If you are considering teeth straightening, then you’re not alone. According to a recent survey, over half of the Australian population (55%) stated they were unhappy with the appearance of their teeth, and 62% said they wanted to do something to fix their crooked teeth.
Dentists commonly recommend a choice of traditional braces or aligners such as Invisalign, but which is most appropriate for you?
Below, we’ve compared the two treatments to make it easier for you to decide.
Invisalign vs Braces
When it comes to orthodontic teeth straightening, a patient’s decision often boils down to individual priorities and personal preferences. These include:
If you base your pricing decision on cost alone, then traditional braces are the most affordable, option weighing in at somewhere between $4500 to $8000.
Alternatively, the cost of Invisalign varies according to the number of aligners or trays used. The more severe or complex your case, the more aligners your treatment needs, and of course, the higher the price.
For this reason, Invisalign treatments can start from $3000 and rise to $9000 for a complete orthodontic treatment.
It’s a good idea to talk to your dentist or orthodontist before you make a decision. Also, if you have a private health insurance plan, check with your insurance provider to see if they provide cover for traditional braces and Invisalign, so there are no nasty surprises when you come to settle the bill.
When it comes to the appearance of Invisalign vs braces, the former provides a more discreet option. Dental professionals make Invisalign clear aligners from BPA-free plastic. Because there are no brackets and wires, they become virtually unnoticeable.
Fixed metal braces, on the other hand, will be seen when you smile or speak.
Despite the visibility factor, traditional braces don’t always put young teens off. Many prefer the uniqueness that metal braces bring, especially given the choice to select different colours for their ‘bands.
On the other hand, most adults and older teens prefer the discreetness of Invisalign.
Teeth straightening is never entirely without discomfort. Whether you opt for Invisalign or braces, the process of moving teeth can be uncomfortable at first.
Invisalign tends to be more comfortable than metal braces because it applies less pressure to the teeth overall. The metal edges on braces can also cut the tongue or the inner lips in some instances.
Metal braces may also pose a safety risk if you play contact sports, so it’s always essential to wear a custom mouthguard.
So which is more effective, traditional braces vs Invisalign?
Metal braces have been around for many decades and can fix a range of bite alignment issues. Because orthodontic braces are kept in the mouth for the entire treatment duration, they continually work to straighten teeth.
The challenge with Invisalign is that the aligners are removable, and a patient may not always comply with the suggested time of wear. Furthermore, should aligners be misplaced or lost, there is a chance that teeth will shift back to their original position.
It’s not uncommon for people to wear their aligners for less than the recommended time (22 hours a day). As a result, treatment may take longer.
For complex cases where the teeth are severely misaligned, braces are the most effective option. Invisalign may struggle to correct teeth that are overlapping or rotated.
In terms of convenience, there are pros and cons to both braces and Invisalign. Braces are convenient because they don’t need to be removed when eating. However, annoyingly, you may have to avoid certain foods that could damage them.
Removable clear aligners such as Invisalign make it easier to maintain good oral hygiene and allow you to eat what you like without restriction.
However, for some people, removing their aligners, keeping them secure, and remembering to put them back in place afterwards can be a hassle.
Care and cleaning – Invisalign vs braces
Whichever treatment you opt for, maintaining good oral health is a priority. Brushing and flossing can be difficult with metal braces as food can get stuck in the wires.
With Invisalign, brushing and flossing are easier because you can remove the aligners, but a little more effort is required to keep aligners clean.
Follow-up and post-treatment
When you have metal braces, regular dental appointments are necessary to get your braces adjusted. In some cases, a patient can use their smartphone to monitor Invisalign treatment, thus reducing dental visits.
Once your orthodontic treatment has finished, braces wearers will need to wear a retainer to prevent teeth from moving back to their original position. Invisalign wearers will also have to wear a tray at night once their treatment has finished.
Invisalign vs Braces – The verdict
Ultimately the decision between Invisalign and braces is a matter of personal preference, although reading the comparison above may help with your decision.
Some scenarios may preclude you from getting Invisalign, so it’s crucial to talk with your dentist or orthodontist before reaching a final decision.
If you’re considering teeth straightening as an option, we’re currently offering free Invisalign and braces consultations. There’s no obligation, and it doesn’t cost to talk, so you have nothing to lose.
Book your consultation with Macquarie Dental using our online booking service or call on (02) 9158 6273.