When it comes to orthodontic treatment, braces have been around a long time. But Invisalign, a more recent orthodontic treatment, is gaining popularity and validity in the field of orthodontics. Both treatments can achieve many of the same purposes, but through different methods.
Which treatment is right for you? It depends on a variety of factors. Here’s an overview of these two teeth alignment systems and how they work, as well as what factors you should consider when choosing one.
What Are Braces and How Do They Work?
Braces consist of a series of brackets and wires. A bracket, a small square-shaped piece, is attached to the front side of each tooth. An archwire connects all of the brackets and is used to push and pull the teeth in whatever direction is needed to properly align the teeth. Sometimes rubber bands are used to apply extra force to the teeth to accelerate the necessary movements. Braces typically take between 1 and 3 years to achieve the desired results.
What Is Invisalign and How Does It Work?
Invisalign consists of clear plastic aligners that fit over the teeth. The aligners gently shift the teeth into the desired position. At the start of your treatment you receive a complete set of aligners that will be needed for your treatment. You will be instructed to wear each aligner for about two weeks, switching to the next one in order until your treatment is complete and your teeth have ideally reached the desired position. Invisalign treatment takes an average of 6 to 18 months.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Orthodontic Treatment Option
Deciding which type of treatment is right for you depends on the following:
- Extent of Treatment You Need. The single biggest factor in determining which treatment is right for you is your individual orthodontic needs. Both treatments can achieve minor shifts in the position of your teeth, but only braces can bring about significant movements of the teeth and jaw. Some patients are not candidates for Invisalign because they require adjustments only braces can achieve.
- Budget. The cost of braces and Invisalign are comparable, but Invisalign sometimes costs more than braces for some patients. The cost of Invisalign is determined by the extent of the shifting your teeth require, because that determines how many aligners you will need and how long your treatment will take. The cost of braces is also determined by the extent and length of your treatment, but typically costs a bit less than Invisalign.
- Appearance. If you or your child is concerned about appearances, braces may not seem like the best option. Even though the braces will improve your smile over time, it may take a year or more to achieve the desired results. Some adults and teenagers prefer Invisalign because it is virtually invisible on your teeth.
- Age. Invisalign is typically a better treatment for adults or teenagers than it is for children. There are a few reasons for this. For one, Invisalign requires responsibility because it only works if you wear your aligners as many hours as possible. It is also necessary to keep up with the aligners and avoid losing them.
- Length of treatment. Invisalign treatment time frame tends to be slightly shorter than braces. However, sometimes the reason for that is the fact that patients who are ideal candidates for Invisalign only require minor orthodontic corrections in the first place. Braces may be the only option for patients who need significant corrections, and their treatment will likely take longer.
Emerson Dental Provides Invisalign Treatment
One of the biggest advantages of Invisalign is that it is available through some dental offices without seeing an orthodontist. Emerson Dental is a certified Invisalign provider, meaning that we are qualified to provide this treatment to our patients who are ideal candidates. If you’re interested in straightening your teeth with this revolutionary treatment option, Emerson Dental can provide you with an evaluation.
Call 978-399-0017 today to schedule a consultation at our Westford office, or call 781-394-9213 for our Bedford office. We look forward to providing you with quality dental and orthodontic care.