Comparing Invisalign® and Metal Braces

Invisalign clear aligners dentist in Hilliard OH

Comparing Invisalign® and Metal Braces

Invisalign clear aligners dentist in Columbus OH

Metal braces are a sound option if your goal is straighter teeth but they are no longer the end all be all when it comes to orthodontic treatment. If you’re not already familiar, say hello to Invisalign® clear aligners. With this low-key approach, our Columbus, OH, Invisalign dentist will provide you with your very own set of removable aligners that do not involve any metal whatsoever. Not even one bracket or wire.

Here’s how Invisalign stacks up against traditional metal braces.

Key Similarities Between the Two Options

It may seem, based on how each treatment option looks, that there are only differences between Invisalign aligners and braces. However, a few key similarities emerge when the two are directly compared.

One such similarity centers around the overall purpose. Patients wanting to correct teeth positioning and bite alignment are the target audience for both forms of treatment. Moreover, Invisalign and braces are approved by the FDA as solutions for malocclusion (abnormal alignment). Either will straighten your smile and deliver beautiful results.

Traditional braces and Invisalign also generally work in the same way. Both orthodontic options apply controlled force to teeth so they are moved into the proper position. While braces use metal brackets and wires to do this, clear aligners are custom fit and tight enough to accomplish a similar effect on your smile.

Who Qualifies as an Ideal Candidate?

For the most part, any teen or adult who is interested in pursuing Invisalign can do so. The main exception to this relates to a patient’s specific dental needs. How misaligned the bite is, how crowded the teeth are, and the presence of jaw issues all influence whether Invisalign is the most appropriate treatment option.

If your individual case is severe enough, Dr. Gibson will recommend that you receive metal braces instead. Certain orthodontic issues that may complicate clear aligner treatment include:

  • Teeth that are rotated
  • Severe overbite or crowding
  • Large gaps between teeth
  • Tooth displacement

On the other hand, if your dental situation is mild to moderate, clear aligners will get the job done just fine. Teens and adults are welcome to choose Invisalign for their smile if they’re looking for a discreet alternative to metal braces.

It should be noted that because children often have a mix of baby and adult teeth when orthodontic treatment is being considered, an orthodontist referral may be needed before Invisalign is chosen.

How Your Treatment Plan Is Structured

Every patient is different and requires a personalized approach. Because of this, the length of treatment may vary from person to person. For the easiest comparison, let’s look at averages.

Most patients with Invisalign finished treatment in 12-16 months whereas those with braces had them on for 1-3 years. These numbers can change and may not reflect your exact situation. The more there is to correct, the longer it will take.

In terms of a treatment plan, each aligner set in a series does need to be worn for at least 22 hours a day and should only be removed for eating and oral hygiene. Braces of course can’t come off until treatment is complete, thus eliminating any temptation to take them out more than necessary.

Navigating Oral Care During Treatment

When you have braces, you have to choose your foods carefully or you risk damaging the metal components. That means staying away from popcorn, corn on the cob, and sticky or crunchy candy. With Invisalign, this problem doesn’t exist as the aligners are removable.

One caveat that does apply to clear aligners and not to braces is their ability to stain. Your aligners must be gently brushed after every meal. If they’re not, bacteria will accumulate and stains will ruin their nearly invisible effect. Permanent braces should also be cleaned regularly as food debris can become trapped underneath wires.

Whether you have braces or Invisalign, Dr. Gibson does recommend keeping up with your oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss once daily, and visit our Columbus, OH, dental office for a teeth cleaning every 6 months.

Ask About Invisalign Today!

If you’re ready to commit to the process, our Invisalign dentist in Columbus, OH, can help you get started with wearing clear aligners. Call Gibson Dental today at (614) 878-9562 to request an appointment and start discussing your personalized treatment plan.