If you’re considering treatment to correct crooked teeth, you’ve probably heard about both braces and Invisalign options. Complicating your choice between the two options is a phenomenon known as information overload. There is so much data out there on these two approaches that it can be difficult to visualize their similarities and differences and choose which is best for you. We have assembled a side-by-side chart to help you as you make this important decision.
|Cost||Depending on the severity of your dental needs, you could spend between $1,500 and $5,000 dollars on a set of traditional braces.||You can expect to pay around $5,000 for a full Invisalign treatment. Keep in mind that Invisalign probably won’t work for you if you have significant dental needs.|
|Required Adjustments||Braces require you to visit the orthodontist at least once a month to get the brackets adjusted.||You’ll get new, clear molds every two to four weeks, but you’ll also need to visit an orthodontist or dentist about once a month.|
|Treatment Time||This varies by patient, but for the most part, you’ll wear braces for about two years. They aren’t removable, so they are always at work moving and shaping your smile. Since they can’t be removed, people tend to get quicker results.||Like braces, this varies by patient (and is especially dependent on the patient’s self-discipline), but you should expect the treatment to last from one to two years. If you are constantly taking your trays in and out of your mouth, treatment will take longer.|
|Ease-of-Use||The ease-of-use really depends on how much effort you want to put into your oral care. Metal braces are glued to your teeth, so you can’t lose any parts or pieces. You do have to be a little more cautious about what you eat, however, as certain foods (such as caramel, corn on the cob, and hard candy) can bend or break your brackets. These breaks can cause painful sores in your mouth if not fixed immediately, which can be inconvenient and cost a little extra.||Invisalign trays are very easy to use, and they are removable. This allows you to eat and drink without having them in your mouth. On the other hand, they can be easy to lose if you aren’t careful. For Invisalign to work well, you have to wear them at least 22 hours per day, so it requires significantly more self-discipline.|
|Efficiency||Braces are a little more efficient than Invisalign if your mouth needs a considerable amount of adjustment.||Invisalign is very efficient in straightening teeth, but they are best for mild adjustments. You may not be a good candidate for Invisalign if you need a lot of orthodontic work.|
|Comfort||Invisalign trays need to be brushed twice daily (at least) using a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may even want to invest in a special solution to help them stay clear and clean. Additionally, since they are removable, you can brush and floss with ease. |
Braces are more clumsy and uncomfortable than Invisalign because you’ve got a little metal bracket glued to each tooth connected by a piece of wire. That said, once you get used to them, they aren’t much of a bother.
|The great thing about Invisalign is that no one can even tell that you’re wearing the trays. They’re clear and fit right over your teeth, so they are, as the name suggests, virtually invisible. They are also smooth in the mouth which makes them a practical solution for people who play contact sports frequently.|
|Ability to Clean||Braces are a little bit more difficult to clean because you can’t take them off. You still need to brush and floss daily, and it takes skillful maneuvering to get the job done.||Invisalign trays need to be brushed twice daily (at least) using a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may even want to invest in a special solution to help them stay clear and clean. Additionally, since they are removable, you can brush and floss with ease.|
|Afterward||Once your teeth have been moved to the correct position, and your braces are removed, you will most likely be given a retainer that you’ll need to wear every night.||As with braces, you’ll need to wear retainers to keep your teeth straight once your treatment is finished.|