Dental braces help align the teeth and jaw properly to produce an even bite and correct rotated or misaligned teeth and gaps between teeth. Invisalign clear aligners are a special type of orthodontic appliance. They are a viable alternative to traditional wire braces for achieving corrections within a limited range.
You can read more about braces and Invisalign, learn about what type of corrections they are suitable for, their benefits, risks and potential complications in our articles on both Dental Braces and Invisalign. Despite these detailed articles, we decided to write on the Braces versus Invisalign topic because it is a frequently asked question.
We’ve divided our answer into two parts. The answer will be different depending on whether or not you have already seen an orthodontist or dentist.
If you have not yet seen an orthodontist, you many need to do so before you can actually make the braces or Invisalign choice. Here’s why:
Orthodontic treatments are individually tailored for each person. Treatment requires taking into consideration all the changes that will occur in the mouth over the treatment period.
Braces can treat and achieve a wider range of corrections to the teeth and jaw than Invisalign can. Many more people are advised to have braces every year than are typically recommended an Invisalign treatment. So unless your orthodontist thinks you can benefit equally from Invisalign or regular braces, you may not need to make the choice right now.
For example, you are considered a good candidate for Invisalign if you have minimal teeth overcrowding, a mild to moderate overbite, your teeth are tipped by less than 45 degrees or rotated less than 20 degrees, and the gaps between your teeth are not too large. Braces can also treat all of these issues, as well as a wide range of potential corrections that Invisalign cannot achieve.
Braces are worn permanently on the teeth. Invisalign requires a commitment to wearing them at least 22 hours per day. The remaining two hours are for eating and cleaning them after meals. Not all patients can make this commitment. If you are short on commitment, regular braces, which do not require as much maintenance, will work better for you. Bear in mind, however, that braces have their fair share of other issues, such as possible problems brushing and flossing.
The choice between braces and Invisalign isn’t just about how you look while wearing them. There are many other things to consider. That’s why you’re better off scheduling a consultation before trying to make this decision.
If you’ve already seen an orthodontist who has talked about braces and Invisalign here are the factors you must consider:
There are also some orthodontic treatments—referred to as accelerated orthodontics—that can bring limited results within a period of six months. You can read more about the pros and cons in our article on Accelerated Orthodontics.
Finally, anyone whose premolars have been removed recently or will be extracted soon is not a suitable candidate for Invisalign. These teeth are necessary to support the appliance.
After the preliminary testing and fitting, both types require scheduled visits to the orthodontic office.
Orthodontics is not the only way to enhance your smile and improve your oral health. You may find the following articles interesting: