Health & Fitness

Braces vs. Invisalign: What’s the Difference?

Everyone dreams of having a beautiful, sparkling white smile. Having a perfect smile goes a long way for both teens or adults,  and currently there are many treatment options available. While metal braces are the first thing to pop up when you think about teeth straightening, there are a lot of new dental procedures and treatment plans that will help you have those perfectly straight teeth you’ve always dreamed of. Depending on their needs and dental situation, patients can now choose from multiple types of braces (ceramic, metal, lingual or damon) and Invisalign, a revolutionary system of teeth straightening which hides the orthodontic treatment completely.

Let’s take a look at each of these orthodontic treatment systems to help you decide which is better for you:

Braces vs. Invisalign

Braces

They consist of little brackets bonded to your teeth which are made of different materials (metal or various types of ceramic compounds). The brackets themselves are then connected to a wire which holds them all together tightly, helping your teeth realign. Typically, your orthodontist will tighten the wire every month during the treatment process to assure that you will have a normal, aligned bite.

There are several types of braces:

Metal braces – they are the most popular orthodontic treatment system currently available:

The pros:

• Metal braces are usually the most affordable treatment option for crooked teeth.

• These braces are extremely durable and sturdy, making them ideal for complex, intensive orthodontic treatments. Even the most crooked teeth can be straightened up with this system.

• While these braces may not look great on your teeth, making them unpopular for adults, most teens and children love the idea of colored rubber retainers which add a youthful look to their smile.

The cons:

• Metal braces have big downside: they are visible and will, temporarily, affect your smile and your confidence. This is why many adults shun this orthodontic treatment system and prefer to go with other systems.

Ceramic braces – commonly known as “clear” braces, they are very similar to metal braces, but the brackets are made of a ceramic compound.

The pros:

• Ceramic braces are quite similar to metal braces, but they come with an important benefit: they reduce the visibility of the brackets and will help you have a better smile during the treatment.

• Just like metal braces, ceramic braces will help straighten up crooked teeth, and are good for long term orthodontic treatment plans.

The cons:

• Ceramic braces, when compared to metal ones, are more expensive and are more difficult to install.

• Ceramic braces cannot be used on very crooked teeth, especially when coupled with jaw misalignment issues, such as overbites or underbites.

• Because of their translucent aspect, these braces are prone to yellowing or stains over time, so consistent and careful cleaning is recommended.

Lingual braces –  they work the same way as metal or ceramic braces but they are mounted on the back of your teeth.

The pros:

• Lingual braces are ideal for people who want to undergo an orthodontic treatment plan but don’t want to have any braces visible.

The cons:

• Generally, they are more expensive than metal or ceramic braces.

• They are not recommended for people who have excessively crooked teeth or need a long-term orthodontic treatment, mainly because they are particularly fragile.

• These braces require constant care and cleaning to prevent buildup of food debris and plaque. Many patients who fail to clean the area are at a high risk of tooth decay and other dental issues.

• Some patients complain about having trouble speaking when wearing lingual braces, but these problems go away after they get accustomed to them.

Invisalign

Invisalign is a revolutionary system which completely hides the orthodontic treatment from the outside. The patient wears a translucent aligners on his or her teeth, which slightly adjust the position of the teeth. The aligners are then replaced with other aligners to help correct the bite.

The pros:

• Invisalign’s biggest benefit is its almost complete invisibility. Most patients choose this treatment plan over others for this benefit alone. It helps you have an ideal smile during the treatment, it doesn’t affect speech and doesn’t promote the buildup of food debris and plaque.

The cons:

• The Invisalign system is more expensive than traditional braces. Also, Invisalign is not particularly effective if you have excessively crooked teeth.

So what orthodontic treatment system should you choose?

After we’ve shed some light on these common orthodontic treatment options, you should have at least an idea about what you should go for. As you can see, there are two big options available when it comes to getting your teeth straightened: braces or Invisalign.

Braces are the most popular, particularly metal ones. They are cheap, easy to install and will help straighten even the most crooked teeth. However, they do not look so good on your teeth, which may be a problem if you work in a public environment. Typically, metal braces are popular for teenagers, children, while adults tend to avoid them. On the other hand, adults usually go for ceramic or lingual braces, as they come with the benefits of the metal braces, but are less visible.

Invisalign is a system which is growing in popularity, especially among adults working in public positions, where having a beautiful smile is a top priority. They are more expensive than braces, but they will help straighten your teeth, all while having a great smile.

While this pros and cons list may help you understand some of the basics of orthodontic treatment systems available, the best way to know what is suited for your condition is to visit a professional for an evaluation. Orlando Smiles, with its team of dental care professionals, is here to help you make the perfect decision and get the perfect smile that you have always dreamed of. We are happy to explain all the different types of treatment options available and help you choose what suits you best, depending on your needs.