When it comes to bite correction and straightening crooked or shifted teeth, a major part of our approach here at Healthy Smiles of Staten Island is helping our patients decide between Invisalign vs braces. Both of these methods are effective procedures for correcting bite and alignment issues of the teeth, however, they each take a different approach. As a Staten Island dental office specializing in implant and cosmetic dentistry, we want to share our knowledge of these corrective treatments with all of you to help you make the most informed decision possible.
Both Invisalign and braces are effective tools for correcting bite and tooth alignment issues. Braces are the original method of correcting the bite and alignment. While this method is effective, it does have its drawbacks. Invisalign is the new kid on the block, offering tooth correction without many of the drawbacks of traditional braces. Let's take a moment to look at how each of these methods works. and discuss them a bit further.
Traditional braces use a system of metal bands and brackets. The brackets are glued to the surface of the teeth and then a metal band is placed through the channels of the brackets. Over the course of several months, these metal bands are tightened incrementally to slowly move the teeth into alignment. Rubber bands may also be used to help assist the process.
While braces work, they have several drawbacks. They make it difficult to properly clean the teeth. In addition, certain foods must be avoided to prevent damage to the braces, whether that be kinking the bands or breaking the brackets off altogether.
Invisalign is the newest method of correcting bite and tooth alignment. Rather than metal bands and brackets, this system uses clear trays to correct the teeth over time. An initial casting is made of the teeth, then multiple trays are made for the correction. Every two weeks, the trays will be changed, allowing the teeth to be corrected slowly.
The Invisalign method is comparative in cost and time to traditional braces, and it removes the drawbacks of the old way of straightening the teeth, making them the preferred choice in almost every scenario.
Another important note is that Invisalign is also covered by some insurances just as standard braces are.
Now that you have a general idea of how both Invisalign and traditional braces work, let's compare the two. As the premiere Invisalign dentist in Staten Island, we pride ourselves on offering the most comprehensive knowledge of the treatments that our patients need, and we're eager to share that with you below.
Traditional braces and Invisalign are both about the same cost, with Invisalign being slightly more costly on the low end of the spectrum.
The most noticeable difference between Invisalign vs braces is the appearance. Although traditional braces can also contain clear components, the overall appearance is bulkier and contains metal bands. Invisalign, however, uses clear trays that are almost "invisible". In many cases, no one even knows a patient is wearing them.
While no bite and alignment correction is totally without discomfort, Invisalign tends to be more comfortable than traditional braces. The clear trays put less pressure on the teeth overall than the traditional band and bracket approach. In addition, braces brackets have sharp edges that can cut the inner lip and tongue. Traditional braces also pose a potential injury hazard to those who play sports.
When used correctly, there is no difference in effectiveness between Invisalign vs braces. We want to emphasis the "when used correctly" part. The only potential drawback to the effectiveness of Invisalign is patient compliance. Because the trays are removable, patients may not always wear them for the prescribed length of time. The only time that braces outshine Invisalign is in the case of misaligned teeth that are extremely rotated or overlapping.
It should come as no surprise that Invisalign is the clear winner when it comes to cleaning and care. Braces are glued to the surface of the teeth, and the brackets and bands make for all sorts of nooks and crannies for food to get trapped in. Cleaning the teeth and the braces can become a daily exercise in frustration as those who wear them attempt to adequately clean both the braces and the teeth.
With Invisalign, the trays are simply removed, the teeth are brushed, the trays are washed, and then they're simply popped back in. It's an incredibly easy procedure.
While both Invisalign and traditional braces are effective tools to correct tooth alignment and bite, we usually suggest Invisalign for most cases. Invisalign is less painful, more convenient, and almost always just as effective as regular braces, making them the preferred choice at our practice. If you're looking for an Invisalign dentist in Staten Island, schedule an appointment with us. We'd love to help you get the smile you've always dreamed of.