Malocclusion problems not only compromise the appearance of the smile, but they also throw off the bite and increase the risk of dental complications. Fortunately, there are orthodontic treatments that align the teeth and jaw so that people can enjoy teeth that are straight, healthy, and fully functional.
Two of the most common teeth straightening treatments are Invisalign®, a system of clear aligner trays, and braces, a system of metal brackets and wires.
Drs. Alex and Jason Hecht of Staten Island Aesthetic & Implant Dentist go over Invisalign vs. braces treatment with our Staten Island, NY, patients, and help them choose the technique that is best suited to their unique needs and desires.
Braces are one of the oldest and most trusted orthodontic techniques. Braces apply subtle and consistent pressure that encourages the teeth and jaw to gradually shift into alignment. This pressure is applied through a series of metal wires and brackets. Braces are bonded to the teeth, so they stay in place throughout treatment, but wires will be tightened periodically to ensure that pressure is consistent.
Invisalign treatment involves the use of clear plastic aligner trays to provide subtle and consistent pressure to the teeth and jaw. Pressure encourages the teeth and jaw to gradually shift to their intended position.
Throughout Invisalign treatment, patients progress through a series of aligner trays (switching aligners approximately every two weeks), so that the mouth is constantly adapting to the pressure that is applied.
Invisalign treatment differs from braces in that it is a metal-free system. This makes treatment more discreet and comfortable than traditional braces. Invisalign is also different in that aligners are not attached to the teeth in any way. Aligners can be removed, and they should be taken off whenever a person eats, drinks, or brushes the teeth. This adds a level of convenience that is unique to Invisalign treatment.
Considering Your Options
Both braces and Invisalign can be effective in treating malocclusion problems. Furthermore, the cost and duration of treatment is usually comparable, whether a person opts for braces or Invisalign. Because of these similarities, some of our Staten Island patients have a difficult time deciding which technique is right for them.
When choosing between braces and Invisalign, there are a few key factors that should be considered:
- Degree of malocclusion problems: Braces and Invisalign can treat many of the same malocclusion problems. However, if certain conditions are severe, a patient may be better suited for braces treatment.
- Discreetness of treatment: Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible against the teeth, while braces are quite obvious. Patients should consider whether or not it is important to them that their treatment process is discreet.
- Oral care: Braces tend to make it a little more difficult to care for the teeth, particularly when it comes to flossing. If patients are worried about the ease and convenience of oral care during treatment, they are likely to prefer Invisalign.
- Commitment to treatment: For many, the ability to remove Invisalign aligners is a benefit, but for others it may be a concern. Invisalign treatment will only be effective if aligner trays are worn at least 20 to 22 hours each day. Individuals who are not committed to treatment, or those who lack discipline or order may be better candidates for braces.
If you would like further information about braces or Invisalign, Drs. Alex and Jason Hecht would be happy to help. Send us a message at your earliest convenience, or call (718) 521-2571 to contact our dental team. We can examine your teeth and discuss your specific needs and desires so that we can help you choose a teeth straightening treatment that is right for you.