Invisalign vs. Braces

June 8, 2022

Braces and Invisalign clear aligners are two different methods to achieve the smile of your dreams. If you’re given the choice between the two, how can you decide which treatment is right for your needs? 
An experienced orthodontist will explain the following pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

Is Invisalign More Expensive Than Braces?

Invisalign may or may not be more expensive than traditional braces. On average, the cost for Invisalign ranges between $3,000 and $7,000, while metal braces usually cost between $3,000 and $6,000. The price is comparable for most patients, but the difference in your final cost will depend on the amount of time and work that your smile needs. If you have a complex orthodontic case, you will likely need more Invisalign trays than the average patient. This increases the lab fees involved in creating custom aligners. In contrast, choosing braces means that you’ll only have to pay for one set of brackets and wires. While a complex case will require more time and appointments, there is no extra cost for materials. When you visit your orthodontist for a consultation, they will review your individual case and your insurance coverage to determine your final cost for both options. 

Do Braces Work Better Than Invisalign?

When it comes to straightening teeth, closing gaps, and correcting bites, Invisalign and braces are both extremely effective. We offer braces and Invisalign at our orthodontic practice, and we have seen both treatments achieve amazing results for our patients. However, it’s important to note that Invisalign aligners are not for everyone. If your smile or bite requires more work than the average case, your orthodontist may recommend braces as your most effective option. Before you make a final decision, ask your orthodontist whether you can expect the same results from braces and Invisalign. Relying on their experience ensures that you’ll achieve a healthy smile that lasts forever.

Braces vs. Invisalign for Overbite

Braces and Invisalign are both effective for the average case of overbite. However, if your orthodontist determines that your overbite requires intense work, they may recommend traditional braces instead of Invisalign. A 2017 study found that the Invisalign system is effective for mild to moderate cases of overbite, while a 2021 study found that it may not be as effective for severe cases. 

Does Invisalign Work Faster Than Braces?

In the hands of an experienced orthodontist, Invisalign treatment is faster than traditional braces. Invisalign treatment lasts 12 months on average, while braces take an average of 22 months. To get the quickest results, patients must wear their clear aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day. Invisalign trays are not as efficient if you forget to put them back in after eating, brushing, and flossing.

Is Invisalign More Comfortable Than Braces?

While modern braces are more comfortable than they used to be, Invisalign aligners are more comfortable than braces because they exert less pressure on the teeth and jaw. 

In addition, wire-and-bracket braces have edges that could irritate the patient’s lips, cheeks, and tongue. In contrast, Invisalign aligners are made of smooth acrylic, and they are custom-made for the patient’s teeth. This benefit is especially relevant if the patient is involved in sports.

According research from 2017, Invisalign patients experience less discomfort compared to those wearing traditional braces. We attribute these findings to the factors listed above.

Generally, braces cause the most discomfort after an orthodontist has “tightened” them. Depending on your individual treatment plan, your orthodontist may adjust your braces every month or two, and the discomfort will last for about a week.

On the other hand, it is normal to feel pressure when switching to a new set of Invisalign trays. This discomfort is a sign that the aligners are working; and it usually goes away after a few days.

While Invisalign patients may experience some discomfort, research shows that the pressure is much more manageable compared to braces. If comfort is a primary concern for you, schedule an appointment with your orthodontist to learn more about the difference.

Invisalign or Braces: Which Is Right For You?

If you’re weighing the pros and cons of braces versus Invisalign, schedule an appointment with a board certified orthodontist. They will examine your case to develop a personalized treatment plan that is right for you or your child.

If your orthodontist gives you the choice between braces and Invisalign, consider the factors above. While we use both treatments to improve our patient’s smiles, we find that Invisalign tends to be the most convenient option.

Invisalign clear aligners are completely removable. You can take them out to eat, brush, and floss, meaning that there are no restrictions on what you can and cannot eat. Just remember to keep your teeth clean!

Compared to braces, Invisalign clear aligners usually require fewer visits to the orthodontist’s office. At our practice, we use remote monitoring to keep our patients on track without the need for frequent appointments.

However, it is important to note that Invisalign treatment calls for personal responsibility. If the patient may have trouble keeping up with Invisalign’s daily routine, braces may be the best option for their needs.

As mentioned above, the best way to decide between braces vs invisalign is by visiting an experienced orthodontist and talking through your options.

Looking for an orthodontist in Tucson, Arizona? Schedule a free smile assessment at Wilde Orthodontics today!

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