While the end results may appear the same — a confident, beautiful smile — when you stop and actually compare Invisalign® to other teeth-straightening options, the advantages become quite apparent. Knowing the pros and cons of each option ahead of time will help you make a more confident decision.
Braces vs. Invisalign Braces
|Effectively treats a wide variety of cases, including crowding, spacing, crossbite, overbite and underbite.||X||X|
|Straightens your teeth.||X||X|
|Average cost is about $5,000.*||X||X|
|Allows you to eat whatever foods you enjoy.||X|
|Lets you remove the device when you want.||X|
|Lets you enjoy virtually invisible teeth-straightening.||X|
|Allows you to brush and floss your teeth normally for better periodontal health.||X|
|Consists of smooth, comfortable plastic instead of sharp metal that is more likely to irritate your cheeks and gums.||X|
|Frees up your busy schedule, with office visits only every four to six weeks.||X|
|Invisalign Teen: Provides up to six free replacement aligners if lost or broken.**||X|
|* November 2010 Invisalign Patient Survey. ** Invisalign Teen only.|
With regular braces, you may experience some or all of the following: pain, discomfort, mouth sores or injuries caused by the brace wires, tooth decay (from inadequate brushing and flossing), plaque buildup, tooth discoloration, tooth/bracket breakage, or difficulty eating. As if that weren’t enough, there are also the personal sacrifices — popcorn, chips, bagels, hard-crusted bread, pizza crust, pretzel, nuts, certain candies…plus apples, carrots, corn on the cob, and more.
Veneers and Similar Treatments
Many patients have asked about the benefits of veneers when compared to Invisalign. While veneers are certainly an option for improving your smile, they only cover up certain dental imperfections, rather than correct them. This means that some existing periodontal problems could still remain. Applied to the front side of the teeth only, veneers also require the removal of the surface enamel of each tooth — an irreversible procedure. Often considered a quick fix, veneers typically need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years — this can become very expensive in the long run. Coffee, tea and red wine need to be avoided to prevent discoloration, and care must be taken to prevent chipping or breaking the veneer. So while the surface look of the teeth may improve with veneers, the underlying tooth and gum problems could still exist.
Of course, there’s always the option of not seeking treatment at all. Ultimately, the choice is yours, but do keep in mind that, if left untreated, many orthodontic issues can often lead to more serious dental and health issues. Click here to learn more about the health benefits of straighter teeth and a proper bite.