What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a particular brand of clear teeth aligners used for mild to severe orthodontic procedures. If you have misaligned or crooked teeth, Invisalign clear aligners apply pressure on your teeth to move them in the desired direction and restore your dental alignment. Invisalign clear aligners are made of thermoplastic material according to your specific dental anatomy. During a typical Invisalign treatment, you receive 20 to 30 clear aligners, each corresponding to a different stage in the orthodontic treatment. As you move through the aligners, your teeth become straighter until they’re completely aligners. Since Invisalign aligners are transparent, they’re essentially invisible to other people.
What are traditional braces?
Traditional braces are metallic brackets fastened either in front of or behind your teeth using archwires and other components. Unlike Invisalign clear aligners, traditional braces are permanent and have to be worn 24/7, even when you’re eating or performing oral hygiene. The braces apply pressure on your teeth to move them in the desired direction. Every couple of weeks, you have to return to the dentist’s office for tightening. The dentist will tighten the wires a little more, thereby putting more pressure on your teeth to continue the orthodontic procedure. After a few years, your teeth are completely straight, and the braces can be removed.
What are the various types of braces?
- Traditional Metal Braces: As the name suggests, traditional metal braces are braces made of metallic brackets and wires. They move your teeth in the desired direction over an extended period until you have perfectly aligned teeth. The biggest problem with traditional metal braces is that they’re extremely visible and unattractive, and you have to wear them for several years, which can affect your quality of life.
- Ceramic Braces: Ceramic braces work on the same principles as traditional metal braces — the wires and brackets apply pressure on your teeth to move them in the desired direction. However, ceramic braces are made of tooth-colored ceramic, and the wires can also be colored, so they’re not as visible. However, since they can’t be removed, they eventually get discolored due to regular eating, making them visible.
- Lingual Braces: Lingual braces are attached to the back of the teeth instead of the front, so they’re not visible when you smile. However, patients find them extremely uncomfortable because the tongue comes in contact with the wires. This can also lead to more soft tissue injuries and sores.
- Clear Aligners: Clear aligners are transparent retainers made of thermoplastic material, such as Invisalign and ClearCorrect. You receive a series of aligners, each corresponding to different stages of your treatment. You simply have to wear the aligners for around 22 hours a day to restore your teeth’ alignment. You can take them off during meals and while brushing. However, clear aligners are also more costly.
What are the benefits of invisible braces over traditional braces?
- Transparent: Clear aligners are made of transparent thermoplastic materials, so they’re completely invisible. No one can see them externally. This allows you to continue with your life without the social anxiety and self-consciousness common amongst patients with traditional braces.
- Removable: Patients with traditional braces are stuck with them for several years. Braces can’t be taken off, and they can only be adjusted by the dentist. However, Invisalign aligners can be taken off whenever you enjoy meals or while brushing. This also allows you to eat whatever you want without fears of staining your aligners, and you can maintain optimal oral hygiene.
- Comfortable: Traditional braces can be uncomfortable because they consist of archwires and metallic components that often bruise and leave sores. However, Invisalign aligners are simple retainers made of plastic, so they don’t injure the soft tissues. You may experience mild discomfort whenever you put on a new aligner, but the discomfort wears off as your teeth adjust.
- Faster: Orthodontic procedures with traditional braces usually last for 3 to 4 years, depending on the level of misalignment. Meanwhile, Invisalign orthodontic journeys usually conclude within 1.5 years. As such, Invisalign aligners are far better and faster at addressing your misalignment concerns than traditional braces.
- Effectiveness: When Invisalign aligners first came into the picture, they were seen as insufficient substitutes for traditional braces because they couldn’t handle severe misalignment problems. However, recent innovations in Invisalign have made them just as effective as traditional braces, if not more so. Invisalign attachments on front teeth allow them to address all forms of misalignment issues.
How much does Invisalign cost?
The cost of Invisalign depends on various factors, such as the level of misalignment, the existing condition of your teeth, the number of aligners necessary, whether you need Invisalign attachments on the front teeth, and other factors. You should be prepared to pay several thousand dollars, but the specific cost can’t be generalized. Generally speaking, Invisalign treatments aren’t covered by dental insurance unless medically necessary, and even then, the insurance may cover the cost up to the cost of braces. Please contact your Invisalign dentist to discuss the cost of your Invisalign treatment.
How much do traditional braces cost?
The cost of traditional braces is certainly lower than the cost of Invisalign aligners. However, the specific cost depends on your unique needs, misalignment concerns, and the types of braces used. Dental insurance may cover the cost in some cases, but only up to a certain point. Please contact your orthodontist for more information.
Schedule an appointment for Invisalign braces today.
URBN Dental has some of the most reliable Invisalign dentists and orthodontists near me in Houston, TX. We carefully examine your teeth, provide a virtual simulation of your orthodontic treatment, and ensure complete transparency with the billing. You’ll know exactly what you’ll owe for the treatment in advance. For more information, please schedule an appointment for Invisalign braces in Uptown or Midtown Houston today.