Since its inception in the late 1990s, Invisalign has enjoyed plenty of praise and excitement. While braces were once considered a painful part of adolescence, with plenty of embarrassment, hemming, and hawing, Invisalign took much of the discomfort and embarrassment out of getting braces in childhood and beyond.
What Is Invisalign?
The Invisalign system is a series of clear retainers that gradually shifts crowded or crooked teeth, in order to improve an individual’s bite, crowded teeth, or jaw. Like traditional braces, Invisalign treatment typically extends over the course of 1.5 to 2 years, and patients can expect to experience mild discomfort as teeth move and the jaw readjusts.
No longer in its infancy, Invisalign is a widely-used and highly-regarded form of orthodontic treatment. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign is often offered in general dentistry practices, and the pace and efficacy of treatment are largely left up to the commitment of the patient in question.
Invisalign Versus Traditional Braces
Traditional braces and Invisalign are frequently pitted against each other because both claim to provide the same basic service. Do traditional braces and Invisalign treatment truly treat the exact same conditions? Or is there more to the picture?
To understand the differences between traditional metal braces and clear braces like Invisalign, we will evaluate the many potential differences between the treatments.
Comfort is often considered one of the most significant differences between Invisalign aligners and the metal brackets associated with traditional braces. Braces can cause some small lacerations for the tissues of the mouth, and when they are not treated correctly, snapped wires and damaged metal brackets can cause further discomfort and even cause issues with the gums.
Clear braces remove the components of traditional braces that are associated with discomfort. Without metal brackets, wires, or even rubber bands, Invisalign’s set of aligners can prove more comfortable than standard braces.
Comfort is second only to appearance where Invisalign is concerned. At its inception, Invisalign’s treatment plan was focused on as a far more aesthetically pleasing alternative to clunky wire brackets and wires. This preference has persisted, as plenty of people consider the clear aligners that are unique to clear braces to be far less visually obtrusive than traditional braces.
Treatment times required for each treatment option are almost identical. Traditional braces may be associated with a few extra months of treatment, but most Invisalign treatment plans offer Invisalign for 18-24 months–a time frame that could just as easily be used in traditional braces.
Although dental hygiene may be one of the least attended-to concerns with regard to Invisalign and traditional braces, dental hygiene can actually be extremely important when undergoing orthodontic treatment. Metal brackets and wires have been known to trap food residue and pose a problem with the consumption of sticky, hard, or tacky foods. People with traditional braces may experience some discoloration if precautions are not followed and may require teeth whitening at the conclusion of their treatment plan.
Invisalign comes with its own unique set of requirements. The series of custom aligners delivered during Invisalign treatment must be worn 22 hours a day, and are designed to be removed only to eat, brush, and floss. Patients who undergo Invisalign treatment may experience fewer issues with gums and cavities than those who use traditional braces to correct tooth and jaw issues.
Traditional braces continue to be less expensive than Invisalign, though the gap has lessened significantly since Invisalign was first made available. Traditional braces range in price from $2,000 to $5,000, while Invisalign treatment typically hovers right around $5,000. Both may be covered, to some degree, by insurance (depending on your individual coverage), and both usually come along with payment plans.
Can Invisalign Replace Traditional Braces?
The answer to this question is not a straightforward one. Braces and Invisalign are frequently used to treat different things, and both treatments are not always suitable for the same issues. To determine whether or not Invisalign can truly replace traditional braces, you must first determine the issue at hand, and whether it is effectively targeted by Invisalign.
Crowded Teeth or Offset Jaw?
Invisalign uses a series of clear plastic aligners to effectively shift teeth and improve the alignment of a patient’s jaw. More severe cases of crowded teeth, jaw misalignment, and even tilted teeth may not be effectively treated with Invisalign and may require the more rigorous tension applied by metal brackets and wires.
Invisalign is excellent at straightening teeth and improving minor overbites but is less effective at correcting substantial dental concerns, including severe over or underbites, heavily tilted teeth, or even exceedingly crowded teeth.
The Purpose of Orthodontic Treatment
Invisalign treatment is frequently preferred for people whose issues are largely cosmetic. Crowded or crooked teeth and minor overbites are often not a source of undue pain or discomfort but can prove frustrating for people in search of an ideal, pearly-white grin. Invisalign may be the better option for these individuals because it offers a simpler, cleaner, and more comfortable avenue toward your preferred grin.
Metal brackets and wires are typically preferred by dental professionals who are developing treatment plans for severe crowding, jaw issues, tilting, and even tooth loss, as they are more effective in applying intense pressure and creating lasting change.
Find the Best Invisalign Treatment in Pineville, NC
The best possible Invisalign treatment in Pineville, NC can be found at Radiant Smiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. Our dental care practice is devoted to providing the absolute best treatment options for our patients while cultivating a relationship filled with trust between our team and patients. Whether you are a prime candidate for state-of-the-art clear braces like Invisalign, or you must come by your beautiful smile via traditional means, contact our office today.