatment options!
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an innovative treatment method that eliminates the need for metal wiring. Instead, a set of clear aligners is custom created for your teeth, molded to fit the exact shape of your teeth, and slowly adjusting them into position.
One of the great appeals of Invisalign is that it is nearly invisible! Unlike metal braces, which require a metal wire and brackets, the clear aligners fit over your teeth for an appearance that is sleek, discreet, and barely noticeable.
The discreet appearance of Invisalign makes it an attractive option for adults and older adolescents, creating a great smile without major disruption to one’s appearance. But as Invisalign gains in popularity, it has become a go-to treatment option for patients of all ages!
Is Invisalign as Effective as Braces?
The short answer: yes!
To explain why, it’s important to note that both orthodontic treatments are tools in the hands of your orthodontist. Whatever treatment you choose, make sure you select an experienced, licensed orthodontist who will safely guide your teeth into their correct positions. Even the best tools only work in the hands of the best professionals! You should be aware of the dangers of seeking orthodontic treatment without supervision by a licensed doctor.
If your orthodontist examines your teeth in the office and determines you are a good candidate for Invisalign, then yes, you can expect the same effective, lifelong results as braces, with a beautiful, healthy smile and straight teeth!
Everyone’s teeth are different, which means diagnoses are different too: in certain cases, your orthodontist may not recommend Invisalign for your treatment, or may recommend supplemental treatment before or after Invisalign – such as braces - to ensure the most effective results.
It is also important to choose an effective brand of clear aligner. While Diamond Braces exclusively partners with Invisalign, other companies – especially mail-order aligner companies – treat your teeth with off-brand plastic aligners. Invisalign is the first clear aligner brand, and still leads the industry with the most effective aligners.
Invisalign aligners are made of SmartTrack™ plastic, specifically designed for orthodontic treatment and exclusively patented for Invisalign aligners. They also offer patented SmartForce™ attachments, which are designed exclusively to assist tooth movement with Invisalign aligners.
After decades of dedicated research and millions of dollars in development, Invisalign products are simple the best in the business, achieving the most effective results, and providing you with a healthy, lifelong smile!
Can Invisalign Treat the Same Conditions as Braces?
Invisalign can treat a wide variety of dental conditions! When it comes to teeth, there are many different forms of misalignment – and an experienced, licensed orthodontist is familiar with all of them!
Because Invisalign aligners are custom created for your unique diagnosis and dental alignment, they can treat a wide variety of conditions. With certain exceptions due to the specific case, Invisalign can treat the same conditions as braces.
Overbites occur when the top teeth overlap far over your bottom teeth. In some cases, the bottom teeth may touch the gums of your upper mouth. While a small overbite is normal, a more pronounced overbite can cause issues with chewing, speaking, or cause jaw pain and joint dysfunction.
An underbite is the opposite: one or more of the bottom teeth protrude over the top teeth. Many patients have a crossbite: a mix of overbite and underbite. While these conditions are uncomfortable, they both can be addressed easily and effectively with Invisalign!
Crowding can cover a number of different “bad bites”: when the mouth doesn’t have room for all the teeth, or certain teeth are too close together before growing in. Again, because Invisalign aligners are custom designed for your mouth, they can effectively shape around all misaligned teeth and slowly guide them into place.
These are not the only conditions treated by Invisalign. Read up on the various conditions treated by Diamond Braces with Invisalign!
What are the Benefits of Invisalign?
While braces and Invisalign are both effective, many patients prefer the perks of Invisalign. There are many benefits of this innovative treatment!
The discreet appearance of clear aligners is the most important benefit: fitting snugly over the teeth, they are nearly invisible when in place, achieving amazing results for your smile while barely impacting your appearance during treatment!
Invisalign aligners are also removable, which means you can eat whatever you want without risk of damaging your appliance! Because metal braces are permanently fixed to your teeth, it’s important to avoid certain foods, especially hard and sticky foods, that put pressure on your braces and damage them. With Invisalign, you remove the aligners while eating, so you can eat whatever you want! Just remember to brush your teeth after eating, and cleaning your aligners properly every day.
Invisalign aligners are also extremely comfortable to wear. Fitting snugly over the teeth, they don’t take up any extra room in your mouth. Although it can take a day or two to get used to them, most patients get so accustomed to their aligners, they barely realize they’re there! Some patients even find they miss the feel of them when their treatment is over!
Safe, comfortable, and nearly invisible, there are many amazing benefits to Invisalign!
Are There Cons of Invisalign?
Invisalign is safe, effective, and comfortable. However, it is not for everyone. Your licensed, experienced orthodontist is the best resource for achieving your dream smile, and they will examine your teeth to determine the best course of treatment to achieve the best results.
Invisalign may not be the best course of treatment for patients whose teeth are severely misaligned (see more info about common conditions above or read more about misalignment). In those cases, your orthodontist may recommend another form of treatment, or a supplemental treatment in addition to your clear aligners. This could include braces, or other intervention.
Invisalign is most effective when it is used properly. To achieve the best results, it’s important to follow the treatment regimen: wearing aligners 22 hours a day, removing only to eat and drink, and cleaning thoroughly before putting them back in.
For that reason, Invisalign may not be an ideal choice for younger patients. For these patients, or others concerned about maintaining proper care for their removable aligners, the permanent fixtures of braces may provide a more effective treatment option. If you’re interested in braces, read up on the 101 about this effective, safe, and attractive option, great for kids and adults alike!
And again, it’s important to remember that Invisalign, like all orthodontic treatments, are tools in the hands of professionals. When you select a provider for your clear aligners, make sure to research the company. Your treatment should be administered and carefully supervised by a licensed, experienced orthodontists. Treatment by mail – known as tele-dentistry – can seem attractive, but may have serious consequences for the outcome of your treatment. The most important tool to achieve a healthy smile is always a licensed professional orthodontist!
Is Invisalign More Expensive Than Braces?
The cost of your treatment depends on your unique case. In some cases – especially expedited Invisalign treatment through programs like Smilify – Invisalign may be cheaper than braces.
Generally, Invisalign costs are slightly higher than braces. This may be due to insurance constraints: some insurance companies cover only braces. However, as Invisalign gains in popularity, more insurance providers are including this treatment with dental and orthodontic coverage.
Many orthodontic practices also offer flexible monthly payment plans to make it easy to pay for Invisalign. Learn more about prices and financing your orthodontic care.
Whether Invisalign or Braces, Your Smile is Forever with a Great Orthodontist!
We hope this information has helped you understand the differences between braces and Invisalign! Remember that a licensed, experienced orthodontist is your best bet for a winning, lifelong smile (and we’ve got a few of them at Diamond Braces!)
Whether you decide on braces or Invisalign, your treatment is sure to be comfortable, safe, and effective – and when it’s over, whichever treatment you’ve selected, your beautiful, healthy smile is built to last a lifetime!