Are Traditional Braces Cheaper than Invisalign?
A smile is beautiful, and you will feel more confident about it when you have straight teeth. Only an orthodontist can tell you exactly what treatment is right for your teeth, but there are two basic choices in braces: traditional metal braces or clear Invisalign braces. While the cost is generally comparable, it may depend on a number of factors including the length of time you will wear the braces, geography, complexity of issues, whether you have dental insurance, and how much the insurance will cover.
First, however, you need to know about the similarities and differences between the two main types of braces.
How are Traditional Braces and Invisalign Similar?
Despite their stark differences, particularly in appearance, there are some similarities between the two major types of braces, traditional metal braces and Invisalign. For starters, both are designed to straighten teeth and improve oral health. Since this is the main goal of braces, it is quite important to note that both types can be similarly effective.
Additionally, with any type of orthodontic treatment, you will have to visit the office for check-ups and adjustments. In each case, these visits occur about every four to six weeks It is possible metal brace wearers may visit slightly more often, particularly if they have a tendency towards broken wires or bracket.
Similarly, while pain is usually short lived, both types of treatment can cause soreness from the movement of the teeth. This pain usually only lasts a few days after either an adjustment of metal braces or the placement of a new aligner. Pain can be managed with over-the-counter medications. Finally, whatever type of braces you use, a retainer may be needed, especially at night, to keep those teeth in the proper places.
Invisalign Braces and the Pros
Invisalign braces use new technologies to create custom aligners for each patient. They first started being available to the public in 2000 while some form of metal braces were used as far back as the 1700s.
Invisalign uses aligner trays made out of smooth, clear plastic. These aligners fit over your teeth to gently move them to the proper places. The aligners are removable though an individual should wear them 22-24 hours each day. Generally treatment with Invisalign lasts from six to 18 months when worn correctly.
There are several positive aspects of Invisalign over traditional metal braces. First, since they are removed to eat and drink, there is no issue of food getting caught in them. Also, there are no problems with eating any types of foods, even crunchy or sticky ones. Since the plastic they are made from is smooth and contains no wires, there is no significant irritation to the mouth while wearing Invisalign.
Cons About Invisalign
While Invisalign is a great choice for many users, it does come with a few issues to consider. First of all, you must remove the aligners before eating or drinking anything other than water. This may be problematic for those who are self-conscious or tend to lose things easily. Second, you must brush your teeth after every meal to avoid staining. Also, there is an additional step that must be taken. You must clean the actual aligners frequently so that they are free from bacteria that can harm the teeth.
Moreover, Invisalign is not the right solution for all orthodontic problems. Complex problems are more likely to be treated with traditional metal braces. For example, Invisalign may not be ideal for people with bridgework, back teeth bite issues, those who need to rotate canine teeth, or those who need to move teeth vertically. It is also important to know that these work best for those who are self-disciplined. Since they are removable, it is imperative that users remember to wear them as scheduled. The success of Invisalign is directly related to the compliance of the wearer.
Traditional Braces and the Positives
Traditional metal braces have been used for hundreds of years for the straightening of teeth. They work through the use of brackets that are glued to your teeth. Wires and tiny rubber bands are used to help move the teeth into place. Brackets are typically silver in color, but they can be colored to match the teeth or to make a fashion statement. You do generally have to pay more for colored brackets.Metal braces are not removable, except by an orthodontist at the end of treatment. They are worn 24 hours per day and seven days a week for an average of about two years.
There are some positive qualities that can be noted about this type of braces. First of all, they are the most successful type of braces to use for complicated cases. Also, since they are permanently attached to the teeth, there is no temptation to take them out, and, therefore, compliance is mandatory. Less self-discipline is needed, making them ideal for younger wearers. Additionally, there are no extra cleaning steps to take with metal braces. You simply brush and floss your teeth as you normally would, taking care around brackets and wires.
The Negatives of Metal Braces
While any tooth movement may cause some pain, the wires in metal braces may also be irritating in the mouth. They may cause sores and, while the bothersome parts can be covered with wax, it does not solve all problems.
Additionally, some wearers will find that there are certain foods they cannot eat while wearing metal braces. Orthodontists will advise against hard or sticky foods in particular to avoid bending wires or breaking brackets. These braces also may not be the best choice for those who regularly participate in rough, contact sports as mouth injuries will likely arise.
The Cost of Invisalign
Now that we know the details about the two types of braces, we can look at the prices. The cost of the two vary widely but are comparable. Costs vary by region and by the length of time you will need to wear the braces. In addition, some insurance carriers cover more for one type than the other. Typically, dental insurance is more likely to cover the cost of metal braces in full or in part while paying little or nothing for Invisalign which is seen as more cosmetic.
Nonetheless, since the cost of any type of braces varies widely, the best way to find out specifics is to visit the orthodontist. They can work up the figures, including insurance payments, so you will know exactly how much each type will cost you.
Fix Your Smile Today
Contact Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics today to set up your consultation. There’s no reason to put off a visit to our helpful team of professionals. It is our goal to help you make the most of your smile.
When your teeth are aligned properly and your jaw is flowing smoothly, you will find more reasons to flash those pearly whites every day. Let Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics be your partner in good oral hygiene.
Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 200, Larkspur, California 94939 415-459-8006