Are you considering straightening your teeth, but not sure whether to go with braces or Invisalign? It can be a tough decision to make and one that will have major implications for how your smile looks in the future. Fortunately, there's plenty of information out there to help you make an informed decision about which option is right for you.
Today, we’re going to offer our own take on the metal braces versus Invisalign debate to help you decide. While both can effectively treat orthodontic issues, there may be some factors to consider to help you arrive at which one you ultimately decide to choose for your treatment journey.
Let’s begin with one of the most immediate differences: Appearance.
When it comes to the physical appearance of braces and Invisalign, there is a clear difference. Metal braces are made up of metal brackets and wires which are affixed to your teeth and stay in place until they’re removed by an orthodontist, while Invisalign consists of a series of removable, clear aligners that fit snugly over your teeth.
Visually, metal braces can prove quite noticeable when you smile or talk. Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible, making them more discreet and comfortable for some people.
2. Attachment and Adjustment:
Braces are attached to the teeth using metal brackets and wires. They remain permanently fixed to your teeth unless they are removed by an orthodontist or through an unintentional accident that may knock one loose.
With traditional metal braces, adjustments are made in-office with each visit where the brackets or wires may need tightening or replacing. Depending on the thoroughness of the adjustment, this can cause temporary pain or discomfort for some patients.
Invisalign aligners are designed to fit snugly over the teeth without any permanent attachments. They also do not require adjustments in-office like metal braces do. Instead, your aligners are replaced at specific intervals in your treatment journey and casually guide your teeth into their new position.
While Invisalign requires fewer appointments with your orthodontist than braces do, this does not mean that you will not have to schedule a check-up. Your orthodontist will still need to meet with you to examine the progress of your treatment, but these visits will be further apart than with braces.
When it comes to maintaining either option throughout treatment, it’s important that you take proper care of your oral health no matter what type of appliance you decide on going with because this has implications beyond just keeping your teeth straight. Good oral hygiene practices can help prevent plaque and food particles from being trapped in your braces or aligners.
With regards to maintenance specifically, though, taking care of traditional braces tends to be easier since all you have to do is brush around them daily when brushing your teeth. However, if food gets stuck in between them, then removal becomes necessary through use of tools such as floss or interdental brushes.
Using mouthwash can also help keep your teeth clean, as it can cover areas that may be difficult to reach with handheld tools. Ask your orthodontist which mouthwashes they would recommend for keeping your teeth clean with braces.
With Invisalign aligners, you must remove them prior to eating/drinking anything besides water. When you’re finished, brush and floss thoroughly before putting them back in. While this may seem tedious initially, it will become second nature after some time!
4. Time Frame:
Traditional metal braces typically require 18-24 months for full correction. Depending on severity levels mild cases may only take about one year. This will depend on the progress made during treatment and how long your orthodontist recommends leaving them on.
Invisalign offers a faster solution for most cases. The average treatment window lasts from 6 to 12 months, but this may be extended for individuals who require more intensive care to straighten their teeth.
Braces and Invisalign can vary widely in cost, and this is often the deciding factor for many. On average, metal braces will cost between $3,000 and $7,000 while Invisalign can often cost more for the same treatment timeline.
Why does Invisalign cost more? Unlike braces, lab fees and more expensive materials are involved in creating unique aligners for each patient. This will often result in a higher price point for similar treatment that can be done with braces.
Understanding the costs of orthodontic treatments, many orthodontists also offer financing options for their patients. If you want to spread out your payment in smaller installments, ask your orthodontist if they offer this service, whether it is in-house or through a third party, and if any interest or credit checks are involved.
Get Braces and Invisalign in Austin, TX Today
At Celebrate Dental & Braces, we are committed to providing a friendly and patient-centered experience for people of all ages in south Austin, TX. With no credit checks, in-house payment plans, and low prices, we strive to make oral health accessible for everyone.
To learn more about our braces and Invisalign options, contact us today to schedule an appointment.