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Invisalign vs. Braces: What’s the Difference?

Invisalign or braces? That is one of the frequently asked questions among those who are looking for the best option to straighten their teeth or their children’s teeth. Many people want the option that best fits their individual situation to ensure their money will help deliver the best results. So, which is better? Braces or Invisalign? Let’s learn more about the differences!

Braces vs Invisalign: What You Need to Know

So, the overall goal for both braces and Invisalign is the same. They are designed to help straighten teeth, improve one’s smile, and better your overall oral health. Invisalign just happens to be a newer, less conspicuous way of achieving this goal.

How Do Braces Work?

Metal braces normally include metal brackets that are glued to your teeth and are connected by rubber bands and metal wires. These then help guide your teeth into a better position over time. 

How Does Invisalign Work?

Unlike braces, Invisalign uses trays made with BPA-free clear plastic that are designed to be worn overtop your teeth throughout the day and at night. Since these trays use plastic, they are nearly invisible when wearing them — hence the name, Invisalign! These trays gently move one’s teeth into the desired position. As your teeth move, you switch trays to continue that movement. 

Invisalign vs Braces: Which Is Better?

Now that you know how these two options generally work, you should make a few comparisons to see which of these best fits your situation. A few examples would be the Invisalign vs braces effectiveness, the cost, the speed of the option, or even wondering if Invisalign is faster than braces. Below we will get into more specific benefits of each.

Benefits of Braces

There are a number of benefits to braces that will depend on one’s personality. For instance, braces are unable to be removed so there are no temptations to leave them out so less self-discipline is needed. Braces can also tackle more complex oral issues, but they do take more time to achieve the desired results.

Benefits of Invisalign

With Invisalign, one major benefit is that they are removable and are clear. This makes it so patients are not embarrassed wearing these out in public and can easily remove them when they want to have a meal. There are no issues with getting food caught in the Invisalign trays since there are no wires. Also, with no wires, there is no discomfort from wires or brackets rubbing against the inside of your mouth. Lastly, Invisalign tends to reach results 2~3 times faster than traditional metal braces!

Which Should You Choose?

In the end, it will really depend on your specific situation. If you value ease, speed, and having the freedom to remove your trays, then Invisalign is for you. If hygiene is also important to you, then you may want to reconsider braces as they are harder to clean than Invisalign trays. Since every patient’s situation is different, it is always best to consult your oral health specialist when making a decision such as this. 

If you live in the Fredericksburg, VA area and are wondering, “Is there Invisalign near me?”, then reach out to us Fredericksburg Smile Center to set an appointment for a consultation.

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Having Straight Teeth is About More Than Just Your Smile

Having straight teeth is often viewed as a luxury or something you desire but can’t have. This is especially the case if you are an adult who didn’t benefit from braces as a kid. While many people think having straight teeth only affects their smile, the alignment of your teeth is a big factor in your dental health as well.

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So You Want Straight Teeth

So, you’ve just found out that your teeth need straightening, and you’re left thinking “I want straight teeth, but I don’t want braces“.

Well, you’re in luck! Because these days, there are alternatives to metal braces available to many patients.

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign uses a series of aligner plates that are custom created specifically for your very own teeth. These plates are made out of a plastic that is practically invisible, does not attach to your teeth and gives you a whole lot more freedom to eat than traditional metal braces.

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Straight Teeth with Invisalign

Even if you have heard of Invisalign, you may still have some questions regarding the process. Here’s how it works.

  • Consultation: First, you will want to set up a consultation with a dentist who is experienced in Invisalign treatments. During this visit, you and your dentist will discuss the treatment, whether it’s the best option for your specific situation and how the process will work for you specifically. If you have any questions, jotting them down before the visit is a good way to make sure you don’t forget any of the important ones.
  • Customizing Treatment: Next, your dentist will get x-rays, pictures and impressions of your teeth in order to create a custom treatment.
  • Receiving Your Aligners: You will receive your custom-made clear aligners from your dentist once the order is processed. They are made of a comfortable plastic that is gentle on your gums and comfortable inside your mouth. Your dentist will help you put in the first set of aligners and make sure that everything is just as it should be.
  • Wearing Your Aligners: Once you receive your new aligners, the process of straightening your teeth will begin! You will change to a new aligner every two weeks as your teeth are straightened more and more. You can remove them to eat, brush and floss your teeth. Gradually, your teeth will become realigned and the best part: most people won’t even know you’re wearing them!

Your dentist will want to see you about once every six weeks to make sure things are moving along well and progress in continually being made.

 

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Different Types of Braces: What are They?

Choosing Between Different Types of Braces

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between traditional braces and Invisalign? When it comes to appearance, the thought of nearly invisible braces can certainly be appealing. Although both traditional metal braces and Invisalign straighten your teeth, Invisalign offers an invisible appearance, while other braces do not. You may want the option to remove the braces at times for social events or to eat your favorite foods. Different types of braces have to be kept on for different lengths of time. These are all things to consider when it comes to your personal comfort. There are pros and cons to both, so here is a comparison of traditional braces vs. Invisalign.

