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Are Invisalign or Braces Better?

11th August 2020

woman smiling with straight teeth

As new methods of straightening teeth are introduced, it leaves us all wondering; which is better? The rivalry between Invisalign and metal braces has been around for as long as time (or something close to that). 

There’s always a certain air of scepticism around Invisalign, and questioning their ability to straighten teeth, quicker, and permanently. With that being said both Invisalign and metal braces are good at more than just straightening teeth, and do a damn good job at it too!

Assigning a patient a certain teeth straightening method is very much dependent on the requirements, being judged on a case by case basis. Read further to understand which is the right option for you, should you need treatment.

 

Introduction to Teeth Straightening

Orthodontics, otherwise known as teeth straightening, helps to fix crooked or misplaced teeth to provide a better visual appearance and functional use. 

Basically, if you’re having issues with the way you bite or the way your teeth look, it could be an argument to see an orthodontist. However, whether you invest in metal braces or Invisalign is 100% your choice, you will get advice from your orthodontist on the best course of action. 

So, whether you’re new to the whole scene or just want a refresher on the different options – here’s a brief overview of how Invisalign braces and metal braces work to straighten your teeth.

 

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign braces are a means of straightening your teeth using essentially ‘invisible braces’, they are much more discreet than traditional braces. Invisalign is a flexible, comfortable alternative to metal braces.

If you were to straighten your teeth through Invisalign you will attend your first appointment, in which you will send off your bite impressions. These will be sent off to the lab to create your custom aligners, over the course of treatment you will receive numerous aligners each to be worn around two weeks at a time. 

At the beginning of the treatment using intuitive technology, a preview of the finished result can be seen. You can see what you would like after the treatment has finished and your teeth are straight, how great is that! 

The usual time for treatment is on average 12-18 months, however, depending on your requirements this can vary either way. But, Invisalign has proven to be a trusted, discreet, often preferred option to traditional metal braces.

 

How Do Braces Work?

By no means are traditional braces becoming less popular, for most, they have been around the longest and therefore have cemented themselves as a popular option for teeth straightening. 

The results are reliable and you know exactly what you’re getting. There are two types of metal braces, lingual and ceramic – with ceramic being the more discreet option moving away from the traditional ‘train tracks’ model.

Unlike Invisalign which works to straighten teeth all at once with one central force, metal braces work to straighten your teeth one at a time. Using metal braces, your teeth are pushed slowly into position with a gentle force.

Small brackets are used and joined together with wire, the wire is then tightened at intervals to pull your teeth together. Elastic bands may also be used to help the teeth straightening efforts further. 

 

Are Invisalign or Braces Better?

Both Invisalign and metal braces are viable options in a variety of situations, with one or the other being chosen based on the specific requirements. However, there are certain elements of each that set them apart drastically. 

If you’re debating whether to invest in braces or Invisalign or which is better, cheaper, quicker etc. below we’re investigating the benefits of each to help you make up your mind.

 

Benefits of Invisalign

 

Discreetness

The most prominent benefits of Invisalign have got to be the discreet comfort of the invisible braces. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign works with clear braces to create an alternative to bulky, metal, chunky braces. 

While braces are available to all ages, adults are often deterred by the appearance of ‘train tracks’, Invisalign offers the perfect opportunity to straighten your teeth discreetly, quickly and comfortably. 

 

Cleanliness 

Invisalign are also much easier to maintain a happy and healthy smile, as the clear braces can be removed. It is much easier to brush, floss and clean areas of your mouth that metal braces would prohibit. 

The trays can also be cleaned! Simply remove them, rinse them under the tap, brush them with your toothbrush carefully. For more information on the daily routine: cleaning and washing of Invisalign braces check out our blog.

 

Time

Due to needing to be seen every six weeks on average, other methods can take much longer and require many more appointments! Invisalign is the quicker and more efficient means of straightening your teeth for adults leading busy lives.

 

Eating

No food restrictions. For food lovers this is a big one, with metal braces there is a hefty list of items you’re banned from eating from the get-go. Caramel, chewing gum, chewy, sticky foods, nothing is off-limits. 

 

More Confident Smile

With Invisalign, you can be confident in your smile both during and after treatment. Straighter teeth are better for your gums and overall dental health, being able to eliminate gaps and awkward angles makes it much easier to care for your teeth.

 

Benefits of Braces 

 

Cost

Metal braces are in fact actually quite a bit cheaper than other methods such as Invisalign. Of course, the complexity of each case can cause prices to change drastically for each, which may make Invisalign a more viable option. 

However, on average metal braces make for a more affordable tooth straightening option and a popular one at that.

 

Braces Are Better In More Complex Cases

In more complex cases where there is more at hand than just straightening teeth, braces are better at handling these extra requirements. If you have an abnormal bite, misplaced teeth, meta braces are much better gauging and working to fix these problems quicker and more efficiently.

Metal braces offer much more versatility than Invisalign, in the sense that invisible braces are working with one overall force, whereas traditional braces apply pressure on each tooth individually. This allows for much more precision and usefulness in more complex cases.

 

Durability

Metal or plastic? Metal is going to win hands down each time. Plastic or ceramic can break (not easily, but accidents happen), whereas it would take a lot of force to break metal braces. 

If your invisible braces, retainers, break then you’ve got a rather large bill in order to replace them. 

 

Flexibility

Similarly to Invisalign traditional braces are also quite flexible in appearance. Coming in lingual and ceramic, ceramic makes for a much more discreet and ‘aesthetically pleasing’ option. Doing away with the metal wires, brackets, everything that makes it obvious you’re wearing braces.

 

Dental Health

Much to the same of Invisalign, there are tremendous health benefits to straight teeth. Providing both short and long term benefits that you’ll learn to appreciate later in life if you’re a teen. 

Having gaps or misplaced/crooked teeth can hinder your ability to properly take care of your teeth, so investing in teeth straightening could prove invaluable for your dental health.

 

What’s the first step to being more confident in your smile?

The first step in being more confident in your smile is by making an appointment with your dentist. To make an appointment and to find out more about our cosmetic dentistry options, give us a call on 01709 917666.

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