“Straight Talk” from an Orthodontist Who Offers Both – Trying to decide between braces or Invisalign? Choosing between these two options can feel a bit overwhelming. On the one hand, both braces and Invisalign achieve similar end results. They straighten your teeth, support good oral health and help you achieve your dream smile. On the other hand, the process and timeline for each differ.
Invisalign uses clear aligners to straighten your teeth. These aligners are virtually invisible and can easily be removed for eating and cleaning. Braces, on the other hand, are metal brackets that are glued to your teeth and held together with wires and tiny, rubber bands. Clear and enamel brackets are available, but these options are still not as discreet as Invisalign.
Visibility is not the only concern, however, when selecting a tooth straightening option. While many patients are worried about feeling “embarrassed” while wearing braces, in some cases braces may be the best option to achieve your goal of straighter teeth. Here’s what you need to know about both options:
The cost for Invisalign and braces is similar and depends on treatment needs and length.
Cost is a common concern with Invisalign treatment and braces as both represent a major financial commitment. Here’s the good news: depending on your insurance policy, your insurance company may provide equal coverage for Invisalign and braces. Should you owe additional money, some providers, like Docbraces, offer flexible payment plans that help reduce the financial burden by spreading payments out over the length of treatment. In general, longer or more complex treatment plans will cost more than shorter treatment plans.
Braces are better for more complex cases.
Invisalign is best suited for patients with relatively straightforward alignment needs. Invisalign should not be used for patients who have bridgework or back tooth bite issues, need to rotate canines or premolars, or need to move teeth vertically. Additionally, since Invisalign is removable, patients must commit to wearing the trays for at least 22 hours each day. If the patient lacks this self-discipline, braces may be a better option.
Invisalign is easier to clean.
Invisalign retainers are made from BPA-free plastic and can easily be removed when eating meals or brushing teeth. Patients with Invisalign can brush and floss normally. Aligners should be cleaned each night by rinsing in warm water or using Invisalign’s tray cleaning system. Additionally, since trays can be removed for eating, patients don’t need to worry about food getting stuck between metal brackets and wires. Braces are a bit trickier to keep clean. Patients will need to be careful about which foods they eat and avoiding sticky or hard foods that can become trapped in the wires or dislodge a bracket.
Invisalign may be more comfortable.
Pain from brackets and metal wires is a common complaint from patients with braces. In addition to discomfort from tooth movement, some patients report sores from brackets or wires inside their mouth. While patients with Invisalign may also experience some soreness from teeth movement, in general, this discomfort is better tolerated. Invisalign aligners are smooth and less likely to cause gum soreness.
At Docbraces, our experienced orthodontists have helped thousands of patients achieve their dream smile with braces and Invisalign. We understand the pros and cons of each option. There is no single “perfect” solution for everyone: what works for one patient may not work for another. That’s why we advise spending time with your orthodontist to discuss each option in detail and decide together what makes the most sense for your smile goals. While many adult patients prefer Invisalign because it is a more discreet option, additional concerns such as cost, treatment length or treatment needs may be a reason that braces could be a better option for your long-term oral health.