The Traditional Route: Metal Braces

Many people still prefer to have metal braces. There are both advantages and disadvantages of choosing to go the traditional route.

  • The material used is metal, usually silver in color. You can pay extra to have the metal match the color of your teeth.
  • You have to wear them 24/7 for about 2 years.
  • Certain foods should be avoided.
  • You must visit an orthodontist for treatment.
  • Some pain or discomfort from the metal brackets may occur.
  • You don’t have to worry about taking them on or off.
  • You are unable to brush and floss as you normally do.
  • They are better for more complex dental problems.
  • You have to visit your orthodontist about every 4 to 6 weeks to have the braces tightened.

A New Approach: Invisalign

More and more people are selecting Invisalign over traditional metal braces because the benefits seem to outweigh any disadvantages.

  • They are clear, making them nearly invisible.
  • They are removable. You only wear them for about a year and for at least 20 hours a day.
  • You do have to remove them while eating or drinking, but you don’t have to worry about missing out on your favorite foods or getting food stuck in them.
  • There is virtually no discomfort while the trays are in.
  • You must brush your teeth after meals to avoid discoloration of your teeth.
  • Your daily oral hygiene routine does not change. You can brush and floss like you normally do.
  • They are more effective for esthetic purposes and for less complex dental problems.
  • They are custom-made out of smooth plastic.
  • The cost may be higher than traditional metal braces.
  • You must put in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks.
  • You can get them in your local dental office.

And the Verdict Is…

Invisalign and metal braces have many differences, but they both serve the same purpose: to straighten your teeth. Both types of braces involve a change in your daily routine, and keep in mind that the success of Invisalign is completely up to you.

Choosing between different types of braces can be overwhelming and should not be taken lightly. If you are having trouble deciding between traditional metal braces and Invisalign, please contact our office to learn more or receive a free consultation at our Invisalign Open House.

 

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How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign has been the buzz word in tooth alignment for a while now. If you’ve been looking for an innovative alternative to braces, you may have heard of this orthodontic marvel with ‘invisible’ and removable aligners. But just how well does Invisalign work? Well, a clinical study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) revealed a 41% mean accuracy of tooth movement with Invisalign. But what exactly does this product entail, what are its benefits, and how does Invisalign work? Here are the answers to some of the questions you may have.

What is Invisalign?

It’s beneficial to know what this product entails, for a better understanding on how it works. “Invisalign is removable, comfy, and practically invisible. Basically, it’s everything braces are not.” It comprises transparent aligners made of polyurethane plastic that resemble a tooth whitening tray.

Your dentist may recommend them if your teeth are crowded or crooked, and design a tray custom-made for your mouth. It’s also never too late to improve your smile with Invisalign, as it can be worn if you are a teen or an adult.

How does Invisalign work in comparison to braces?

Braces and Invisalign have a few common advantages. They both straighten your teeth. They can also both treat under bite, cross bite, overbite, crowding, and uneven spacing. However, the benefits of using Invisalign far outweighs the disadvantages of wearing braces. Here are some of them:

  • You can remove Invisalign for several hours. This is ideal if you need to attend a social event, or if you feel like allowing your teeth to ‘breathe’. Braces are non-removable.
  • Your oral hygiene routine need not be disrupted, as you’ll be able to floss and brush your teeth like you normally do. This is vital for optimal dental heath. You won’t be able to do this as effectively with braces.
  • Invisalign is virtually invisible. As the name suggests, this product is barely noticeable, in comparison to normal braces. This is a definite confidence booster, as you’re more likely to be self conscious when wearing metal in your mouth.
  • Invisalign is more comfortable than braces, as it’s derived from plastic. The metal in braces is likely to make usage uncomfortable.

How does Invisalign work with regards to application?

You’ve probably been curious about this procedure since considering Invisalign right? The application here is fairly straightforward. Orthodontists do offer this service, however dentists who are specially trained can offer you Invisalign as well. Even better is that you’ll be required to visit your dentist less often than an orthodontist with ordinary braces.

Your dentist will initiate the process with x-rays, bite registrations, and impressions of your gums and teeth. These are painless so don’t worry if you’re concerned about feeling any discomfort. With bite registrations, all you need to do is bite onto a sheet of foil paper, so your dentist can get an impression of your teeth in biting mode.

Your dentist will use state of the art software to decipher what the ideal movement projection for you is. The dentist will modify your transparent aligners before it’s sent away to be designed. The aligners are made via a CAD-CAM software program.

You may wear each aligner for about two weeks. They should be worn for 20 hours per day, and you are allowed to remove them for up to four hours. You’re advised to brush and floss upon removal.

You should remove your Invisalign when eating. However, you won’t be restricted from eating some of your favorite snacks like popcorn, as leftovers won’t get stuck with this removable product. You’ll be required to wear your Invisalign for slightly over a year, and may be advised to wear a retainer at night after treatment.

 

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