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Invisalign or Braces?

Braces or Invisalign: The Nine Most Frequently Asked Questions

So first question is, what about discomfort? Is there a difference between braces and Invisalign?

Well, with braces everyone understands that you have these metal brackets glued to your teeth and they often rub on the inside of your checks causing you mouth ulcers and some discomfort and also wires that end up poking you in the cheek. With Invisalign there is nothing glued to your teeth that will cause you that discomfort, no wires poking, no brackets that can come lose.


Second question I get asked is about appearance and honestly that is pretty obvious.

Invisalign is clear, virtually invisible. There are clear braces that are glued to your teeth that are more esthetic than the large metal braces that are typically seen and those do have some benefit as far as appearance goes, but nothing beats the clear removable aligners of Invisalign.


Third question, what about tooth movement? Which works better, braces or Invisalign?

Again, braces will move your teeth where you want them to go but Invisalign does exactly the same thing in a very prescribed, detailed manner. Everything is done on the computer using Invisalign’s software program. A digital image of your teeth and bite is created from molds of your teeth. From that digital image, the teeth are moved in a prescribed manner set up by your doctor. So if you compare Invisalign to braces you will find that tooth movement is quite the same and in some cases with Invisalign it is that much better because it is 100% prescribed, in other words, only the teeth you want to move will actually move.

Oral hygiene and what about tooth brushing?

Well, with fixed braces pretty much everything you eat will stick around those brackets and wires. With Invisalign you get to remove them, take them out to eat if you want, brush and floss like you normally do and put them back in. There really is no comparison, oral hygiene with invisalign is definitely a plus.


What about what can I eat?

With braces there’s restrictions regarding chewing gum, caramels, taffy and all those hard, chewy, sticky things that can stick to your braces and actually break your wires and brackets. Invisalign, you simply remove them, eat your favorite food and brush your teeth and put your aligners back in. No need to worry about spinach getting stuck between your braces with Invisalign.


What about emergencies?

This is a really big difference especially for parents. Typically with braces you will have emergency visits that require replacement of brackets that are falling off, wires that need to be clipped because they are poking. Often, if you play a sport, you will have injuries related to balls or arms hitting your face. With Invisalign, you have zero emergencies, there is nothing to be broken. If you do get hit in the face with an arm, a hand, a ball, the aligners actually protect your teeth from injury.


Treatment time, how long does it take? Is it much longer with Invisalign?

This question comes up all the time and quite honestly the answer is treatment time is really dependent a lot on the patient’s cooperation. If I have a patient with braces on who is following all of my instructions perfectly and I have an Invisalign patient who is following all my instructions perfectly they typically will finish treatment on time. Patients that don’t wear their aligners and patients that keep breaking their braces, will have longer treatment times. So in regards to treatment time it is very cooperation dependent in both scenarios.


What about cost? Does Invisalign cost more than braces?

In the beginning when Invisalign first came out it was significantly more expensive than braces and that was cost prohibitive for many people. Fortunately with the technology today that Invisalign has developed and the fact that they over 1.5 million patients have had Invisalign, the cost has come down significantly and in our offices is actually the same price as metal braces.


So the final question is what is best for you, braces or Invisalign?

And that is a question that we can only answer when we sit down and actually look over your teeth, your bite and look over your situation. We offer a complimentary exam and consultation and we invite you to call our offices at 561-422-3360 (Palm Beach Gardens),  561-422-3360 (Royal Palm Beach).