Every day, modern science and medicine are discovering new ways to help us attain the health and beauty we aspire to. When Invisalign hit the market, those who suffered from crooked and crowded teeth lined the blocks in hopes of finally getting their dream smile without the dreaded metal brackets.
Some of the excitement could also be thanks to their $31 million television campaign which New York Times dubbed the “most aggressive consumer advertising plan the dental profession has ever seen.” Regardless, most people assumed the days of metal bracket braces were over and done with for good. Now that the obsession has died down, and people are starting to accept that metal braces are not going anywhere we decided to look into the big picture of which treatment is truly better.
There are obvious pros and cons to each and there are also less obvious. Personal research is recommended before making any decisions. The best first step would be to talk with your dentist to find out if you are even a candidate for Invisalign before fretting about which is best. Most patients with bridgework, back tooth bite issues, cross bites, malocclusions and very crooked or crowded teeth will not be candidates for Invisalign. Some dentists report over half the patients coming into their practices hoping for Invisalign are just not good candidates and will see better results with traditional braces.
Dr. Kenneth Collins, one of the top Spokane area dentists, offers both services in his office and explains why,
“Even with innovations in orthodontic treatment, there are still times when traditional wire-and-bracket braces will hands-down give you the best possible results. We believe in Invisalign, and we offer them alongside our traditional braces. But we also know that they have their limitations. Although they’re getting better, they’re still not able to accomplish all the things that traditional braces can do. Because traditional braces have been around for much longer, we have greater experience in their consistency and in many cases we just know that braces will work, and we might not be 100% certain Invisalign will work for these patients.”
One of the top draws of Invisalign is that they are removable, making brushing and eating easier. They are made of smooth material so they don’t cut or irritate the inside of the lips and mouth. They must be worn at least 22 hours a day. They also need to be changed every two weeks, sometimes requiring more visits to the dentist than traditional braces. To prevent teeth discoloration, they must be removed and cleaned after every single meal. They require much more self-discipline to keep them in the full 22 hours a day, to clean and care for them properly and to remember to remove them before meals. This is why they are often only recommended for older teens and adults.
For moderate cases, Invisalign is often an excellent choice. Sometimes, in complicated cases, Invisalign just isn’t an option until further in the process when the teeth have been corrected to a less severe state of misalignment.
Metal or clear braces have become more comfortable with modern dental advances. They need to be adjusted on average every four weeks, making trips to the dentist sometimes less often than those with Invisalign. Traditional braces can treat far more complicated issues than Invisalign. They are also more affordable on average. The risk of staining or discoloration where the brackets are often placed deters people from choosing this option. It can also be difficult to eat certain foods while wearing metal or clear braces. With advances in teeth whitening procedures, staining should not be a primary concern when evaluating your situation but always consult with your dentist for specific questions and concerns.
Which one is better? The short answer is, it depends. The best way to find out is to make sure you find a dentist or orthodontist that offers both choices to be sure you are getting access to the best possible options for you. At the end of the day, getting the results you want is more important than anything and talking with your dentist and weighing the pros and cons of each should help you make the choice that is right for you.
Or office in Spokane is located at:
3151 E. 28th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99223
Office phone # 509-368-7788