The Differences Between Invisalign and Traditional Braces

These days, it seems that everywhere you look, from social media to television and movies, everyone has perfect, straight white teeth. It’s enough to make you never want to show your teeth again.

Fortunately, there are smile-correction options for people of all ages. Braces aren’t just for kids anymore. In fact, a third of orthodontic patients are over the age of 18.

At Lakeside Family Dental in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, our talented dentists offer both Invisalign® and traditional orthodontic treatments. We provide thorough exams to evaluate the extent of your dental misalignment and determine the best option to give you the picture-perfect smile you’ve always wanted. 

Correcting more than a smile

While crooked or gapped teeth certainly impact your smile, dental alignment issues can have a more significant effect on your overall oral health. For example, if you have crowded teeth, it’s more challenging to clean between them, potentially leading to tooth decay and gum disease.

Malocclusion — overbite, underbite, open bite, and crossbite — can cause problems with your jaw leading to uneven wear, chewing and biting problems, headaches, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain.

Whether your concerns are cosmetic or health-related, we can provide the proper treatment to restore your smile. Here, we explore the differences between Invisalign and traditional metal braces. 

What makes Invisalign so popular

One of the primary benefits of Invisalign that sets it apart from traditional orthodontia is that it uses aligner trays, which are nearly invisible while on your teeth. The trays are made from transparent, medical-grade, BPA-free plastic. Someone would have to look at your teeth pretty closely to notice that you’re wearing your aligners.

Another appealing benefit of Invisalign is that the aligners are removable. While you should wear them for 22-23 hours a day, you take them out to eat and clean your teeth. You don’t have to give up your favorite foods, and you don’t need to brush and floss around metal brackets and wires. 

The Invisalign process starts with creating an accurate digital model of your teeth and gums. We upload this to the Invisalign 3D digital imaging program to map the migration of your teeth — which involves a series of aligner trays — to create your new smile. 

You wear each set of aligners for about two weeks before changing them for the next pair. The aligners put steady pressure on your teeth, gradually pushing them into the correct positions. 

But the best part? After the first 6-8 weeks — when we know your teeth are moving as expected — we give you several sets of aligners at once that you can change at home, eliminating extra trips to our office.

When metal braces are the better option

It’s difficult to imagine why anyone would choose metal braces when Invisalign offers so many advantages. However, some alignment issues are too severe for Invisalign, and traditional orthodontics are your best option.

For example, metal braces are most appropriate in these circumstances:

Additionally, you need self-discipline to use the Invisalign system correctly. Not only do you need to wear the aligners for 22-23 hours a day, but you also have to take care not to lose or damage your aligners when you take them out. Invisalign may not be a good option for younger patients who might throw their aligners away with their lunch tray. 

If you want to create that picture-perfect smile, call our office or schedule a consultation online to learn more about both Invisalign and traditional orthodontics so you can make the best choice for you.

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