If you have been thinking about getting either Invisalign or traditional braces to improve the function and appearance of your teeth, you’re not alone as these two options are the most common orthodontic treatments for misaligned teeth. According to a report published by USA Today, over 5 million people have used Invisalign clear aligners to improve their smiles since the orthodontic devices were created in 1997. In this article, we take a look at the benefit of Invisalign braces over traditional braces and why they are so popular. How does Invisalign work? Let’s find out.
What Are Invisalign Braces?
Before going over how Invisalign braces work, let’s get a better understanding of what these orthodontic devices are. Invisalign braces are thermoplastic aligners that are designed to move teeth into an optimal position to improve not only their appearance but also function. They are best suited for those who have an overbite, gapped, or crowded teeth as they can resolve these problems relatively quickly.
In most cases, patients will see significant improvements within 12 to 18 months. Because Invisalign braces are transparent, most patients feel less insecure about wearing them, which increases the likelihood of patient compliance. They can also be removed, enabling patients to enjoy their favorite meals without the threat of damaging their orthodontic appliance, unlike traditional braces.
Are Braces Better Than Invisalign?
Choosing between traditional braces and Invisalign braces is not always a matter of preference. Patients who have crossbites, malocclusions, or crooked teeth may not be a good candidate for Invisalign braces as these conditions often require a more robust treatment, namely traditional braces. As far as costs are concerned, Invisalign braces are slightly more expensive than their traditional counterpart, averaging $3,500 to $8,000 while traditional braces are around $2,500 to $6,000.
In addition to being removable, Invisalign braces are also stain-resistant, and food particles are less likely to become trapped in them, which makes them easier to keep clean. For many people, these benefits justify the higher cost. That said, Invisalign braces are covered under most dental insurance plans. As such, it would be a good idea to confirm coverage, co-pays, and deductibles prior to scheduling an appointment with your dental practitioner.
How Fast Does Invisalign Work?
As previously stated, most patients will achieve noticeable results within 12 to 18 months of wearing their Invisalign braces, provided they follow the advice of their dentist or orthodontist. Generally speaking, patients will be instructed to wear their Invisalign clear aligners for a minimum of 22 hours per day. These aligners are specifically designed for the patient’s teeth and will have to be replaced every two weeks.
Initially, the aligners are created from a mold that the dentist or orthodontist takes of the patient’s teeth. Before wearing the prescribed aligners, the orthodontist or dentist will create a treatment plan that is unique to the patient and addresses the dental problems that require correction. These clear aligners work by placing pressure on the teeth to guide them into the grooves of the aligner. Once this happens, the patient is one step closer to having perfectly straight teeth. However, they will have to continue switching aligners until optimal results have been achieved.
Oral Hygiene and Invisalign Braces
Although Invisalign braces do a great job of improving the appearance and function of one’s teeth, it is still important to practice good oral hygiene as it can help prevent additional dental problems. One of the questions that many prospective patients have is “Are braces better than Invisalign?” Well, they both have advantages and disadvantages. However, Invisalign braces are far easier to keep clean and can lead to better oral hygiene. Because the trays are removable, cleaning them is simply a matter of running under warm water.
Traditional braces, on the other hand, requires patients to remove food particles that have become stuck in wires and rubber bands, which can be difficult even for those who have worn them for years. Whether you have Invisalign or traditional metal braces, it is still important to brush and floss every day. In doing so, you will reduce your risks for dental caries as well as gum disease.
Invisalign Aligners and Day-To-Day Life
Having answered the questions concerning “How fast does Invisalign work,” and “What are the benefits of Invisalign,” let’s focus on day-to-day life while wearing Invisalign braces. Unlike traditional wire braces, Invisalign clear aligners do not disrupt your life. While you’re working toward improving the appearance and function of your teeth, you are still free to enjoy your favorite food and daily activities without the worry of damaging your orthodontic appliance.
In addition to being harder to keep clean, traditional braces also have to be adjusted periodically, which means you have to take time out of your day to visit with your dental practitioner. In contrast, Invisalign aligners do not require adjustments. Also, patients can switch to new aligners based on their treatment plan. Best of all, they can do so without having to meet with their practitioner.
While it is not commonly discussed, Invisalign braces are smooth and comfortable to wear. Unlike traditional braces, patients don’t have to be concerned with sharp edges that can damage the gums of other parts of the oral cavity. Another key difference between Invisalign and traditional braces is that Invisalign does not cause demineralization and tooth decay, which is typical of metal braces. Lastly, for teenagers who play sports, Invisalign clear aligners can serve as a mouthguard and protect teeth while engaging in their respective sport.
In summation, there are a variety of benefits that come with choosing clear aligners over traditional braces. However, it is important to confirm with your dentists or orthodontist that you are a good candidate for the treatment. To offset some of the costs associated with Invisalign braces; it is a good idea to speak with your insurance provider ahead of your appointment to confirm what percentage of the treatment is covered and what your out-of-pocket expenses will be.
How Does Invisalign Work?
I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree at Southern Illinois University and then received my Doctorate of Medical Dentistry at the University of Kentucky. After, I attended the University of Tennessee to complete my Master of Science in Orthodontics degree.
I consider every minute of continuing education to be vital for my patients and myself. Staying current with the latest trends, techniques, and technologies within my field allows me to improve treatment efficiency and provide higher quality results for each person I treat.