For decades, if you needed to straighten your teeth, there was only one option, metal braces. That changed in 1999 when Invisalign was introduced as an alternative. Invisalign is a clear aligner that fits over the teeth to straighten them. This is done with a series of trays worn over the teeth (and over time) as they adjust. The most obvious difference in using Invisalign over metal braces is, Invisalign is virtually impossible to see and it has very little effect on your smile as it is working to correct dental issues.
What Makes Invisalign a Good Option?
The next most impressive difference is that Invisalign is removable. This makes Invisalign easy to clean and maintain. These two differences alone are enough for many people to make their choice, but there are many more differences that are important to consider.
Traditional braces and brackets are attached to the teeth. The brackets are not removable. This makes cleaning, especially between teeth very hard. This can promote decay and issues which will require additional dental attention in coming years.
Invisalign does not limit the foods you can eat. Popcorn, gum, nuts and such are not restricted with the Invisalign system. That is not the case with traditional braces. Food can get stuck in metal braces, causing discomfort and making hygiene difficult. Certain foods can also damage wires and break rubber bands causing costly repairs.
How Are Traditional Braces Different?
Traditional braces sometimes cause soreness to teeth, mouth and cheeks. They also can irritate the inside of the lips. Invisalign does not present that problem as there are no wires, brackets or bands in the mouth.
Invisalign is designed for most basic teeth straightening needs. However, serious issues such as canines or premolars that require rotation or up-righting root movements may require metal braces. Invisalign is also not the best choice for straightening back teeth.
Traditional braces usually cost $3000.00 to $5000.00. But there are factors that can add hundreds or even thousands of dollars to the procedures. It is impossible to determine how much the entire procedure will cost and how long the procedure will take. Everyone is different. Likewise, the cost of Invisalign is in the same range. However, the price will be affected by the number of trays a patient requires for his particular dental problem.
When it comes to comfort, ease of use, and appearance, Invisalign is the clear choice. When it comes to price, they are about equal in most cases. As for convenience, Invisalign wins again. For more difficult dental problems, traditional braces may be the only option. This is a decision best left to your dentist or orthodontist.
Most teenagers and adults do not relish the idea of showing a mouth full of metal with every smile. More people in those age groups are opting for the Invisalign system. Until its introduction, many people in that age group simply chose to live with their crooked teeth.