Invisalign Vs. Braces

Traditional metal braces and Invisalign are some of the most popular ways to straighten crooked teeth. Both are very successful in what they do, giving you a straighter smile. But which one is the best method for you? At Chapel Hill Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Jim Furgurson provides Invisalign in Chapel Hill, NC. Here, we will compare metal braces and Invisalign to help you find the best treatment for your teeth.

invisalign treatment versus braces

Comparing Braces and Invisalign in Chapel Hill, NC

Metal braces and clear aligners are among the most effective orthodontic treatments. Each patient has different needs and goals, meaning one treatment may benefit them more. Before considering treatment, we will review your oral health and orthodontic needs. No orthodontic treatment is better than the other; they offer different treatment methods and benefits. 

We will compare braces and Invisalign so you can find which option is best for your needs:

Traditional Metal Braces

Braces are the traditional method of orthodontic treatment. They use a system of metal brackets, wires, and elastics that slowly straighten your teeth. Each month, you get the braces’ wires tightened, which is how the braces move and shift your teeth into places. Usually, an orthodontist is the only type of medical professional that can apply and manage braces.

Braces are still the best way to treat severe orthodontic cases. Invisalign isn’t able to treat extremely crooked teeth or bite issues. However, braces usually take longer to straighten your teeth.

With Invisalign, you change your aligners every two weeks. Braces require you to go to the office once a month to tighten them. The average time for Invisalign treatment is six months to a year, while braces usually require eighteen months to two years.

When you have braces, there are certain things you’re not able to eat. Chewy things like gummy candy or gum can get caught up in the brackets and wires, making it impossible to get out. You cannot eat harder foods, such as popcorn, with braces. Popcorn kernels can break the wires and damage your braces.

The cost of braces will vary. Dental braces can cost more than clear aligners, but braces and Invisalign are often comparable. Braces can cost more if you require more time to straighten your teeth. 

Invisalign in Durham, NC

Clear aligners are the ideal choice to treat mild to moderate orthodontic concerns. Invisalign can treat gaps between teeth, overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites. However, it cannot treat severe overlapping, overcrowding, or other advanced orthodontic problems.

A traditional dental office can provide Invisalign. It doesn’t require an orthodontist. Invisalign implements a system of clear plastic aligners that you change out about every two weeks. Each set has a slightly different positioning to align your teeth slowly.

The most significant benefit of Invisalign is that you can take it out. You must wear your aligners for around 22 hours daily, but you can take them out for meals and your oral healthcare routine. This means you don’t have to remove any foods from your diet. Take out your aligners when you want to enjoy a meal or snack.

Invisalign makes it easier to clean your teeth and keep your smile healthy. One of the biggest struggles with braces is cleaning around the brackets and wires. If you don’t do a good enough job, you’ll have white spots on your teeth from where the brackets were sitting. The areas around those discolor won’t match the rest of the smile. Food debris left in braces can also attract harmful bacteria. 

Invisalign is for patients who aren’t forgetful and are committed to oral care. It’s crucial to remember to take the aligners out when eating or drinking beverages that aren’t water. You can easily lose aligners in a napkin and throw them out with the trash. Keeping the aligners in their case will ensure you don’t lose them. You have the responsibility to make sure that doesn’t happen to you.

Braces or Invisalign: Considering Patient Ages

Dental braces are good options for patients of every age. Children as young as six can recieve braces to help their tooth and jaw development. Many dentists recommend braces for children between the ages of eight and fourteen if they have signs of orthodontic problems. Early treatment can also prevent issues like overcrowding or crooked teeth later in life.

We only recommend Invisalign for teen and adult patients. Invisalign is only effective for patients who have a fully developed jaw. Patients must also take care not to damage or lose their clear aligners. 

There is no age limit for braces. Invisalign and braces are available for patients who need to treat mild, moderate, or severe alignment problems. If you want a straighter smile, you can receive treatment to 

Do You Need Retainers?

Metal braces and clear aligners require retainers once you complete treatment. Retainers cover the teeth to ensure they do not shift out of place. Your teeth can revert to their previous positions if you do not wear your retainers. Our dentist will tell you how long to wear your retainers to ensure your teeth stay straight. 

Wearing retainers for hours a day will prevent gaps between teeth or crooked teeth. Retainers require care similar to Invisalign aligners. Clean the retainers regularly, keep them in their case when they are not in use, brush and floss. 

Contact our dentist for a replacement if you lose or break your retainer. Your teeth can begin to move if you leave your retainers off of your teeth for too long.

Schedule An Appointment

At Chapel Hill Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re invested in helping our patients get the smiles of their dreams. Invisalign is one of the ways we can help you do that. If you think Invisalign is the best option to straighten your smile, call us at 919.736.6175. You can also schedule an appointment online.

If you are unsure which orthodontic treatment is right for you, schedule a consultation with our office. We will examine your smile and find the proper treatment to help you reach your goals.