Braces vs. Invisalign

June 3, 2016

At Coastal Carolina Orthodontics, we want to make sure our patients are educated about all the orthodontic treatment options available to them at our Jacksonville, Morehead City, and Havelock offices. One of the most common questions we receive is: “Which is better, braces or Invisalign?”

Both braces and Invisalign are designed to straighten your teeth, have their own pros and cons, and could be the right orthodontic solution for you depending on your unique needs. However, if Invisalign and braces are both potential courses of orthodontic treatment for you, here is a straightforward comparison of the two treatments.

Orthodontic Braces

Traditional braces are made up of a system of wires and brackets. The brackets are cemented to your teeth and act as a handle. The wires themselves are how the orthodontist applies a gentle, and gradual force to guide the teeth to their correct positions. These brackets can be made of different materials, such as metal or ceramic for a more clear, discreet appearance. There has been a lot of advancement with braces over the years, giving rise to more options, such as self-ligating Damon Braces and the Speed braces of the SPEED System.

Invisalign and Invisalign Teen

Invisalign treatment consists of a series of clear plastic aligners that fit over your teeth. Your orthodontist will create a 3D image of your teeth to have your Invisalign clear aligners fit just right, and will provide you with a new set every couple of weeks to gradually shift your teeth into the desired position.

Pros of Braces

  • Braces are a proven form of orthodontic treatment and have been reliably used much longer than Invisalign.
  • Braces are more effective when a patient has a more complicated orthodontic problem.
  • Because braces are permanently in the mouth for the duration of treatment, patients don’t have to worry about forgetting to wear them, which is a risk with Invisalign.

Pros of Invisalign

  • The lack of metal with the Invisalign system makes it a more comfortable treatment.
  • Aligners are removable, so patients can eat whatever they want while undergoing Invisalign treatment; they just have to remove the aligners first.
  • With its nearly invisible appearance, Invisalign is a good option for patients who may feel self-conscious about the metal wires and brackets of braces.
  • Appointments are less frequent and there are generally fewer appointments overall.

Cons of Braces

  • Brackets and wires may cause discomfort.
  • Food can get easily caught in brackets.
  • Patients wearing braces have to avoid eating certain foods in order to protect their braces from being damaged.

Cons of Invisalign

  • Patients have to be disciplined and remember to wear their Invisalign aligners at least 22 hours a day.
  • Patients must always remember to remove their aligners before eating or drinking anything but water.
  • Invisalign aligners must be cleaned frequently.

Contact Your Braces & Invisalign Specialists

The expert orthodontic team at Coastal Carolina Orthodontics will evaluate every patient to determine the best orthodontic treatment option for his or her situation. If you’ve been considering orthodontic treatment and would like to visit our Jacksonville, Morehead City, or Havelock office, book an appointment online today. Whether you decide on braces, Invisalign, or another orthodontic path, we look forward to helping you smile brighter!

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