Orthodontics have come a long way in a relatively short period of time. This is evidenced by the introduction of Invisalign around 2000, which provided a transparent alternative to conventional braces. However, many patients have questions about the effectiveness of Invisalign compared to conventional braces. We decided to shed some light on the two types of orthodontic treatments based on our experience. Here’s a closer look:
Braces versus Invisalign: The Basics
Before we get into how effective Invisalign is, it’s important to distinguish what makes it different from conventional braces. There are many key differences, perhaps most notably in its appearance and purpose. Fitting to its name, Invisalign is a clear, removable apparatus that’s worn over the teeth. It’s not designed to treat complex orthodontic issues, but to gently and gradually shift the teeth over time. Here are some more details about Invisalign:
- It’s fast-working, generally taking six to 18 months for treatment.
- It’s a more expensive treatment option than braces.
- It’s more convenient, as Invisalign is easy to maintain, can be removed before meals and is absent of the wires that are synonymous with braces.
- There’s no dietary requirements with Invisalign, as it is removed during meals. Keep in mind that chewing gum, popcorn and hard candies are often discouraged with those who wear braces.
- Like braces, Invisalign may cause some discomfort due to tooth movement.
The Effectiveness of Invisalign
So back to the question we posed in the opening: Is Invisalign as effective as standard braces?
Yes – but only for the responsible patient that qualifies for Invisalign.
While Invisalign can – and should be – removed for things like eating and regular cleaning, many patients tend to remove them more often than this. If this removal becomes too regular, it will impact the effectiveness of the treatment. Also, keep in mind that Invisalign is designed to be in place inside of the mouth anywhere from 22 to 24 hours each day of treatment for best results. Braces are cemented to the teeth, so patients aren’t tempted with orthodontic removal. With that said, the Invisalign patient needs to be a disciplined patient.
It’s also worth noting that Invisalign isn’t applicable for all orthodontic issues, though selecting between braces and Invisalign as a treatment option will be weighed at the time of your consultation. Failure to have braces treat more complex orthodontic issues can lead to an unsatisfactory result, as Invisalign isn’t designed for such purposes.
Like we mentioned above, the decision between Invisalign and conventional braces is something that should be weighed with your dentist or orthodontist in order to achieve the results that you’re looking for. For more information on Invisalign, and the treatment’s effectiveness, contact Caven Dental today.