Do you want to straighten your teeth? Are you researching the differences between metal braces and Invisalign? For patients with misaligned teeth, deciding between the two options can be quite a struggle. That’s because there are pros and cons for either of the options. In this article, the dentists at Smile Well Dental tell us the differences between the two options, to help you make a better decision.
Invisalign has become the popular alternative to metal braces. However, is it really better than braces? Or should you go for the good old option of correcting your teeth’ structure? Well, you can get an in-clinic consultation for both at ours.
Let’s see which one would probably be beneficial for you first.
Braces are dental appliances used to correct teeth misalignment as well as jaw misalignment issues. When we talk about braces, the first thing that comes to mind is metal braces because these are the most widely used forms of braces. They were also the first teeth misalignment devices to enter the modern world. Traditional metal braces consist of 3 parts:
- Bracket: The metal structure attached or glued to the teeth
- Archwire: The metal wire that connects each bracket together
- Ligature: The rubber bands that essentially hold the archwire in brackets
Invisalign aligners are clear, removable aligners that gradually straighten your teeth. They are made of flexible plastic that contains no BPA, BPS, latex, or gluten. These thin and clear aligners are virtually invisible, fitted to place the right amount of force on the right area of your mouth in order to shape your teeth. Your dentist will monitor your progress and ensure your aligners fit correctly throughout treatment. According to Sam Shin, a seasoned dentist in Vancouver, it typically takes 12 to 18 months to straighten your teeth with Invisalign. For simple cases, the treatment can last as short as 6 months.
Is Invisalign Painful?
Invisalign is painful for the first week at best. However, pain is better defined as discomfort. It’s the feeling of having something foreign constantly in your mouth.
Metal braces, on the other hand, are known to contribute to excruciating pain for the first 10 days. The metal holds on to your teeth tightly and cuts to the side of your mouth too. You will feel numbing pain in your face and jaw area.
Plenty of people can’t sleep and have to rely on ice and pain meds during this time. Every appointment for wire tightening will renew the bout of pain too.
Is Invisalign worth it?
The benefits of Invisalign
- Invisalign looks much better – essentially invisible
- Can remove Invisalign trays anytime you want
- Can eat anything with Invisalign aligners
- More comfortable as there is no metal material creating sores in your mouth
The drawbacks of Invisalign
- Invisalign exerts a force on the upper part of the teeth only, not the root
- Not suitable for all patients—i.e. patients with bridgework, abnormal teeth wear, etc.
- Speaking with a lisp.
- Must remove aligners before drinking anything other than water
- Dry mouth in some patients
- Easy to forget or misplace your aligners.
Should I Get Metal Braces?
The benefits of Braces
- The best option for those with poor tooth alignment
- Patient compliance is 100% — i.e. can’t be removed, so optimal results are guaranteed
- Pushes the entire tooth from top to bottom including the “root”
- A proven procedure with centuries of success stories
- Very affordable due to the substances that make up metal braces
The drawbacks of Braces
- It cannot be removed easily
- May damage gum tissues upon hard contact
- Not invisible, hence easily noticeable
- Must be observed continuously with proper care.
- Causes trouble when you eat and restricts your diet for certain foods
Does Invisalign Cause Bad Breath?
Both Invisalign and metal braces can cause bad breath.
For metal braces, due to their irremovable nature, it’s recommended that you stay away from certain sticky food altogether. Additionally, brush your teeth after every meal and floss to get rid of any remaining food particles. The patient should also drink water more often.
For aligners, you should remove them, eat your food and then brush your teeth and floss. Never wear your aligners without giving your teeth a good brush. If you don’t get rid of all the food particles, they will stick to the aligners and even make it smell.
You should rinse your aligners too. Gently rub the insides of the aligner with cold water. You can also use a toothbrush to clean the insides. You can also find cleaning products for aligners in the market if regular washing isn’t working. Ask your dentist and they will recommend something safe.
You should also go to your dentist for cleaning your aligner twice a year.
Does Invisalign Cost More or Braces?
The metal brace itself costs more than a single set of aligners. Depending on the displacement of teeth and the duration, it can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000.
However, since you need more trays for aligners, in addition to using 3D technology to map the aligners and the flexible materials used for them, aligners almost always cost upward of $5,000.
What do orthodontists prefer?
Because of how easy it is to wear and remove aligners, orthodontists show a clear preference for Invisalign. Due to the lower number of visits, lack of discomfort, and low time it takes to permanently remove the aligners, dentists would recommend Invisalign treatment when possible.
However, for severely messed-up tooth placement, dentists have no choice but to go for metal braces.
Both metal braces and aligners have their advantages and disadvantages. Which one you should go for mainly depends on how bad your teeth need repairing. If the formation is particularly bad, you might not have the option to go for aligners at all. On the other hand, if it’s a minor issue, you will feel better with Invisalign due to its invisibility and easy removal system.