Many people often ask the question when faced with the prospect of getting orthodontics about what kind is best. However, one that often makes the top of the list is Invisalign. But what is Invisalign? Is it any different from plastic braces? Is it one of the cheaper alternatives to braces? Between Invisalign vs braces which is faster? Is there one that is better overall when asking which is better Invisalign or braces or are braces better than Invisalign in some cases? Is Invisalign cheaper than braces and is Invisalign for teeth what you need?
Which is better Invisalign or braces?
Let’s start off with the first things first and that is – is there an expert consensus when it comes to Invisalign? Let’s check in with the experts.
The clinical performance of Invisalign has been analyzed less thoroughly and a synthesis of the results still remains vague (Papadimitriou A et al., 2018). However, they have made great strides with thinner materials and cleaner designs in recent years.
Orthodontic developments, in the last few years, have been accompanied by a major increase in the aesthetic demands of the patients (Papadimitriou A et al., 2018). This is not surprising as many more adults are now able to get orthodontic care, and they are most image-conscious than preteen patients are.
Since its development in 1997, Invisalign technology has become established around the world as a great aesthetic alternative to braces(Papadimitriou A et al., 2018). And, it also has the capacity to do more orthodontic correction than earlier models could.
Is Invisalign cheaper than braces?
So while the plastic braces of Invisalign are pretty clear, it is difficult to say with certainty that Invisalign is ultimately far better than braces. There are definitely many cases where Invisalign absolutely wins out, particularly in the cost and aesthetics department over braces.
For individuals who do not know, Invisalign is a type of orthodontic treatment that helps correct their teeth. Having straight beautiful teeth without gaps or crooked teeth not only is aesthetically beautiful but it is also far better for your overall oral health. Teeth that are misaligned, crooked, or grind against each other in odd angles can cause cavities, irregular enamel wear, and a whole host of other potentially more serious orthodontic problems.
Are braces better than Invisalign?
Now while braces and Invisalign both seek to treat these problems, both of them do it in very different ways. Braces, as most people are familiar with, mount to the teeth physically and are permanent until removed by a certified orthodontic office. Because of this, installing them often takes far longer, especially for lingual braces, than the initial appointment for Invisalign does.
Similar to a mouth guard that many individuals have seen over the years, Invisalign is actually a thin plastic tray designed and shaped specifically for your teeth so that it will fit snugly and help pull your teeth into the correct position. Because of this, there is no mounting process or dismounting process, meaning that installation and removal is almost instantaneous. Not only that, but it does not take professionals to either install or uninstall them as you will be the person who does so on a regular basis, depending on your own personal comfort levels. So while Invisalign absolutely wins the contest when it comes to invasiveness, what about aesthetics?
The invisible line for teeth
Again, it is very difficult for braces to come anywhere close to matching the aesthetic quality of the Invisalign orthodontic treatment. While ceramic braces try and at least beat traditional metal braces in that regard, the fact is there is only one type of braces that can meet or even come close to the similar aesthetic quality of the Invisalign treatment and that is lingual braces.
Lingual braces, unlike ceramic or traditional metal braces, attach to the back of the teeth. Because of this they are nearly invisible from all but the most astute. They have similar aesthetics to Invisalign because they’re both nearly invisible.
Cheaper alternative to braces
Lingual braces unfortunately do come with a singular major drawback, price. While Invisalign is similar in price to ceramic braces, running about $4,000 plus or minus depending on your individual needs, lingual braces will oftentimes cost twice that or more. So although the aesthetics level is the same, the price is significantly higher.
In addition to that, you still have the aforementioned issue of mounting and dismounting which can only be done by a professional office along with regular orthodontic visits to have your orthodontic work inspected, wires tightened, and all sorts of other things which are far easier to avoid when utilizing the Invisalign system. Invisalign is completely clear, leaving you with just an invisible line for teeth.
Invisalign vs braces which is faster
What about the speed between the two? This is one unfortunately where Invisalign oftentimes falls short. Its blessing is simultaneously its curse. The ability to remove the Invisalign retainer anytime you want, which could be great if you need to eat, brush your teeth, floss, or anything like that, can sometimes be a hindrance for individuals when compared to traditional braces.
This is because the ones that are permanently affixed to the teeth operate far faster than Invisalign does for many people. Invisalign treatment can take several months longer to accomplish the same orthodontic treatment that the traditional braces can if you forget to put the trays back in.
So while it may look far better, and this is an important consideration, the treatment times with Invisalign are slower. However, if you’re okay with less invasiveness and high levels of aesthetics with a modest price, then Invisalign absolutely is the way to go. Just please be diligent about putting your trays back in after eating or brushing your teeth.
What is Invisalign?
With so many benefits and so few drawbacks, it is little wonder that Invisalign is quickly becoming the most popular orthodontic treatment for adults and older teens. People responsible enough to make sure that they wear their Invisalign for the requisite 22 hours per day find that it continues to work wonders and gives them the beautiful smile without anyone ever knowing that they’re getting orthodontic treatment.
You may be one of the many adults and teenagers who require orthodontic treatment because your dentist has referred you for an orthodontic assessment, or just because you don’t like the way your teeth look. It could be that you have some degree of malocclusion or some other orthodontic problem. Whatever the case, an orthodontist is the best person to provide treatment.
If this is your scenario, you may be among the many people who place a high priority on aesthetics and are looking to Invisalign to straighten your teeth. This is understandable as many want to be able to continue their social lives without concern about what their teeth may look like while undergoing active treatment.
In fact, as the decades have gone by, the demand for Invisalign has only increased because of this characteristic of near invisibility. Fortunately, as a result of the continued developments, Invisalign is now being used to treat more complex cases of malocclusions.
However, Invisalign may not be right for you. You should speak to your orthodontist who will provide a tailored approach best suited to you. Once your orthodontist assesses your mouth, teeth, and jaws, you will be informed about your treatment options and then be able to make the most informed decision for you.
Papadimitriou, A., Mousoulea, S., Gkantidis, N., & Kloukos, D. (2018). Clinical effectiveness of Invisalign® orthodontic treatment: a systematic review. Progress in orthodontics, 19(1), 37. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40510-018-0235-z