There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to get invisalign or traditional metal braces. Several of the key comparisons are the following:
The great advantage of invisalign over metal braces is that it is barely visible. This is obviously not the case with metal braces, as they are visible the moment you open your mouth.
Invisalign tends to cost more than metal braces, as the technology behind it is more expensive. If pricing plays an important role when deciding between the two, do some thorough research. The cost of invisalign varies patient to patient and depends on your geographical location and the severity and duration of your case. Most orthodontists do offer payment plans, many of which are interest free, so consult and research beforehand!
On average, treatment is quicker with invisalign than with traditional braces. The reason why this is the case is because of frequency of movement. With metal braces, you come into your orthodontist’s office approximately every 6 weeks to get your braces tightened. With invisalign, you change trays every 2 weeks, thus causing your teeth to shift at three times the pace. The average invisalign treatment is 12 months.
Invisalign doesn’t involve metal that can irritation your teeth and gums, while metal wires and brackets used in braces can cause irritation. Pain is generally minimal with invisalign. Most patients feel pain only in the first day or two of each new tray change. Because invisalign trays are changed more frequently than metal braces are tightened (2 weeks vs. 6 weeks), the adjustment and movement with invisalign is more gradual, and so there is much less pain to bear. What I prefer to do each time I need to change trays is to change in the evening before bedtime. I take 2 tylenols, put on the new tray, and by the morning time, the tray has had time to loosen up and becomes a bit easier to remove.
Teeth hygiene is very important, and in this case, invisalign is the clear winner. Because invisalign is removable, you can brush and floss your teeth as thoroughly as you normally would. Unfortunately, this is not the case with braces. You cannot floss for the whole duration of your braces treatment. This results in food particles getting stuck in between your teeth and very possibly resulting in decay. This is not to say that there are no risks with invisalign. In fact, in my research through dental blogs and forums, I have come across some people who reported getting several cavities during their invisalign treatment. This could be just coincidental, or it can be a result of the invisalign. If you practice good hygiene and follow the basic instructions of invisalign, you should be fine. You are not supposed to eat or drink anything while wearing your trays with the exception of water. If you drink a soda or anything other than water, that sugar will get trapped in the trays and as you may know, wetness is a breeding ground for bacteria. It is important to adhere to the water only rule AND to remember to brush after every meal so that food and sugars do not linger and cause possible cavities or decay.
Since you remove your invisalign trays for all meals, you can go on eating and drinking anything you’d like. Traditional braces limit you in what you can eat since certain foods are more likely to get trapped and stuck in the wire.
When first starting invisalign, you might have a slight lisp for a few days until your tongue gets adjusted to the new material in your mouth. This usually passes pretty quickly for most people and is hardly noticeable to others.