There are a lot of questions when it comes to the difference between Invisalign vs braces, whether it’s the difference between Invisalign vs braces cost, or whether invisible braces for tooth are better than metal braces. Then there is the question of Invisalign vs braces which is faster, and which is better Invisalign or braces overall? Is Invisalign cheaper than braces? Or are braces cheaper than Invisalign? And how long does Invisalign last compared to braces? Should you choose dental braces invisibleor a different kind of braces if you are looking for an undetectable option?
Let’s start off with answering the main question, which is fundamentally better? Invisalign or braces? Unfortunately if the answer were totally definitive, one of these products would not exist. The fact of the matter is that each of them can be useful products for a given situation.
For instance: some have said that although it is possible to treat malocclusions with plastic systems, the results are not as accurate as those achieved by treatment with fixed appliances (Lidia Galan-Lopez et al., 2018). However, another review found that using clear aligners made no significant difference to treatment time when compared with conventional appliances or fixed appliances (Kassam K S &, Stoops F R, 2020).
The truth of matter is that the real question isn’t which is better as that is a relative question. That will be ultimately dependent upon several criteria, such as your personal orthodontic needs, what you’re willing to pay, your personal preference when it comes to the level of aesthetics, and speed of treatment.
Invisalign vs braces – which is faster
There are different calculations for each of these types of appliances in terms of speed. Braces for instance offer by far the fastest treatment times since they are continually installed and are not removable; they’re working day and night 24/7 so they offer faster treatment times than Invisalign can. However, if you’re looking for aesthetically pleasing orthodontic appliances and do not want to pay nearly $10,000 for lingual braces, then Invisalign can be a far cheaper option without having to deal with the invasiveness of braces at all.
This might lead individuals to ask the question then which is more effective?
Removable aligners or clear aligners are effective in crowding cases and when you have gapped or crooked teeth. However, there may be limitations in achieving results in the anterior-posterior position and final bite alignment. Additionally, there is a likelihood of a relapse after the active phase of treatment (Kassam K S & Stoops F R, 2020). So while Invisalign is just as capable as braces in helping with overcrowding, there may be lapses in treatment due to individuals not following the proper Invisalign procedure and wearing their Invisalign trays for the minimum requirement of 22 hours per day. This can potentially lead to a relapse where teeth begin to shift back into the wrong positions.
Invisalign vs braces pros and cons
Let’s look at a simple set of pro and cons for each of them. Unfortunately you will also notice that some of the pros, or cons, will fluctuate between lists. The pros of Invisalign are it is oftentimes more affordable than something like lingual braces and is about the same price as ceramic braces. It is also removable which means that you can take it out if you want to brush, floss, eat, take a picture, or for any other reason you may choose.
This ability to take it out is one of the big selling points of Invisalign as it does not actually require an intense orthodontic treatment or the wearing of painfully obvious traditional metal braces.
In addition to that it is very aesthetically pleasing, as Invisalign is nearly invisible. Modern Invisalign uses even thinner but strong plastics compared to year’s past. They are even less noticeable to you and to anybody else, making your smile beautiful even while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
The drawback of course is that it is removable and because it’s removable it is easier to damage, break, or lose which could end up costing you more money. The treatment time may end up being slower than that of traditional braces due to this fact. Individuals who are not good at following up on their own orthodontic health may not see much progress.
For braces, the pros are quite notable. Braces work far faster than Invisalign can, because they are permanently installed and they require far less attention when it comes to wearing them. If you get traditional metal braces they are likely to be somewhat cheaper than Invisalign, and they are also covered by many different orthodontic insurances.
However, there are a few drawbacks as well. If you want braces that are going to be aesthetically pleasing and not be visible then you will need to get lingual braces which can run over $8,000. Unlike Invisalign, you also need to be careful about what you’re eating so you do not eat foods that damage or gum up your braces as this can cause problems. You also need to be more meticulous about making sure that you get your braces cleaned properly.
And then of course there is the issue of simply having to wear an obvious orthodontic implement, which may be something some individuals are not super excited about.
Ultimately this will be something that you need to talk about with your orthodontic office to find out what works best for you. This will mean finding the right balance between price, aesthetics, personal comfort, and speed of treatment. It is something that your orthodontist can help walk you through. They will be happy to help let you know what your eligible for and what treatments will be most effective for you.
Orthodontists use braces and Invisalign to fix crooked and poorly aligned teeth. Many people opt for Invisalign over braces for aesthetic reasons. On the other hand, some opt for traditional metal braces because of the relatively lower costs in comparison.
In general, it can take about 12-24 months to straighten your teeth while in active orthodontic treatment. If you follow the guidelines set by the orthodontist to the letter, you will see excellent results at the end of your active treatment.
On the other hand, if you do not follow the instructions, you will be frustrated and have wasted time and monetary investments. You may think that this goes without saying. However, it bears repeating because orthodontists state that patient adherence can be quite challenging.
Before making a decision, it is important to know that there are many types of braces such as traditional metal braces, ceramic braces and lingual braces. Each of these has multiple differences and pros and cons. As such, if you opt for braces, you should speak to your orthodontist before making a choice. Alternatively, if you opt for clear aligners or Invisalign, you should also note that there are vast differences between the older and new versions.
Galan-Lopez L, Barcia-Gonzalez J, Plasencia E. A systematic review of the accuracy and efficiency of dental movements with Invisalign (2019). Korean Journal of Orthodontics, 49: 140-149.
Kassam, S. K., & Stoops, F. R. (2020). Are clear aligners as effective as conventional fixed appliances?. Evidence-based dentistry, 21(1), 30–31. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41432-020-0079-5