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Invisalign vs. Braces: Understanding Important Differences


Deciding that you want to achieve a straighter smile is a simple choice, but deciding which orthodontic treatment is right for you is more difficult. If you are trying to decide between Invisalign® and braces, there are several similarities and differences to consider. Dr. Bill Stofer is a Bronze-level Invisalign provider who can help you choose a treatment based on your unique condition, overall goals, and personal preferences. Although Invisalign is the more cosmetic and comfortable choice, some patients are better-suited for braces. By assessing your case at our Warsaw, IN, office, we can determine whether Invisalign is right for you. 

Teeth with braces vs. Invisalign

Invisalign is made of transparent plastic. In contrast, braces consist of metal brackets and wires.

Exploring the Similarities 

One of the greatest similarities between both orthodontic treatments is how they work. Both Invisalign and braces gently guide the teeth into a straighter position to correct gaps, misalignment, and overcrowding. Although the cost of Invisalign is typically higher than that of braces, the difference is minimal and most insurance providers will also contribute towards the cost of Invisalign treatment. 

Noteworthy Differences

While both treatments can help you achieve similar results, there are many important differences to consider. 

Treatable Conditions

Invisalign has helped millions of patients achieve straighter smiles and can effectively treat mild to complex orthodontic issues. However, if you have severe malocclusion or large spacing issues, braces may be a better option for you. Because of their design, braces allow a dentist to more effectively manipulate your treatment to correct misalignment and other extensive concerns. 

Materials Used 

Invisalign aligners are made with SmartTrack™, a thermoplastic, BPA-free material. The plastic is cut with lasers for a smooth edge to prevent gum irritation. Alternatively, braces are made up of wires, brackets, and bands. These materials can irritate the insides of your cheeks and cause sores and bleeding. 

We believe that Invisalign is the clear choice for most patients. However, there are certain cases where braces may be a more effective treatment option.

Treatment Timeline 

Most patients need to wear their Invisalign aligners over the course of 12 to 18 months. In contrast, traditional orthodontic treatment typically lasts at least two years. 

Number of Appointments 

If you choose Invisalign, you will visit our office every six weeks or so to monitor your progress. Meanwhile, patients with braces must visit their orthodontist on a monthly basis to get their brackets adjusted. Braces patients can also expect to make frequent emergency visits to correct broken wires or brackets. 

Removability 

One of the most appealing aspects of Invisalign aligners is that they can be removed for eating or brushing your teeth. This is not the case with traditional braces, where crunchy foods are often restricted and patients must purchase special floss and tools to access the areas between their brackets. 

Aesthetic Appeal 

Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, and others will hardly notice you are wearing them. This makes the trays a great option for teens and adults who are self-conscious about smiling in photos or public speaking with braces. 

Which Option Is Right for You? 

When deciding between the two treatments, you should also account for personal preferences, such as: 

  • Are you worried about misplacing your aligners? 
  • Do you care about people noticing your braces? 
  • Do you play a sport or instrument that would be more comfortable with removable appliances? 
  • Do you prefer a limited diet or a diverse one? 

Considering these factors can help you feel confident and excited about undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Talk to a Doctor about Your Choices  

We believe that Invisalign is the clear choice for most patients. However, there are certain cases where braces may be a more effective treatment option. Dr. Stofer can determine whether Invisalign is right for you during your consultation. Schedule your appointment today by contacting us online or calling Dental Solutions at (574) 269-1199.

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"I didn't have Bill S. This time. I had the new doctor and he did a great job. I would recommend him 100 times over! "

Dianna J.

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Warsaw Office

3505 N State Rd 15
Ste A
Warsaw, IN 46582

Open Today 7:30am - 4:30pm

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