Invisalign versus Braces

Many patients have questions when deciding between the use of braces or Invisalign in chapel hill north carolina for straightening their teeth. Patients often wonder which option is more effective and less expensive.

Braces and Invisalign were designed as solutions to straighten the teeth and also improving the smile and complete oral health. Patients began using Invisalign in 2000, making it is a newer option.

Braces include the use of metal brackets that are glued to the teeth. The brackets are connected through the use of thin wires and very small rubber bands. Modern dentistry has introduced less obvious brackets which match the tooth’s enamel.

In comparison, Invisalign is virtually invisible. The treatment uses smooth, comfortable, BPA-free clear plastic aligner trays. The trays are placed directly on top of the teeth and slowly adjust the teeth into the desired location. The dentist or orthodontist will use X-rays, pictures and impressions to create an accurate 3-D image of your teeth which is then used to create the custom aligner trays.

Braces and Invisalign exist to aid in straightening the teeth. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages. The below chart helps to highlight the difference between the two treatment options.

Invisalign Braces
Color Clear, not visible Metal, tooth-color and other colors available for an added cost
Treatment Time Estimates 22-24 hours a day for 6-18 months Worn constantly for about 2 years
Average Cost $5,000 $1,800-$5,500
Maintenance Daily brushing and rinsing of the trays Clean brackets and wires regularly during teeth brushing; a water pick can also be used
Follow-up Visits Every 4 to 6 weeks Monthly
Follow-up Treatment A retainer is usually required A retainer is usually required
  • Nearly invisible
  • Can be removed
  • No dietary restrictions or challenges when eating
  • Minimal pain
  • Unable to remove
  • Better solution for complex issues
  • Unable to lose or forget
  • No additional cleaning steps are required
  • Tooth movement can cause discomfort
  • Required to be removed when eating or drinking
  • Must clean after eating to avoid stains
  • Wires, brackets and movement of the teeth can result in sores and pain
  • Can cause tooth discoloration
  • Diet modifications may be required

There are advantages and disadvantages associated with both options. Invisalign can be attractive for patients who are concerns about the visibility of traditional braces. The aligner trays can be removed which allows patients to eat, drink, brush and floss normally. Invisalign is not a good solution for patients who are not disciplined to remove and replace the trays as needed.

It is challenging to measure the long-term success rates for Invisalign and braces. Invisalign is also a relatively new treatment, which means there is not any long-term data to evaluate. The successful Invisalign treatment is entirely dependent on the patient. For the treatment to be a success, the aligner trays need to be worn for a majority of the day (20-22 hours). Braces are attached to the teeth, which means there is no temptation or risk of not wearing them long enough.

Patients may not be candidates for Invisalign if they have more complicated issues such as adjusting the teeth in the back of the mouth, require teeth rotation or the teeth need to be moved vertically. Follow up with your dentist or orthodontist to determine which solution is most effective for your specific needs.

More on Invisalign : How Long Does Invisalign Take?

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Cornerstone Family Dentistry Reviews

Cornerstone Family Dentistry Chapel Hill NC

High-Quality Dental Care

At Cornerstone Family Dentistry in Chapel Hill, all our services are performed with the patient in mind. We want you to feel comfortable in the dental chair, confident in our work, and most importantly, we want you to fall in love with your smile again. If you would like to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions about cosmetic procedures that we offer, please contact us at (919) 595-1010.