When choosing to move forward with orthodontics to complete a smile makeover, many patients are surprised to learn about the variety of options available to them.
Two of the most common options, metal braces and Invisalign, each have their own set of pros and cons. Deciding on which one is right for you can be a difficult decision and relies heavily on your own personal preferences and circumstances. Together with your oral health care provider, you can decide on the best course of action to move forward with your treatment.
Braces move your teeth using a combination of brackets, wires and elastic bands to move your teeth over time. Similarly, Invisalign uses clear aligners that are switched out every few weeks, to gradually move your teeth into their desired position.
Below we have put together some useful information to help you make your decision on which option may best suit you.
- More effective for more complex dental issues
- No temptation to leave them out, so less self-discipline is required for success
- Can eat and drink with braces on
- Usually more cost effective
- Dependent on the type of braces, you may be able to personalize your experience with certain colors for elastics
- May have some pain, sores or discomfort from wires, brackets or tooth movement (more common specifically after adjustments)
- May have tooth discoloration due to difficult hygiene (hard to clean between brackets)
- May have difficulty eating sticky, hard foods
- May have to attend emergency appointments if a bracket breaks while eating or playing contact sports
- Not removable, usually worn for approximately two years but this will vary depending on your specific situation
- Invisible and less aesthetically intrusive than braces
- No issues with food getting caught as trays can be taken out to eat
- Easy to clean
- No discomfort from wires as trays are molded to your teeth
- Can be removed for contact sports or other events
- Treatment is generally 6-18 months but varies depending on case
- May have discomfort from tooth movement when trays are switched out
- Must remove before eating or drinking anything but water
- Cannot be used for more complex dental issues, dependent on the severity of your issues braces may be your only option
- Possibility of forgetting to put tray back in post meals, less time worn = longer/delayed treatment schedule
- Generally more expensive treatment when compared to traditional metal braces (dependant on specific situation)
Both procedures require monthly follow up visits over the course of your treatment, and may require an ongoing positioner or retainer (often only at night) to keep teeth in their desired position long-term.
As you can see, the answer is not necessarily clear as one option is not inherently more effective than the other. Which option is best for you depends on your given situation and should be determined by you and your oral health practitioner.
If you’re trying to decide between metal braces and Invisalign, contact DS Dental today. Our experts can help you decide what treatment option will be best for you.