If you had a choice, would you wear braces on your teeth or clear aligners?
If your answer is clear aligners, you’re not alone. Clear aligners have grown in popularity over the past couple of decades as an option for straightening or realigning your teeth. Perhaps the oldest and best known clear aligner product is Invisalign, which was introduced to the market in 1998 by Align Technology.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is the brand name of a type of thin clear aligner used in orthodontic treatment. The aligner is made from a flexible thermoplastic material named SmartTrack. Although Invisalign aligners may not be completely invisible, these clear coverings fit tightly over your teeth and are much less noticeable than the brackets and wires of traditional braces.
How it Works?
Invisalign uses clear aligners developed from computer-generated images and impressions taken from your mouth by your dentist and their team to change the position of your teeth. While the traditional brace makes use of fixed wires to “pull” the teeth into alignment, Invisalign aligns the teeth by using a series of molds that, across a series of months, force your teeth into their new and improved position.
Invisalign vs Braces
Both Invisalign braces and traditional braces are intended to improve the alignment of your teeth to produce a straighter smile and better oral health. Though there are some similarities between the Invisalign and braces, there are probably more differences.
- Clear vs Visible: While Invisalign aligners are made from see-through BPA-free plastic, which renders them virtually invisible to other people, traditional braces are made from metal wires and elastic bands. This makes them more visible which can cause anxiety for some patients.
- Convenience: Invisalign braces can be removed from the mouth whenever necessary though guidelines suggest patients should wear their trays for 20 – 22 hours per day. In contrast, traditional braces cannot be removed as they are stuck to teeth by wires.
- Treatment Length: The Invisalign process is substantially shorter than the usual treatment period for traditional braces. Because of how Invisalign works, patients only have to wear the trays for 6 to 18 months whereas traditional braces have an average time of 2 years.
- Cost: The baseline cost for Invisalign braces tends to be higher than traditional metal braces, though the upper costs are not significantly different. Ceramic braces are usually more expensive. Speak to one of our dentists for an exact guide to Invisalign cost.
Is Invisalign right for you?
Invisalign is suitable for almost anyone wanting to improve their smile or arrange their teeth in a more orderly fashion.
- Teens: The Invisalign can help correct most misalignments in teenagers’ teeth. Invisalign braces are ideal for teens because they use clear aligners to achieve a glowing smile and improved dental health. This is particularly useful as teenage years are so often fraught with self-consciousness. With shorter treatment times and easier use, Invisalign is an ideal treatment for teenagers who want that winning smile.
- Adults: More and more adults are choosing correctional dental work and taking control over their own health. Invisalign is ideal for adults who want flexibility with their alignment procedure and want to achieve that improved smile without using a highly-visible metal brace.
Patients needing corrective work on their back teeth may not be suitable for Invisalign. To get a professional opinion on the suitability of yourself or a family member for the Invisalign treatment, simply contact our dental clinic.
For more information on Invisalign or orthodontal treatment, contact Dr. Soto The Downey Dentist or book an appointment today via our website.