Having crooked or misshapen teeth is common. Whether we’re talking about a minor overbite or slightly wide gaps between teeth or severe spaces and misshapen teeth, the desire to straighten them is pretty universal. You basically have two options when it comes to discussing and choosing teeth straightening treatment with your dentist, traditional braces or invisible aligners like Invisalign. They’re similar but not the same. Let’s answer a few straightforward questions to determine which is the best choice for you:
- What are the main differences between the two?
- Is there a cost benefit to one over the other?
- Does one work faster than the other?
- Which aligner is easier to live with?
- Is dental hygiene better with one option over the other?
- Who are the ideal candidates for each?
- Which is preferable for adults?
There are likely more questions you’ll want to ask your dentist, but this is a great place to start.
Understanding Traditional Braces vs. Invisalign
Both are similar in that they re-align misshapen teeth. Both can fix things like underbites, overbites, crooked teeth, or large spaces between teeth. But a few key differences make Invisalign and other clear aligners far more popular than traditional metal braces. First of all, they are nearly invisible to see, being they are clear. Having a mouth full of metal can be difficult at any age, but especially for adults. Because we are usually used to seeing adolescents and teenagers wearing traditional braces, seeing an adult with a mouth full of metal can be jarring. Adults who wear traditional braces can feel extremely self-conscious about it and even ashamed, which we don’t want!
This shouldn’t be the case, but as a society, we’re conditioned to expect braces on younger people, not our adult friends and colleagues. Invisible aligners allow adults to start straightening their teeth more discreetly, accomplishing the same goals.
What about Costs & Treatment Completion Times?
Traditional braces and clear aligners like Invisalign GO will straighten teeth in about the same length of time. It could be slightly longer for one over the other, depending on the severity of the patient’s misshapen teeth, but more or less, they will get the job done in the same amount of time. A more significant difference is the cost difference. Because Invisalign requires far fewer dental visits and does not require regular adjustments or checkups, Invisalign comes with a lower price tag than traditional braces. So, all things being the same, a lower cost is a better option, plain and simple.
What about Dental Hygiene with Braces vs. Invisalign?
This is one of the most significant differences between the two alignment treatments. Traditional braces connect all teeth with metal wires, frames, and bands. This makes regular brushing and flossing a challenge. First of all, because of the metal connections between the teeth, traditional flossing just isn’t possible. You can’t push through the metal connectors to get into the gums, so oral hygiene tends to suffer with conventional braces.
Furthermore, metal brackets attached directly to the front of the teeth can lead to stains around those areas as they are challenging to clean. For adults who drink coffee or red wine, the stains can become quite noticeable once braces are removed, and then patients have to worry about trying to whiten their teeth. Invisalign gets removed for cleaning and eating, so patients don’t live with food stuck in their teeth and gums. You can floss normally and remove the aligner for brushing so that dental hygiene routines can be kept up with Invisalign. For this reason alone, dentists prefer Invisalign. It allows their patients to maintain a greater level of personal dental care that isn’t possible with traditional metal braces.
Invisalign is Easier to Live With
In the end, traditional braces and Invisalign accomplish the same task, but the main difference is how they get there. Dentists prefer see-through aligner hygiene and comfortability with patients. The only drawback is if patients refuse or forget to wear their aligners. But if you’re serious about straightening your teeth and not wasting your money, you’ll gladly wear them and let them take effect over time.
For the best Invisalign Specialist in Coney Island NY, look no further than right here at Coney Island Dental. We’ve proudly served the lower Kings County, NYC neighborhood for over 40 years and help 4,000+ patients with dental care each year. Come on down, and let’s get your teeth-straightening journey started.