Invisalign vs. Braces: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to straightening teeth and jazzing up a smile, there are several different methods out there to consider. If you are trying to decide between Invisalign and braces, it can be a challenge to simply make a decision. A close look at how both options are different and the benefits they provide can make the process much smoother. While both are aimed at straightening the teeth and improving oral health, both options are not one and the same. Let’s take a closer look at how Invisalign and braces differ.

Braces

Traditional/metal wires are the first thing that comes to mind when the word “braces” is mentioned, and metal braces are perhaps the most well-known option. In application, an orthodontist glues metal brackets to the enamel of each tooth and then guide metal wires between the brackets. The braces provide constant pressure over a specific timeframe to gradually move teeth in a particular direction. The movement causes the bone to change shape under the pressure of the braces.

Benefits of Metal Braces

Trying to decide between metal braces and Invisalign should include a look at the benefits that both provide. Braces have specific benefits that should be considered:

  • Braces are Fixed in Position: Metal braces are immovable and will remain in place regardless of the activity being pursued because the brackets and wires provide stability.
  • Reduced Treatment Time: While a patient’s need is a factor with braces and treatment time, in general, the treatment time can be less with braces than Invisalign. The 24/7 wear-ability of braces provide continuous treatment, something that removable Invisalign’s don’t facilitate. It is common for treatment to last between 1 and 3 years.
  • Cost Less: Individual case is something to keep in mind when it comes to the cost of braces. However, in general, regular braces cost less than Invisalign, where patients can anticipate spending from $2,500 to $6,000, when compared to Invisalign’s $3,500 to $8,000 cost.

Effective: From minor to complex corrective dental work, braces are an effective treatment option for both adults and children. They are versatile orthodontic appliances that work slowly to realign teeth, reposition jaws and create an overall better smile in a single treatment.

Invisalign

Invisalign are clear aligner trays that are an alternative to braces. They are made of BPA-free plastic and are made to be invisible and discreetly, yet subtly straighten teeth. Instead of a mold, Invisalign utilizes a 3-D image of a patient’s teeth to configure custom aligner trays, uniquely fitted for the specific patient.

​Benefits of Invisalign

  • Easily Removable: The trays are removable, which means that patients can eat the food they love will no problem or risk of damage to the aligners. They can be easily removed to brush the teeth and floss.
  • Aesthetically Pleasing: Invisalign trays are clear and are more desirable than braces when it comes to appearance. Adults, especially, will feel more confident wearing these trays that are far less noticeable than braces. They are discreet and could go unnoticed.
  • Comfortable: Wires and brackets don’t sound comfortable. Invisalign aligner trays don’t create pain or sores in the mouth like braces can.
  • Less Visits to the Orthodontist’s Office: Expect fewer visits to the orthodontist’s office when wearing Invisalign. There is no need for adjustments in the absence of wires and brackets, which is typically needed with metal braces. A visit is usually every 4 to 6 weeks.

These two treatment options are worth considering when interested in getting straighter teeth and enhancing one’s smile. When choosing between Invisalign and metal braces, it’s important to think about one’s individual needs, as well as the benefits that they provide. The option that is best for you is the right option, be it discreet aligners or metal wires and brackets. An orthodontist can help you to arrive at the right treatment option.

Dr. Emma Wu & Associates: Your Braces and Invisalign Consults

If you are considering braces or Invisalign, be sure to consult with Dr. Emma Wu & Associates. With two convenient locations in North Andover and Danvers, schedule an appointment with us today!

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