Individuals who are considering using either braces or Invisalign to straighten their teeth or their children’s teeth usually have a lot of questions. One of the primary questions they ask is, which one of the two procedures is more effective? At the end of the day, if the patient is going to invest in an orthodontic procedure, they want to find the one that will do the job well and in the end will prevent them from needing to fix their teeth again.
Understanding the Difference between Braces and Invisalign
Both braces and Invisalign have been designed to straighten a patient’s teeth while at the same time giving them a nice smile and helping them to maintain good oral health. While braces have decades of history behind them, Invisalign was introduced at the start of the 21st century.
Braces are metal brackets that adhere to a patient’s teeth and are connected to each other by wires and smaller bands. In times past, all braces had a metal color. Now patients have the option of choosing braces that have a color that closely match the enamel of their teeth.
Invisalign was made to be invisible. They are made of a BPA free clear plastic and are placed over an individual’s teeth. They work by gently encouraging teeth to move into the right position. Orthodontists use x-rays and other devices to create an accurate 3-D image of their patient’s teeth and then provide them with a series of aligner trays that will move their teeth to the correct position.
Braces versus Invisalign
When looking at these two options, the first thing to remember is that they both accomplish the same goal. At the end of both procedures, the patient is going to have straighter, healthier teeth. So really, what a patient needs to do is determine what procedure is going to be right for them. One of the best ways of doing this is looking at a side-by-side comparison.
- Braces cannot be removed. Invisalign is removable.
- Braces must be worn 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for an average of two years. Invisalign must be worn for between 6 to 18 months and used 22 and 24 hours each day.
- Braces can be cleaned by brushing teeth in a normal manner. Invisalign requires a specialized cleaning system that includes brushes and rinsing trays.
- Braces require monthly follow-up visits. Invisalign requires aligner trays to be changed every two weeks as well as checkup visits every 4 to 6 weeks.
- Both braces and Invisalign will require the use of a retainer after the procedure has been completed.
So, Which One Is Better?
As can be clearly seen, both braces and Invisalign have pros and cons. Adults and teenagers who are self-conscious about their appearance may prefer to use Invisalign. Individuals who do not want the hassle of cleaning the Invisalign trays may prefer the simplicity that comes from using braces. In order for Invisalign to work, the patient must be disciplined and must wear them constantly. On the other hand, a person with braces has no choice in the matter.
At Ragan Orthodontics, we offer different treatment plans to help you and your family get the best smile possible. Doctor Ragan will work with you to determine the most effective treatment for your needs. Contact Ragan Orthodontics today to schedule your consultation.