At Imperial Dental Associates, we know that traditional metal braces were long considered the treatment of choice for straightening teeth, and they are still a popular solution today. Increasingly, though, patients are asking us about Invisalign. “The clear alternative to braces,” Invisalign uses clear, comfortable aligners to gently shift teeth. Both options are effective for most orthodontic issues, making it up to you which to choose. Here are some things to consider when figuring out which treatment is right for you.
Strong treatment planning is essential for both braces and Invisalign, but the treatment planning process looks far different. Planning for braces involves showing you the issues with your teeth and explaining how braces will correct them. We cannot, however, show you what to expect. We will place and adjust your braces, and you will not see your teeth without braces until we remove them.
With Invisalign, we use high-tech 3-D computer modeling to create a digital replica of your current smile. We will morph the model to show you what to expect at each stage of treatment, and then use the model to design your customized series of aligners. You will change aligners at home every two weeks or as instructed, allowing you to monitor your own progress.
Which you prefer depends on your personality. If you enjoy surprises, you might like the big reveal that comes with having your braces removed. If you are a planner and like to know what to expect, you will probably feel better about Invisalign.
With traditional braces, we are in control. You will need to learn to care for them and stick to a list of forbidden foods, but otherwise you are only responsible for making it to your appointments. If you have any issues such as a loose bracket or a popped wire, you will need to visit us for an emergency appointment.
With Invisalign, you are in control. We will place attachments on your teeth, teach you to care for your aligners, and see you every four to six weeks for monitoring. Otherwise, it is up to you. You will wear your aligners 20 to 22 hours per day or as directed, and change them at home according to our instructions. You can take them out for oral hygiene and to eat your favorite foods, but you are responsible for cleaning them and putting them back in.
Which is better is a personal preference. If you are generally responsible and enjoy being in charge, Invisalign will probably feel more comfortable. If you are scattered and don’t want additional responsibilities, braces are likely the best choice.
Comfort and Aesthetics
Invisalign aligners are generally considered more comfortable than braces. Mild discomfort is common when the attachments are first placed, but the smooth, medical grade aligners have no sharp edges to poke or scratch the sensitive tissues of your mouth. Many people report that braces are continuously uncomfortable from the time they are placed until the time they are removed.
Aesthetics are also a major consideration. Do you enjoy making big, bold fashion statements? Consider metal braces with a pop of color. Do you like to blend in and keep your orthodontic treatment to yourself? You will appreciate that Invisalign is virtually invisible.
Until recently, braces were less expensive than Invisalign. This has recently started to change, though. Customizations and upgrades raise the price of braces, as do adjustments and emergency appointments. Invisalign’s transparent pricing structure includes all office visits as well as your aligners. In addition, more and more dental insurance companies are starting to cover Invisalign. Our experienced office staff will help you understand the out of pocket costs for both options.
Ready to Get Started?
If you are ready to get started with a trustworthy and experienced dentist, contact Smile Shack today at 631-928-7500 to make an appointment.