Traditional Braces vs. Invisalign: Advantages and Disadvantages

Having a great smile can be an asset in a person’s daily life. That is why when their teeth are crooked or crowded, it can be a problem not just with the way they look, but the way they feel and the confidence they have in everyday social situations.

There are two main options when it comes to straightening an individual’s teeth: traditional braces vs. Invisalign. Traditional braces have been around for decades and have been proven to get the job done. Invisalign aligners work more like retainers to slowly move their teeth to the correct position, and provide a more discreet look than traditional braces.

If someone is considering one of these options for straightening their smile, here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of both methods:

The Advantages of Traditional Braces

Traditional braces are the tried and true method of straightening a person’s smile. With brackets, wires, and rubber bands to guide the teeth into the right position, traditional braces are an option for anyone who wants to change the way their teeth look.

One big advantage of traditional braces is that anyone can get them, no matter what their situation. Severe crowding, overbites, underbites–these can all be corrected with braces. An orthodontist will be able to provide someone with a plan to get their teeth straight and give them the smile that they deserve.

Another advantage of traditional braces is that teeth may not shift or change over time. If they do, a person can always correct minor issues with a retainer, rather than ever having to have braces again.

The Disadvantages of Traditional Braces

With other options available, one of the biggest disadvantages of braces is that the person wearing them cannot hide them while they are on their teeth. This aspect of traditional braces paired with the continual visits to their orthodontist and the overall cost could discourage some from seeking treatment with traditional braces.

The Advantages of Invisalign

Invisalign aligners have a number of great advantages over traditional braces. Some of these advantages include the discreet look, a lower cost and the ability to see an orthodontist less often than with traditional braces because the aligners can be made ahead of time to meet the needs of the individual plan. Invisalign aligners can also be taken out at any time so that a person can easily clean their teeth, eat and take proper care of the mouth without having to work around pieces of metal throughout their mouth.

The Disadvantages of Invisalign

One of the major disadvantages of Invisalign technology is that it doesn’t work for everyone. Invisalign is more commonly used in patients who are looking to correct minor shifting and crowding. Invisalign does not correct other issues such as overbites and underbites. For those that simply need their teeth to be guided in the right direction, it can work. However, as with traditional braces, the teeth may shift back. This will mean that some patients will have to buy new aligners down the road and go through the process again. So, New York Total Dental, a dentist in Midtown Manhattan, points out that it is important to wear any retainers that are given as instructed to try to prevent any future shifting of the teeth. The teeth naturally want to drift back to their original locations, so following ther dentist’s recommendations is critical to the long-term success. Wearing the retainers allows new bones and ligaments to reform, creating the smile desired.

The way a person chooses to straighten their teeth is a personal choice. The choice they make should fit both their budget and their lifestyle. Once a person has decided on which method is best for their situation, they and their orthodontist can come up with a comprehensive plan to give them the winning smile that they have always wanted.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.