If your dentist has recommended that you or your child is a candidate for braces, you’re probably concerned about several things: effectiveness, cost, and how your teeth will look over the next few years. Invisalign is an alternative to traditional braces that’s gained popularity over the last several years; with this system, you’re fitted with a series of clear “aligner trays” that are replaced every few months to straighten your teeth. Read on to learn more about the differences between Invisalign and traditional braces.
1. Fashion Over Function
The clear benefit to Invisalign is that it is hard to detect that the wearer is using them. However, though they are designed to straighten teeth for cosmetic purposes, those with complex dental issues may fare better with traditional braces.
2. A Timely Issue
Traditional metal braces, which are attached to the teeth and connected with a wire, tend to correct issues more quickly than Invisalign. This means that if you go with the latter option, it will probably take longer for your teeth to be straightened.
3. Easier to Use
Because Invisalign is simpler for dentists to use, many who do not specialize in orthodontia have begun offering it in their practices. However, experts estimate that only about one in eight people who need braces are candidates for Invisalign. Be sure to see a orthodontist to get the facts about the full scope of your dental issues.
4. An Option for Regression
If you or your child previously had braces and your dentist has noticed some regression–such as, if the retainer was not used as directed–Invisalign may be a good option to correct those problems.
5. Comparable Cost
According to the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics, the average cost of braces is approximately $4,800, while Invisalign ranges from $3,500 to $8,000 depending on how extensive the corrections are that need to be made. Insurance companies tend to cover both options in a similar way.
6. The Comfort Factor
In general, metal braces tend to cause more discomfort to the wearer, particularly when they are tightened and because of the wires and sharp edges. Because Invisalign is smoother, it tends to be more comfortable to wear–and can be removed so that users can easily brush and floss teeth.
The first step is to consult with your orthodontist to find out if Invisalign is an option for you. If he or she recommends traditional braces, you may consider a clear version rather than the traditional metal.
Informational credit to Kucey Dental Group, an Edmonton Invisalign Dentist.