Santa Clarita, CA – Today there are more orthodontic treatment options than ever before, so if it’s time to choose, you may wonder which is best. Invisalign has been growing in popularity, leading many to wonder if it really is as good as advertised.
Braces and Invisalign are both designed to straighten teeth, providing patients with a harmonious bite and improve a patient’s oral health. But there are both pros and cons to choosing either option. Let’s look at the pros and cons of both Invisalign and standard metal braces.
Traditional braces are the most universal form of orthodontic treatment and still the most commonly used. They have been around for a long time, and for a good reason. They are efficient in both moving teeth and very affordable.
Braces are fixed on your teeth and are typically worn an average of 24 months. The brackets and wires will be noticeable to some especially if they are the metal kind. They are, however, incredibly efficient at moving teeth and are still the best option for correcting more severe orthodontic issues.
Caring for braces is a bit more involved than with Invisalign. Patients need to pay close attention to brushing and flossing in order to avoid decay – the brackets and wires create nooks and crannies that can trap food debris. If it isn’t brushed away properly, it can lead to decay and cavities. Additionally, patients need to adjust their diets to avoid foods that can damage their brackets and wires. Anything hard, sticky, crunchy or chewy should be avoided.
Invisalign, on the other hand, consists of aligner sets that are made of smooth, clear plastic. They are removable and comfortable to wear. Unlike braces that may have parts that can irritate the inside of your mouth, Invisalign’s smooth plastic aligners won’t cause sores or other irritation. And, if you find a spot that bothers your mouth, your orthodontist can buff that spot smooth.
Invisalign is most effective for patients with mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Because it is typically used for these types of patients, treatment can often be shorter, lasting an average of six to 18 months.
One of Invisalign main advantage can also be its drawback. The aligners are removable, which means they require absolute patient compliance for them to work. Aligners must be worn an average of 20-22 hours a day in order to effectively move teeth. If patients don’t wear them as directed, treatment can take longer.
But because Invisalign is removable, it makes caring for your teeth a snap. Simply remove the aligners to brush and floss, then pop the aligners back in. And, you don’t have to adjust your diet because the aligners are removed before eating and drinking.
Invisalign is a great option for patients who want an esthetic alternative, and whose orthodontic issues aren’t as complicated. It is effective at guiding teeth in mild to moderate cases as long as the aligners are worn as directed. Invisalign is typically better at correcting aesthetic issues rather than the functionality of the teeth.
When it comes down to the question of whether Invisalign is as effective as braces, it really depends on a case by case basis. For some patients, Invisalign will be an excellent option that can provide the same results as braces. But for more complicated cases, braces may still be the best option because they can achieve movements that Invisalign cannot yet.
Dr. Reza Salmassian is a Board-Certified Orthodontist. For any questions regarding this article or to schedule your complimentary orthodontic evaluation, please contact Dr. Salmassian’s office at 661-222-7444 or visit us at www.salmassianortho.com.