Dental Blog

Metal Braces vs. Invisalign: Which is Best?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

If you’re considering performing an “orthodontist near me” search in the hopes of straightening your teeth, we want you to get the most out of your treatment plan, which is why we’re dishing out some straight talk on straightening teeth. Getting braces can seem like a daunting challenge. You may be asking yourself – who is the best dentist or orthodontist near me? Should I get Invisalign or metal braces? Which option is the most effective? That’s why we’ve compiled a list of things you should know from an orthodontist at Bright Now! Dental. It’s important you go into your next consultation armed and ready for what treatment option is best for you.

Straightening your teeth does more than just give you a beautiful smile. While it’s a plus, and often a main reason people choose to straighten their teeth, there is much more that goes on behind the scenes that will benefit your overall oral health. Straight teeth are often easier to clean, which helps stave off cavities. They can also help correct your bite, aligning your teeth and jaw.

Metal Braces vs. Invisalign: What’s the difference?

Both Invisalign and traditional metal braces work towards giving you the same result – straight teeth and improved oral health. So what makes them different? The key to their differences lie within the process of how they straighten your teeth. Determining which is better for you will depend on your needs and preferences. You can contact an orthodontist at Bright Now! Dental if you are considering braces as an option to improve your smile and get all your personal questions answered by someone who knows your teeth best.

Metal braces: This is what people typically picture when they think of getting braces. Metal brackets are glued to the enamel of each tooth. Metal wires are then maneuvered between the brackets to help mold and shape your teeth over time. The wires being placed on the bracket can sometimes be made the same color as your enamel, so they’re less noticeable. Or, patients can choose from multiple colors to have a bit of fun with their braces – perfect for teens!

Invisalign: The basis of Invisalign gives patients the option to have braces discretely because they are made to be invisible. Invisalign uses aligner trays made of BPA-free plastic to subtly and gradually move your teeth. This type of plastic is smooth and comfortable, so wearing the trays is an easy process. Rather than using a mold, Invisalign uses a 3-D image of your teeth to configure aligner trays with just the right fit.

Benefits of Metal Braces

It’s best to consider a list of what makes metal braces a good option depending on your case.

    • Irremovable: Metal braces will stay in place, which is good for patients who are worried about losing their trays, or don’t want to have to change their trays out frequently.
    • Treatment time: Because metal braces are irremovable, the treatment time can often be much quicker than Invisalign depending on what the patient needs. They are worn 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and typically stay on for about 2 years for most patients. There is also less temptation to take the braces off if they can’t be removed, which is good for patients that lack self-discipline.
    • Cleaning: Cleaning teeth with metal braces is generally easier as it just requires regular brushing and flossing, just like you would without them.
    • Follow up visits: Generally, you should visit your Bright Now! orthodontist every month for a check up. This is where your orthodontist will see how your teeth are shifting, and may adjust the wires accordingly.
    • Cost: The price of metal braces ranges patient to patient. Generally patients can expect to spend anywhere from $1,800 to $5,500.
    • After-care: Once you’ve completed your treatment, it’s important to keep all that hard work intact. A positioner or retainer is used to keep the teeth in form, and is usually worn every night.
  • Effectiveness: Patients with fairly complex dental issues may want to consider traditional metal braces as an option.

Benefits of Invisalign

    • Removable: One of the biggest benefits to having Invisalign as a treatment option is that the trays can be removed, allowing you to eat and drink without getting food stuck.
    • Appearance: Most patients tend to prefer Invisalign because the trays are clear. This can be great for adults who have been wanting to straighten their teeth for a while, but have hesitated due to the appearance of having metal braces at an older age. With Invisalign, many people may not even notice when a patient is wearing them. Your treatment is a secret!
    • Comfort: The Invisalign treatment can be a bit more comfortable than metal braces, as there are no brackets that can create sores in your mouth.
    • Treatment time: Invisalign should be worn about 22-24 hours a day for 6 to 18 months. This will also depend on the patient’s needs and if patients have more complex dental issues metal braces may be a better option.
    • Cost: Invisalign averages around $5,000 for treatment. Talk to orthodontist at Bright Now! Dental for pricing options available to you.
    • Cleaning: You can clean Invisalign trays with an Invisalign cleaning system, or by brushing and rinsing the trays in luke-warm water. This should be done after you eat or drink anything besides water, and at morning and night.
  • Follow up visits: Different trays will keep your teeth moving at a gradual pace, and you should typically change the trays every 2 weeks. Visiting your dentist or orthodontist should happen every 4 to 6 weeks.

What are the downsides to Braces vs. Invisalign?

Metal Braces: Metal braces may not be good for people in contact sports, as the metal can potentially damage tissue upon contact.

Invisalign: Patients that have bridgework, back tooth bite issues, the need to rotate canines or premolars may not be suited for the Invisalign treatment.

Final Thoughts

Comparing these two treatment options can be tough, as there are both positives and downsides for each. The decision for metal braces or Invisalign really comes down to you, the patient. Each patient’s needs and preferences are unique and special. If the appearance of metal braces has been holding you back from a straighter smile, Invisalign could be a great option. This is especially true for teens that are perhaps self-conscious of wearing braces, or adults that need them later in life. Invisalign is often used for adults who didn’t maintain their smile with a retainer when they had braces as a teen, or never got the chance to straighten their teeth to begin with.

However, metal braces can be a great option as there is less of a worry for self-discipline. With this kind of treatment, patients are able to straighten their teeth without the inconvenience of changing and cleaning trays frequently. The success rate of Invisalign is largely dependent on the patient themselves. If you don’t wear the trays, straightening will occur much more slowly, if at all! Metal braces may also be the only option in some cases. If the issues with your teeth are much more complex and need to be moved a particular way, Invisalign may not be an option. If you need to schedule an appointment, search for a dentist near me to find dentists and orthodontists in your area who can assess which treatment option will work best for you.

Schedule an Appointment

So, is Invisalign better than metal braces? The truth is, there isn’t a “better” option. Each benefit will depend on the patient, which is why it’s important to consult your orthodontist for clarification. If you’re leaning one way or another, at Bright Now! Dental we know that cost can be a deciding factor. Talk to one of our staff members about pricing options and payment plans available to you – it may be easier than you think! You can make an appointment by visiting us online, or calling at 1-844-400-7645. We can’t wait to help you decide which straightening option is best for you. Whichever the case, we know your smile will thank you!