Having straight teeth isn’t just a cosmetic thing—it also benefits your health by strengthening your bite. Straight teeth are also usually easier to clean, which helps stave off cavities. If you’re wondering which tooth-straightening option, braces or Invisalign, would be better for your teeth, that’s a question that only your dentist can help you answer. However, here are some reasons why dentists choose Invisalign over braces, and vice versa.
What is Invisalign?
First things first: you may not have heard of Invisalign, a relatively new method of straightening teeth. Invisalign uses a series of gradually-changing aligner trays to move the teeth into the correct position. The aligner trays are made of smooth, clear, BPA-free plastic, and are configured for your teeth using 3D imaging technology.
Metal braces, as you may well know, are metal brackets glued to the enamel of each tooth, which use metal wires to move the teeth into position.
Benefits of Metal Braces
Metal braces are usually optimal for patients who would like the treatment to be over quickly, or who have more complex dental issues. Because the metal braces are irremovable and are worn 24/7, they move the teeth much more quickly and effectively. Metal braces are a good option for patients who can’t resist the temptation to take the Invisalign trays off, which can be a difficult temptation to resist, as any teeth straightening method will generally cause some soreness as the teeth move.
Metal braces can also be much less expensive than Invisalign trays. Metal braces typically cost from $1500 to $5,500, depending on the severity of the misalignment. Invisalign, on the other hand, starts around $3,500 and can be as expensive as $8,500.
Benefits of Invisalign
With all we said above, there’s a major reason Invisalign is such a popular teeth-straightening method: it’s discreet. Since the retainers are clear, patients can straighten their teeth without anyone being the wiser. Adult patients in particular prefer Invisalign, because they worry that metal braces will give them a childlike appearance—unhelpful when trying to be taken seriously at work.
Invisalign trays are also much more comfortable than metal brackets, and do not irritate the inside of the lips and cheek tissue. Since they can be removed prior to eating, and brushed with a toothbrush at night, they are generally easier to keep clean. However, that remove-ability also makes them easy to lose, and since they are not on 24/7, they do not straighten the teeth as quickly as metal braces.
Braces vs. Invisalign: Final thoughts
While comparing treatment options can be tough, the decision ultimately comes down to you, the patient. As long as your teeth can be straightened with Invisalign (some dental circumstances might be too severe or unique to correct with the tray method), you can make your choice based on your budget requirements, privacy concerns, and time goals.
If you’re interested in straightening your teeth, our James Island dental office can help! Simply give us a call, and our James Island cosmetic dentists will be happy to assist you.