These days, people who are looking to straighten their teeth have quite a few options. However, choosing between braces and clear aligners like Invisalign can be confusing. If you’re interested in orthodontics, here are a few things to keep in mind when comparing Invisalign vs. braces.
Braces: The Pros and Cons
Braces have been the go-to method for achieving a straighter smile for decades. They have many benefits, including:
- Permanency: You can’t remove braces, so they are constantly working to straighten teeth.
- Reliability: Orthodontists have successfully used braces for decades and can forecast with maximum precision where teeth will move.
- Insurance Coverage: Dental insurance usually covers a portion of the cost and some policies may even fully cover costs for children and teens.
- Works for Younger Kids: For some children, it may be beneficial to begin aligning teeth before they have lost all their baby teeth, which is not an option with Invisalign.
- Effectiveness: From mild adjustments to extensive movement, braces can effectively treat all tooth misalignment and is the only treatment option for more severe cases.
Despite these positives, there are some cons to braces that you should consider. The most common reason people are reluctant to get braces is aesthetics, especially for older adults and working professionals. Beyond that, braces can be hard to clean and may trap bacteria if not taken care of, leading to tooth decay and cavities. They also require frequent visits to the orthodontist (up to once a month), and there is generally more pain associated with braces vs. Invisalign, especially at the beginning.
Invisalign Pros and Cons
Since Invisalign has become more common, many people are interested in exploring their options to get straight teeth without highly-visible braces. Invisalign effectiveness is proven and has many perks that conventional braces do not, such as:
- Minimal Cosmetic Effect: The near-invisible look of Invisalign vs. braces’ easily-recognizable bands, brackets, and wires is one of the system’s most significant selling points. They also can be used as whitening trays!
- Greater comfort: Custom-made to fit each person’s teeth, Invisalign won’t irritate or cut gums, which can be a common problem with braces. They also exert even pressure around each tooth, causing far less discomfort.
- Fewer Orthodontist Trips: While check-ups are still necessary, usually only half as many appointments are needed.
- More Freedom: Designed for you to remove while eating, drinking, and cleaning teeth, there are no restrictions on what types of food you can eat or how you can clean your teeth.
Although these perks are eye-catching, some factors may make it clear that this solution is not the best option when considering Invisalign vs. braces. Invisalign is not sufficient for significantly misaligned teeth or children who do not have all their permanent teeth. And because the clear aligners are removable, they are at greater risk for damage, staining, discoloration, or even being lost. Additionally, the freedom associated with being removable may also be an issue for some. Patients must wear the aligners for 20-22 hours each day, so there is a chance that user error could make Invisalign less effective.
Invisalign vs. Braces Cost Differences
Location, adjustments needed, length of time worn, and insurance coverage are all factors to consider when comparing the cost of Invisalign vs. braces. Braces generally cost about $2,500-$6,000, depending on the factors listed above. Invisalign is often more expensive, totaling about $3,500-$9,000 for all of the different aligner sets needed. At Pinnacle Dental, we use a system called SureSmile, which offers the same benefits as other clear aligners like Invisalign but at a more affordable price. Our SureSmile aligner system costs between $3,500 and $5,500, depending on the individual patient’s needs.
If you or your family desire straighter teeth and are considering whether clear aligners or braces are better for you, please reach out to us! We would love to schedule an orthodontics appointment to discuss how we can serve you best.