Pros and Cons of Invisalign

A female patient at Summit Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Spokane, WA compares Invisalign trays with traditional metal braces.

If you’re looking to straighten your teeth and feel more confident in your smile, you have several orthodontic treatment options at your disposal. At Summit Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer Invisalign, traditional braces, and more to help you achieve a picture-perfect smile.

Today, we’ll discuss the difference between Invisalign and traditional braces to help you figure out which one is the right choice for you. (As always, feel free to let us know if you have any questions. We’re here to help!)

What is the difference between Invisalign and traditional braces?

Invisalign and braces are two orthodontic treatment methods that can remake your smile. Learn a little more about these options below:

Invisalign Pros and Cons

First thing’s first: what is Invisalign exactly? Invisalign is the name of the clear aligners used to gently help your teeth grow in the right position. You’ll get a new set twice per month. Anyone can wear them, including adults and teens, making it simpler than ever to achieve the smile of your dreams.

Invisalign treats many of the conditions treated by regular braces, including overbites, underbites, crossbites, open bites, gaps, and crowded teeth. It’s also been shown to help straighten smiles much quicker than regular braces.

Invisalign Pros:

  • Invisible: One of the biggest Invisalign benefits is that you can’t see the aligners. That means that the only person who will know they’re on is you (and your dentist or orthodontist), giving you the confidence to rock your best smile.
  • Safe: With traditional braces, there’s always a chance that the wire brackets will catch on your mouth. Since Invisalign is free from metal brackets and only made from a comfortable plastic material, it’s much safer than regular braces (especially if you’re an athlete).
  • Eat What You Wish: When you wear braces, you have to steer clear of sticky foods, such as hard candies, to keep them from getting lodged in your teeth or around your braces. There’s no need to fear when you wear Invisalign, though. All you have to do is take your aligners out when you’re ready to eat your favorite foods and treats.

Invisalign Cons:

  • Costly: Invisalign can cost anywhere from $3,500 to $8,000. If you’re looking for a comfortable orthodontic treatment that no one can see, you might find that they’re worth the investment. However, we like our patients to be aware of the investment before making their decisions on Invisalign vs. braces. (Keep in mind that braces can be close to the same cost in some circumstances, so you can expect to pay at least $2,500 to $3,500 no matter which method you choose.)
  • Need to Remove Them When You Eat: If you’re out and about, stopping for a quick lunch with friends, you may find it inconvenient to remove your Invisalign before digging into your food, but it’s necessary. Taking out your aligners can keep them clean and in good condition. (Also, remember that you’ll want to brush your teeth before reinserting your aligners.)
  • Must Wear Them Upwards of 22 Hours Daily: Afraid you won’t remember to put your aligners back in if you remove them? This can affect the speed and effectiveness of your treatment. If you don’t think you can commit to 22 hours of wear-time each day, braces might be a better option for you.

Metal Braces Pros and Cons

When the phrase “orthodontic treatment” comes up, metal braces are what comes to mind for the majority of people. Metal braces are an Invisalign alternative that includes brackets and wires held together by strong rubber bands.

Metal braces are used to straighten your pearly whites and have been proven to help with bite problems, including overbites, underbites, and more.

Metal Braces Pros:

  • Economical: Metal braces can be more affordable than Invisalign, making them a good alternative if you are on a budget and less concerned about the aesthetic benefits of Invisalign. Your insurance may also cover metal braces.
  • Strong: Since you wear them all day, every day, metal braces are built for durability so that they don’t wear down from daily tasks, such as eating or brushing your teeth. They come in both steel and titanium.
  • No Need to Remove Them: That’s right. Unlike Invisalign, metal braces stay in 24/7, so you don’t have to worry about the hassle of removing them when you’re out to dinner or having a snack.

Metal Braces Cons:

  • Can Be Uncomfortable: Since metal braces are tight against your teeth and contain metal, there’s a chance that they can agitate the mouth. This can make them somewhat painful to wear at times. (Of course, if you are ever too uncomfortable, talk to your orthodontist so that your braces can be adjusted.)
  • Must Steer Clear of Many Foods: While you can still enjoy several of the foods that you love while wearing braces, you’ll have to take sticky foods, candy, and some hard foods off your shopping list. These foods can get lodged in between the brackets, causing damage or leading to a cavity if you’re not able to clean your teeth properly.
  • Regular Adjustments Needed: You have to see the orthodontist often to get your braces tightened or adjusted. This can be difficult to schedule around. However, it is essential to ensure that your braces are the right tightness to help you achieve results. It can also make them more comfortable to wear, though they might become a little sensitive for a few days after your tightening appointment.

Our Recommendation

Curious about whether Invisalign or traditional braces are right for you? For many people, Invisalign is the preferred choice because this type of orthodontic treatment goes unnoticed and allows you to keep up with your dental hygiene without worry since you can remove your aligners.

It is also great for athletes since there are no brackets or wires involved, which could be dangerous in a collision or fall. However, while Invisalign takes care of a wide majority of dental issues, there are some dental problems that traditional braces are better suited for.

Ultimately, it’s up to you and what you feel is best for your teeth.

Interested in learning more about your options? Summit Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is a trusted Spokane dental office that is happy to walk you through your choices. Call us today at (509) 466-1200, or contact us online.