Invisalign vs Braces: How Do I Know the Right Treatment for Me?

Invisalign vs Braces: How Do I Know the Right Treatment for Me?

There are many excellent reasons to correct misaligned or crooked teeth, and not all of them are cosmetic. Luckily, modern dentistry offers options that weren’t available in the past, such as Invisalign®

Traditionally, the only way to align crooked teeth was to use braces and metal bands to surround each tooth with a system of hooks, wires, and elastics to move your teeth into the proper position. Braces are effective but can be uncomfortable and unappealing, which is why Invisalign is more popular than ever. 

In order to choose between a clear aligner system like Invisalign and traditional braces, you need to consider the pros and cons with regards to your specific problem. The experts at Lancaster Dental Care Associates in Lancaster, California, can help you understand your options and reach a decision that’s right for you. 

Advantages of Invisalign

Invisalign’s name refers to the fact that the system is virtually invisible. Invisalign uses SmartTrack® material in the construction of Invisalign trays. This material is clear, so someone would have to look very closely to see that you’re wearing a tray.

Additionally, you don’t have to modify your diet to accommodate the Invisalign system as you would with metal braces. Instead, you simply remove the tray while you eat. Then you clean your teeth and put the tray back in place. 

When you have metal braces, you need to have conventional dental impressions made. It’s an awkward and uncomfortable process during which your mouth is filled with bulky molds and sticky alginate. 

Instead, Invisalign uses a 3-D digital imaging device called the iTero Element® scanner. The scanner is about the size of a ballpoint pen, and it creates an accurate digital model of your teeth and gums without the discomfort of molds or alginate. We use a computer to show you how your teeth will change, so you can see exactly what to expect before your treatment.

Sometimes braces are better

We find that Invisalign is usually the better choice for people who have mild to moderate alignment problems. But sometimes traditional braces are better. Aligning teeth properly can be a complex issue, especially if teeth need to move laterally, rotate, or need vertical correction. 

Your self-discipline matters, too. In order for Invisalign to work, you need to wear the trays for at least 20 hours every day. If you’re forgetful, or you don’t want to wear your aligners, braces are likely a better option. 

Finally, the Invisalign system bases your treatment on the location of your back teeth. If your molars aren’t properly positioned themselves, traditional braces are a better choice. 

If you have questions about your specific situation, we encourage you to schedule an appointment. We’re happy to make a recommendation based on your particular alignment issues.

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