Today is the best time to be alive if you have crooked, crowded, or gapped teeth. That might sound like an odd statement, but the truth is that you now have more ways than ever to achieve a perfectly aligned smile. Gone are the days where metal braces were your only choice, though they are still a very popular one. Now, Invisalign offers a sleek, subtle alternative to traditional orthodontics, but does that make it better than braces? Which treatment is best for your smile? We help you answer these questions today by comparing both treatments side by side.
Metal Braces Basics
Braces have long been one of the most tried and true treatments when it comes to straightening misaligned teeth. They are able to handle a wide variety of orthodontic issues, from simple to complex, and they are extremely durable as well. Braces work by placing wires on the teeth that slowly guide them into the proper positions, and they are held in place by metal brackets bonded to each tooth.
While they have been proven extremely effective, one issue is that they are also very visible on the teeth, which can cause some people to feel extremely self-conscious. They can also take multiple years to complete treatment. However, they are also the most cost effective option available today, which is why they are most often recommended for young children who are less concerned about their looks.
While Invisalign works using the same basic principle as braces (applying gentle force to the teeth in order to move them), it accomplishes this in a completely different way. Rather than using brackets and wires, it instead utilizes a series of custom-made plastic aligner trays to straighten the teeth. A patient simply wears each tray in the series for a certain amount of time, and after they have worn them all, their smile should be perfectly straight.
Patients love Invisalign because of its subtle appearance. Typically, the trays are completely unnoticeable when worn on the teeth, and a patient can even take them out when they need to eat or brush their teeth, making the treatment very convenient overall. All of these attributes make Invisalign especially appealing to adults or image-conscious teens who want to improve their smile while maintaining their daily appearance and routines.
The only issues with Invisalign is that it is not able to address as wide an array of issues as metal braces. Some complex alignment issues, like those pertaining to the jaw, may require metal braces. Also, the cost may be prohibitive for some, as many dental insurance plans consider it a purely cosmetic treatment.
Which One is Best For Me?
If you’re interested in getting orthodontic treatment for either yourself or your child, a good first step is to schedule an appointment with your dentist so they can examine the teeth you intend to straighten. From there, they’ll recommend which one they think is best, and they’ll go over all of the points we covered today so the decision is much easier for you. They’ll be happy to answer any questions you have so that when you begin treatment, you can do so with complete peace of mind.
Both of these treatments have created thousands of beautiful smiles across the country, so no matter which one you choose, you’ll likely love the results. Be sure to consult your local dentist to get started today!
About the Author
Dr. Masha Kogan is a family dentist based in Westport, CT, and she has been helping local residents achieve the smiles of their dreams for decades using a variety of general, restorative, cosmetic, and orthodontic treatments. If you’re interested in straightening either you or your child’s teeth, she’s the person to talk to. She currently practices at the Dental Center of Westport and can be contacted through her website here.