One of the most common questions I get from patients is, “What is better for me, Braces or Invisalign?”
The answer is not always as straightforward as it may seem, as there are pros and cons to both systems of orthodontic treatment. Let’s look at some of the advantages to each system.
Esthetics: Advantage Invisalign
The Invisalign system is composed of clear, removable aligners (trays) and attachments that are connected to the teeth. Braces are composed of brackets and wires. Both Invisalign and braces sometimes require elastics (rubber bands) and buttons. Between the two, Invisalign has the advantage on esthetics during orthodontic treatment.
Although it may seem more comfortable to be able to take in and out removable trays than have braces and wires in your mouth, both orthodontic systems cause soreness. Remember, it’s not the actual appliances causing the soreness, it’s because your teeth are moving!
Control / Compliance: Advantage Braces
What Orthodontists dislike most about Invisalign is the loss of control – the patient controls when and how much they wear the trays while braces are on the teeth all the time. I tell all my Invisalign patients the same thing, “if you don’t wear the Invisalign trays, it doesn’t work.” With braces, this is not a concern.
Hygiene: Advantage Invisalign
There’s no question about it, it’s easier to brush and floss with Invisalign. Easier doesn’t always mean better, I’ve definitely had some of my braces patients brush and floss better than my Invisalign patients. But in terms of ease, Invisalign takes this one hands down.
Range of Cases: Advantage Braces
Invisalign is not for every orthodontic case. Many cases are better treated with braces. In fact, I’ve written another article discussing potentials patients that are candidates for Invisalign, which you can find here: Are You An Invisalign Candidate?
Length of Treatment: Tie
Length of treatment is not determined by which orthodontic system is chosen, but rather the complexity of the orthodontic case. Some cases are treated faster and more efficient with braces, while other cases seem to finish up quicker with Invisalign. At your first consultation appointment, your orthodontist can give you an estimated range of treatment duration. We always let our patients know how long we expect our proposed treatment to take, before any treatment is initiated.
Price: Advantage Braces
Braces cost less than Invisalign. How much less depends on the length of treatment and the complexity of treatment. Why are the fees higher? The “lab fee” to Invisalign that is paid by the orthodontic office is significantly higher than the cost for brackets and wires. In fact, many orthodontic offices, including ours, absorb some of that cost, making orthodontic treatment more affordable to their patients.
And the Winner is:
In the end, it’s a decision that should be decided by each patient, after discussing his or her options with an Orthodontist. Invisalign is not for everybody, and neither are braces. There are certain cases that are much better treated with braces, but there are also a number of patients who are simply not willing to have brackets and wires in their mouth. Braces are better for some patients, while Invisalign may be better suited for others.
Want to know if Braces or Invisalign would be better for you or a loved one? Contact our Pensacola, Navarre, or Perdido Orthodontic office today and set up a free consultation. Want to find out more information on Invisalign? Check out our Invisalign page for more information.