Most people don’t have naturally perfect teeth. In fact, some studies show that more than 75% of kids need some kind of orthodontic care and if left untreated, even more adults will end up needing it.
In other words, if you never needed dental work from an orthodontist, you are in the small minority. However, despite the need, many teens and adults never get the treatment – either because of the cost or the out of sight out of mind mentality.
By the time kids hit their upper teens and enter adulthood, the idea of getting braces is embarrassing, inconvenient, and expensive. It wasn’t until recently that another option became available, or at least in a mainstream way.
Invisalign has changed the entire market and has given people an alternative to having to wear metal in their mouths. This article will go over the positives and negatives of Invisalign and how it compares to typical braces.
When looking at the price of Invisalign versus typical braces, there is not much of a difference. The low end of braces is typically $3000, while Invisalign is $3,500, but the high end for both tops out around $7,000.
Technically, getting traditional braces may be a slightly less expensive option, but when considering that many payment plans are 24-36 months, the difference is often somewhere around $20-25 more per month, and that is before considering how insurance may help out with the costs.
Invisalign is typically a much faster process than braces, requiring about 12 months. Braces, on the other hand, typically stay on from 18-24 months, with some taking even longer.
There are also more appointments and work done with traditional braces. It’s not uncommon to break a bracket or have a wire snap, requiring more dental work, and depending on the dentist, more money spent. Invisalign, on the other hand, may only require a total of three total visits, with none of them requiring drilling, tightening, or wiring.
This is an area that will depend much on the desire of the patient. As mentioned in the previous section, the number of dental visits for Invisalign is significantly less than traditional braces. However, braces are always there and there’s no need to worry about how or where to store them.
If someone has a tendency to lose things easily and often, Invisalign may not be the best option. Taking out Invisalign for eating and drinking could be a simple process, but if they are lost, the process of getting new ones and having them fit can be a hassle.
Whether it is a teenager or an adult, nobody wants metal in their mouth, especially after eating. There is nothing worse than smiling with bread, cheese, and other disgusting pieces of food lodged between brackets and wire.
On the flip side, Invisalign is clear and almost completely invisible. Sure, taking them out before a meal can become tedious, but with a case, it really isn’t inconvenient, and getting food stuck will never happen.
Also, it is nice to see the progression of a smile improve over time. This is easy to see with Invisalign, whereas braces oftentimes cover up the teeth.
For adults, but also children, avoiding the teenage look of braces is a major reason they are avoided. Adults feel it looks unprofessional and can be embarrassing, while kids can also feel part of a stereotype.
Invisalign fixes this issue with the almost invisible retainers.
Both traditional braces and Invisalign have shown to have similar long term results if retainers are used at night following treatment. The only advantage that braces have over Invisalign is that they have a much bigger sample size; however that doesn’t mean anything negative for Invisalign.
One area where Invisalign may actually be better is that its system may be more dependable on keeping records and knowing past treatments, as opposed to hoping that an orthodontist has kept the same records years after treatment ended.
Weigh Your Options
There isn’t a blanket answer for whether Invisalign is the right choice for everyone or not. Each individual should consult with an orthodontist and determine which option is best.
It is also important to make sure to know what insurance will cover. Many insurances cover Invisalign in the same way as braces, but double-checking will ease your mind, knowing there isn’t a better deal.