You’ve noticed that you or a family member has a mouth that is starting to get out of control. There may be an over- or underbite. Gaps between teeth are getting more and more promuNow you need to make an informed decision – dental braces or Invisalign?
The first option many people automatically think of is braces. Yes, that series of metal wires that are held in place by brackets that dot each tooth and bands that are on the back teeth. Sometimes rubber bands are involved. The wires are tightened periodically to help the teeth straighten and move into their proper alignment so that the patient can have the most proper bite and smile. This is a process that can take anywhere from 18 months to three years, depending the state of the teeth when the braces were attached.
Usually, the braces were put on the outside of the tooth, but there have been advances where there can be braces placed behind the teeth, for those who do not want their braces to be blatantly obvious to the people around them. Those are called lingual braces. People also like these types of braces due to their relative quick time in achieving results – patients have had to wear them for a mere year, which is practically a blink of the eye comparatively.
The other option, one that is achieving much more popularity, is Invisalign. These are made from an impression of the patient’s mouth and then a customized series of mouthguards are created. Each of them are worn for roughly two weeks and are removed only for eating and brushing teeth. These mouthguards are made of a clear material, hence the “Invis” part of the name. They are not noticeable and they also require significantly fewer dental visits than braces will.
Traditional braces have their cons, aside from their general appearance. It can be very difficult to clean food out of them all the time. Also, one has to change their eating habits – no sticky food or hard candy, since they pose the risk of loosening the brackets, which then can loosen the wires and make for a time-consuming visit to the orthodontist, who will have to fix everything. It’ll be expensive, too.
Invisalign has its drawbacks too. It can be really easy to forget that you took them out, especially if you do it in, say… a high-school cafeteria, and during the rushed mealtime, they are left on a lunch tray… and then dumped in the trash by mistake. If that happens, hope that you were near switching to the next mouthguard anyway, otherwise you may have to wait for a replacement to be sent and lose valuable time. Also, before you put the Invisalign back in your mouth, you have to brush your teeth. That can also be time-consuming at school.
There’s one area with both of them where the drawbacks could be equal – constant having to wear them. Invisalign users, to get the best results, have to wear them mouthguards around 22 hours a day. At least they get to remove them – braces wearers have them in their mouths all along – so that one could be considered a push.
In terms of costs, braces can wind up being twice as expensive as Invisalign, depending on the material and the length of time needed to correct everything. Invisalign wearers can pocket some money back by not having to constantly go to the orthodontist’s office to get something tightened.
Ivory Dental Jacksonville can help you in either area. Dr. Shaista Najmi and her staff can do traditional orthodontics, and she’s also a licensed Invisalign retailer.