Orthodontic care is more than just a rite of passage for many kids and teens today. It’s a way to straighten teeth and beautify smiles as well as take care of a number of threats to lifelong dental health. Here at Grove Dentistry, we want all our patients to have a lifetime of healthy teeth. For many, orthodontic care is a part of this picture.
One question many of our patients have is about the type of braces. Invisalign and metal braces are the two main competitors, and each has its own set of strengths. Both accomplish the same goals of straighter teeth and better overall oral health. But there are some clear differences. Wondering which one is right for you? Check out our quick guide below.
Invisalign Pros and Cons
Invisalign and similar products use a series of firm plastic trays to gradually move your teeth to a proper position. They are generally much more convenient because they can be removed during eating and drinking (just like a retainer). They’re also more aesthetically pleasing because they’re nearly invisible. They are less abrasive on the inside of the mouth than traditional metal braces, too. Everything feels like smooth plastic.
There are some downsides, though. If your orthodontic issues are simple, you may pay more for Invisalign. Also, because Invisalign trays are removable (and indeed you should remove them to eat), it’s possible to lose or misplace them—or simply not wear them enough to be effective.
Additionally, Invisalign doesn’t work for everyone. If you have more complex orthodontic issues (such as the need for a palette expander or tooth rotation), Invisalign isn’t an option. Technology can’t fix those problems.
Metal Braces Pros and Cons
Traditional metal braces have their own set of strengths and weaknesses. One positive is their permanence. Because they are semi-permanently fixed to the teeth, they cannot be removed or lost. Metal braces can also do more. It’s a more robust approach to orthodontics and can accommodate those more complex procedures that Invisalign can’t do.
The cost can be both a pro and a con. Simple cases may be much cheaper than Invisalign treatment, but more complex cases can cost more.
The downsides to metal braces are somewhat famous: they can be more painful, especially for athletes and wind musicians. Any pressure or impact on the face can be quite painful and can cause temporary damage to the lips. Certain foods may be off-limits during treatment as well.