Discovering that you may benefit from orthodontic treatment can bring with it many questions. What kind of treatments are available? Which is more affordable? Which is most effective? What’s the difference between popular choices like metal braces and Invisalign? Our goal at Silver Smile Dental is to find the treatment that will work best for you and your smile, and that means exploring all options.
Improving your smile and oral health can benefit from straightening your teeth with Braces and Invisalign. Traditional dental braces have been around for a long time and have a well-established history of treatment. Invisalign is a newer dental treatment option having only been used for the last fifteen years, but continues to increase in popularity with many younger patients and millennials. Traditional braces consist of metal brackets being attached to your teeth, tied together by wires and tiny rubber bands.
Today, modern orthodontics brackets are available that will more closely match your enamel color, or you can get them in different colors if you prefer making a fashion statement with your mouth! In contrast, Invisalign is designed to be invisible. The clear aligner trays are made of smooth plastic and worn over the teeth. We use X-rays, pictures, and impressions to create a precise 3-D image of your teeth which we then use to customize your aligners.
How They Compare
Traditional Dental Braces
Braces are, of course, not removable during treatment. Traditionally made of metal, braces put an emphasis on function over style; however, changing up the color of the bands can provide unique style to the person. Metal, or traditional, braces are extremely efficient at fixing complex tooth issues and they will often work faster at closing gaps and aligning teeth over Invisalign. While every patient is different, the average time spent with braces is anywhere from 18 months to 3 years. Seeing even a slight improvement can play a significant role in boosting your self-confidence!
Maintenance with metal braces can be a little more involved than it is with Invisalign. The brackets and wires can present a challenge to dental hygiene, but brushing and flossing regularly is a must for good oral health. Accessories like a water pik can help rinse those hard to reach places. In addition, there are certain foods you’ll need to avoid, namely anything too crunchy or sticky. So food favorites such as apples, popcorn, gum, and other chewy items will need to be put back in the pantry during treatment. Patients wearing traditional braces can also expect to have follow-up visits about every 4-6 weeks where the orthodontist will change the bands that are attached to the brackets. These appointments are a quick process, and usually takes about half an hour to an hour. Most importantly, though, these visits should not be missed! They’re very important to ensure you’re getting the very best results in the least amount of time.
The two main advantages of using Invisalign vs traditional braces are that the aligners are almost completely invisible and that they are removable. Invisalign also tends to be more comfortable over traditional metal braces, since the aligners are made of a smooth plastic that won’t irritate the gums or cheeks the way some brackets and wires might. Because Invisalign works to straighten teeth in a less invasive way than braces, it’s hard to say how long a patient will need them. The average is somewhere between 6 and 18 months, though of course, that will vary from case to case. This average is also based on the patient sticking to the recommended guidelines of wearing the aligners at least 20-22 hours every single day, throughout the entirety of treatment. Any deviation from this can add time to the process.
It’s extremely easy to maintain your Invisalign aligners. Because they’re removable, you take them out before eating or drinking anything other than water, so you don’t have any issues with food getting stuck in between brackets and wires. You also remove them before brushing and flossing, giving you easier access to your teeth. There’s an Invisalign Cleaning system, or you can simply brush and rinse your trays in lukewarm water to keep them clean. Although there are no food restrictions with Invisalign aligners, you must remove them before all meals to avoid staining, and possibility damaging them. In addition, you’ll need to clean and rinse them out when performing your daily dental hygiene routine.
Like braces, if you choose Invisalign, you’ll be expected to attend follow-up visits every 6-8 weeks, but you’ll also be changing out your aligner every two weeks. This is an important part of the straightening process. The trays are custom designed to fit each patient’s unique needs, and are changed every two weeks in order to keep up with the shift in the movement of your teeth. Skipping appointments or not changing aligners when you’re scheduled to can undo progress.
Let Silver Smile Dental help you decide
Patients who tend to be self-conscious might find the discrete look of Invisalign incredibly appealing, especially teens, and its removability is also a big advantage. However, it’s important to remember that the success of Invisalign depends almost entirely on the patient. If you don’t wear them as directed, they just won’t work. With non-removable braces, you don’t have a choice in the matter. In extreme/severe or complicated cases, Invisalign may not even be an option. That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced provider like Silver Smile Dental!
Our friendly, professional team has years of working with both braces and Invisalign, and we’re dedicated to helping you find the most effective solution to perfect your smile and teeth. Straightening your teeth isn’t just about improving your smile. It also has an impact on your overall oral health, which shouldn’t be taken lightly.
If you need help deciding which treatment options to choose from, whether braces or Invisalign, get in touch with Silver Smile Dental today to schedule a complimentary consultation. We look forward to seeing your smile!