Invisalign or Braces: Which to Choose?
We know that when it comes to straightening smiles, traditional braces are what might first come to mind. Yet we’re hearing more about Invisalign and Invisalign Teen, both from the company itself (Align Technology, Inc.) and from professional providers like orthodontists. In this post, I will discuss my perspective as well as the merits and drawbacks of each treatment.
In the past, traditional braces have been the only option to correct issues like crowding, spacing, overbite or underbite. Brackets cemented to the face of the tooth hold a wire that runs lengthwise to apply pressure, moving teeth into place with ties that secure wires to the brackets. A patient sees slight changes over time as the orthodontist makes adjustments every six to eight weeks.
Invisalign and Invisalign Teen are clear BPA-free plastic appliances that offer patients an alternative to traditional metal, or even ceramic braces. Your orthodontist takes a digital scan of the teeth, creating a 3D image that’s used to produce a series of trays (aligners) made from a clear material worn by the patient almost all day (they should only be taken out to eat and brush/floss). Each aligner is configured to adjust the teeth according to a predetermined treatment plan mapped out by the orthodontist.
- Tried and true technology
- Office visits every six to eight weeks
- Compliance is virtually guaranteed as there are no decisions about whether to wear or not to wear them
- Virtually invisible for aesthetic appeal
- Office visits can often be spread out over fewer appointments
- No limitations regarding food or oral hygiene
- Most patients are candidates
- Metal (or even ceramic) brackets and wires are visible
- Discomfort from poking wires or brackets that rub the inner portion of the lips
- Broken brackets that cause “emergency appointments”
- Oral hygiene more challenging
- Compliance can sometimes be a challenge, especially with younger patients
- Lost aligners can delay total treatment time
- Must watch certain foods and beverages high in sugar/acid
What’s right for you
The decision to opt for Invisalign or Invisalign Teen over braces can be a difficult one and there are many factors to consider for both the patient and orthodontist. Invisalign allows for more freedom and is virtually invisible compared to braces, but compliance is key regarding successful results. Further, Invisalign may not be the best option for everyone.
Before making your decision, remember there are trade-offs with each treatment, and you will need to consult your orthodontist to determine the most effective option to perfect your smile!
Dr. Seth Kleinrock has over 18 years of experience practicing as a specialist in orthodontics. He has earned “Diamond Status” status for his outstanding work in the practice and has been named the #1 Invisalign Provider for adults and teens on Long Island. Additionally, he gives lectures to other practices all over Long Island as an expert in Invisalign. Why visit another practice when you can be seen by the best?!
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