Woman with invisalign tray in her mouth

Invisalign vs. Braces: Which is best for you?

For decades, we have relied upon conventional braces to move teeth for us. In the last few decades there have been huge advancements in clear aligners. As a result, when people need to straighten their teeth they should compare Invisalign vs. braces to determine what is the best method for them.

With all of Dr. Hedrick’s experience, she’s in a great position to advice people on the differences between clear aligners and traditional braces. Not only has she been practicing dentistry for over 20 years, but her beginning was as a dental assistant in orthodontics. Since then she has helped over 200 people straighten their teeth with Invisalign.  We’re often asked about Invisalign vs. Braces and how to select which option is best and we would love to share this information with you. 

About Conventional Metal Braces

Conventional braces allow us to move teeth. Even as a general dentist, we still have patients in these conventional braces. They are great at moving teeth. Most cases last 18-36 months. The inability to properly clean the teeth is the major downfall.  For example, we have often observed white and brown spots over patients’ teeth due to the the inability to clean with braces on.
Flossing has to be done by threading under the braces, one tooth at a time, which is a major issue. Brushing alone takes a lot of manual dexterity in order to properly do it. Another drawback to conventional braces resides in the fact that a patient’s lips and gum tissue take a beating as they get used to the metal or porcelain of the braces.

About Invisalign

Invisalign was approved by the FDA in 1998. There are about 27 companies that manufacture clear aligners to move teeth. Invisalign and Sure Smile are the largest and most well known companies that make clear aligners.

The process starts with a scan with our iTero scanner and then we send it to Invisalign. From there, Dr. Hedrick designs a treatment plan for the functional and aesthetic issues that must be addressed. When we present this treatment plan to you, it allows us to show you what the final results will look like. Finally, we can also tell you how long the treatment will take.

The biggest downfall of Invisalign is also an advantage; they can be removed to eat and clean teeth. They must be worn 22 hours a day for the teeth to move in the prescribed direction. We want patients to take them out to eat but other than that they should be in your mouth.

Advantages of Invisalign include that they can be removed for cleaning teeth, they provide a more attractive look than braces, and they’re more comfortable than braces.

Typically Invisalign treatment is a year or less. There is an additional 8 months of retainer wear, 22 hours a day after the treatment is complete. From this point, night wear for the rest of your life is the only way to insure there will be no movement.

Invisalign vs. Braces: Which is best?

To answer the question regarding clear aligners vs. braces; both are excellent options and it often comes down to personal preference. For example both treatments can be done on people at any age. Regarding price, the cost of the treatments is also very similar. We think for most people the advantages of clear aligners make it a great choice.

With either option, remember the crucial part is the retention phase afterwards. We have great before and after photos that show some amazing Invisalign cases of all ages. If you have any questions please let us know and we would be happy to answer them.  

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