Traditional Braces Vs. Invisalign Braces

Wearing braces can solve several dental problems. About 74 percent of all adults experience malocclusion (crooked teeth). Malocclusion includes: crowded teeth or too much space between teeth; overbite — upper teeth extending over lower teeth; and crossbite — teeth leaning closer to the patient’s cheek or tongue. Other problems braces can resolve are difficulty keeping teeth clean and not speaking correctly.

The two types of braces — traditional and clear — are suitable for both children and adults. The most popular type of clear braces is Invisalign. Wondering whether to choose traditional braces or Invisalign braces? Consider the following:

What are traditional braces? Traditional braces consist of a metal bracket attached to each tooth with dental adhesive. Each bracket is connected to the one next to it with wire. The wire is periodically tightened. The increase in pressure causes the teeth to be straightened. The brackets and wires are usually gray metal, but some dentists can provide custom colors. The patient wears the braces continuously for about 24 months.

What is Invisalign? The Invisalign process straightens teeth without brackets or wires. A series of computer-generated clear plastic aligner trays are created. The trays gently guide the teeth into place, with less pressure and pain than that which is experienced by people wearing traditional braces. Patients wear the trays for two weeks before switching to another pair. Depending upon how much the teeth need to be straightened, the process of switching to a new set of aligners continues every two weeks for six to 18 months, with the trays being worn 22 to nearly 24 hours per day. Patients should brush their teeth after every meal; they should also use toothpaste and a soft toothbrush to gently clean their aligners every day.

What is the difference in cost between traditional braces and Invisalign? The complexity of the case determines whether traditional braces are cheaper than Invisalign. Traditional braces cost between $1,500 to $5,000 — depending on what is to be accomplished. If the patient has difficulty biting and chewing food, the cost will be at the upper end of the price range. Invisalign braces frequently average $5,000. Insurance coverage for Invisalign is generally the same as for other orthodontic procedures.

What are the advantages of Invisalign? Both types of braces will straighten a patient’s teeth. One advantage of Invisalign is cosmetic. Invisalign braces are BPA-free, clear plastic aligner trays. They were designed to be invisible — and removable. The trays are removed for brushing one’s teeth, cleaning the trays, eating and drinking anything other than water. They can also be removed for social engagements and important business meetings, although it isn’t a good idea to make a habit of this. There isn’t a problem with pieces of wire attached to the brackets breaking loose, or from inadvertently swallowing a rubber band. The patient’s speech is minimally affected by wearing Invisalign, as it frequently is with traditional braces. Food can become trapped on the brackets and wires of traditional braces, but this doesn’t happen with the aligner trays, since the trays are removed before eating.

Where can I get Invisalign braces in Sacramento? Dr. Sheila Harris of Natomas Crossing Dental Care — an Invisalign dentist in Sacramento — will be happy to discuss traditional braces versus Invisalign with you. Please use the online form or call 916-999-1308 to book an appointment.