Invisalign vs. Braces

For many years, patients with malocclusion were limited to one option: traditional metal braces. Over the years, options expanded and, in the late 1990s, Invisalign clear aligners were introduced to the market.
The Invisalign system is a series of clear aligners designed to gradually shift teeth into their appropriate position in the jaw. The best part about this system is that the aligners are discreet- most people won’t realize you have them- and they are removable- which means no food restrictions.
The team at Calm Dental in Los Angeles is proud to offer both traditional metal braces and Invisalign clear aligners for our patients with malocclusion. In this article, we’ll compare the two to help you decide which one is right for you.

Comparison of Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces

 

Invisalign

Braces

Length of Treatment

  Typical treatment is approximately 12 to 18 months. Some patients see results in 6, while others require up to 24 months. Typical treatment is approximately 12 to 36 months, depending on the severity of the malocclusion.

Can treatment be expedited?

Yes. You can expedite treatment with Invisalign by making sure to keep your teeth and aligners clean and by making sure that you wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day. You may also want to consider Invisalign Express instead of the standard Invisalign treatment. Yes, treatment with traditional metal braces can potentially be expedited, as long as you keep them clean and make sure to visit the clinic regularly to have them adjusted.

How to clean

Every time you remove your aligners, they should be rinsed under cool water before placing them back in your mouth. You will need a soft-bristled toothbrush and clear, unscented soap to clean your aligners. Make sure to rinse thoroughly before placing them back in your mouth. You should be practicing proper oral hygiene by making sure to brush your teeth twice daily with an interdental brush to get around the brackets. You should also use a water flosser to floss once daily.

How to maintain

Invisalign clear aligners must be rinsed under cool water before placing them back in your mouth and need to be cleaned at least once a day. When you remove your aligners, they should be placed in the case so they are not accidentally lost or damaged. You can maintain your traditional metal braces by making sure to follow dietary restrictions, and avoiding foods that could damage the brackets and wires. You must also avoid habits, such as chewing on pens, that could damage the wires and brackets. Also, make sure to visit the clinic as directed so that we can monitor your progress and adjust them as necessary.

Removable

Yes, Invisalign clear aligners are designed to be removable. No, traditional braces cannot be removed once they are put on the teeth.

Dental visits

Approximately every 6 weeks to monitor your progress Approximately every 3 to 4 weeks to monitor your progress and make adjustments as necessary.

Average Cost?

Invisalign treatment starts at $1,200 and goes up to $8,000 depending on the severity of the malocclusion and how many aligners are required for treatment. Traditional metal braces cost between $5,000 to $8,000, depending on the length of treatment.

Benefits

Invisalign clear aligners are discreet, more aesthetically pleasing, easy to clean/maintain, require no food restrictions, require fewer office visits, reduce risk of tooth decay, and support gum health. Traditional metal braces are strong and durable, effective for treating a variety of malocclusions, convenient, and more affordable.

Ideal for

Mild to moderate malocclusions, some severe cases can be treated depending on the specific type of malocclusion. Mild, moderate, or severe malocclusions.
 

Which is More Effective: Invisalign or Braces?

Both traditional metal braces and Invisalign clear aligners are effective for treating malocclusions by gradually shifting teeth to their appropriate positions. Both treatments improve oral and overall health by making these adjustments.

The cost between the two is comparable, though traditional metal braces are somewhat more affordable. Additionally, dental insurance often covers a portion of treatment traditional metal braces and may not cover Invisalign treatment.

Invisalign vs braces
However, most patients at Calm Dental prefer Invisalign clear aligners for a variety of reasons:

  •  More comfortable: aligners are made of clear, smooth plastic so you don’t have to worry about  brackets and wires cutting up the inside of your mouth.
  • Discreet: aligners are nearly transparent, which means that most people won’t realize you have them in- even if they are standing close to you.
  • Treatment time: the average treatment time for Invisalign is 12 to 18 months. While some patients may see results within 12 months with traditional metal braces, most of the time it takes much longer.
  •  No food restrictions: some foods can damage the wires and brackets of traditional metal braces, but Invisalign clear aligners are designed to be removed so you don’t have to give up your favorite snacks.
  •  Cleaning: brushing and flossing with traditional metal braces can be challenging because of the wires and brackets. However, Invisalign clear aligners can be removed for eating and brushing/flossing so you can care for your teeth as you typically would.
However, it is important to note that there are some situations in which Invisalign clear aligners may not be your best option. Patients who have the following may want to consider other options:
  • Severe crowding

  • Significant overbite

  • Large gaps

  • Tooth displacement

  • Rotated teeth

Schedule Your Invisalign Consultation Right Away

If you have a malocclusion, schedule your appointment with the team at Calm Dental right away. We can help you understand the severity of your condition and the best treatment options to straighten your smile.
We are located at 525 S. Olive Street in Los Angeles. Our office hours are Monday through Friday 8:40 AM to 6:00 PM. We do offer free valet parking at 506 S. Grand Avenue, if you would like to take advantage of that. We leave tipping up to your discretion.

Orthodontic FAQs

While Invisalign clear aligners have been on the market for nearly 30 years, we still get a lot of questions at Calm Dental. Our team is more than happy to discuss your questions or concerns at any time regarding this or any other dental procedure. Below are some of the most common questions we hear about Invisalign:

How long does Invisalign take?

Typically, Invisalign treatment takes approximately 12 to 18 months. Some patients with mild malocclusions may see results in as little as 6 months, while those with more severe malocclusions may need up to 24 months. Following treatment, you will be given a retainer to keep the teeth in their new position.

How does Invisalign work?

The process begins like any other dental procedure: with a consultation. At this time, we’ll examine your mouth, take x-rays, discuss your needs and expectations, and show you a computerized model of what your smile is expected to look like at the end of treatment.

If you decide that you are interested in proceeding with treatment, we will take impressions of your mouth to create your treatment plan. We will determine the exact movements required to bring your teeth into proper alignment. This information will be sent to the lab for the fabrication of your aligners. The amount of correction required will determine the number of aligners needed and therefore, the cost and treatment time.

Once the aligners are fabricated, they will be sent to the office. You will come in and we will place the first set, making sure they fit properly, and examine the rest to make sure they are correct. The aligners are made from transparent plastic and use SmartTrack technology. Each one is slightly different and presses on your teeth to move them to where they need to be in your jaw.

Every 1 to 3 weeks, you’ll switch to a new set, which brings you closer and closer to your new smile. We will schedule follow-up appointments approximately every 6 weeks so that we can monitor your progress.

How do you clean Invisalign clear aligners?

Every time you remove your aligners, you should rinse them under cool water before placing them back in your mouth. The best way to clean your aligners is with a soft-bristled toothbrush and clear, unscented soap.

Can Invisalign fix an overbite?

Yes, patients with an overbite can use Invisalign clear aligners. However, it is important to note that attachments may be required to hold the aligners in place.

Can you eat with Invisalign?

Patients with traditional metal braces must follow certain dietary restrictions to avoid damaging the brackets and wires. On the other hand, Invisalign clear aligners are designed to be removed while eating, so you do not have to follow these restrictions. It is highly recommended that you remove them when you are eating, otherwise you risk damaging the aligners.

I am very happy with the care I receive from Calm Dental. I have been with them for a few years and am very happy with my smile!

- James H.

I will never go to another dentist as long as Dr. Sooloki is around!

- Greg H.

Best dentist ever! I look forward to going to the dentist now, for the first time in my life.

- Blake M.
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