A young woman holds up clear aligners next to a teeth model wearing traditional braces

Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces

April 22, 2023 8:54 am

Would you like a straighter, healthier, more attractive smile? Invisalign® clear aligner therapy and traditional metal braces are two treatment options that could help you achieve your ideal smile.

Metal braces use a bracket and wire system to straighten teeth. A bracket is placed on each tooth and a wire is threaded through each bracket. The braces are temporarily bonded to the teeth for the duration of treatment. They need to be periodically tightened, require careful cleaning, and come with several food restrictions.

Invisalign involves a series of transparent retainer-like trays made of smooth plastic to straighten teeth. Patients typically wear a set of aligners at least 20-22 hours a day for two weeks at a time before moving on to their next set of trays. The trays are removed for cleaning the teeth and eating or drinking anything other than water.

Invisalign vs. Braces

  • Appearance – Invisalign is more discreet than traditional metal braces because the aligners are see-through. Some Invisalign patients need button attachments to improve their aligners’ power. However, these are tooth-colored and not very noticeable.
  • Complexity – Braces may be more appropriate for patients with severe or complex teeth straightening needs. Invisalign can only correct mild to moderate misalignment.
  • Cost – Treatment costs for both options will entirely depend on a patient’s level of misalignment. Patient noncompliance during treatment can also increase overall treatment costs.
  • Oral Hygiene – Clear aligners are removed for simple oral hygiene and need to be regularly brushed and rinsed. Extra care and attention is needed to clean around the brackets and wires of braces.
  • Treatment Timeline – Treatment duration varies based on your misalignment before beginning treatment and level of compliance during treatment.

Clear Aligners in Petaluma, CA

The right orthodontic option for you will come down to your needs, preferences, and budget. Our dental team can help you determine which treatment is right for your smile! Please contact us today to schedule your orthodontic consultation!

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