Invisalign and metal braces are both used to correct misaligned teeth. Each method comes with pros and cons. Invisalign is usually a more comfortable option, but metal braces may be necessary for more complicated dental problems.
Metal braces are now available in colors that closely match the teeth so they are less distracting, lessening the effect on a patient’s social and work life. Metal brackets are glued to the teeth and then manipulated with wires and rubber bands to achieve the desired results. These braces are not removable, which enhances consistent alignment.
Patients can experience some soreness from the movement of the teeth as well as irritation from the braces. A dentist may still recommend metal braces, however, for complex problems that plastic can’t correct.
These braces are made of clear, BPA-free plastic and are worn over the teeth to move them into the proper position. They are nearly invisible, hence their name, and are easily removable. Invisalign aligners are altered every two weeks as the teeth shift. Consistent use of Invisalign for 22 hours a day is required to attain the desired results. Patients report some mild discomfort due to tooth movement, but rarely offer many other complaints. They are often the choice for simple tooth alignment.
Treatment for metal braces averages two years compared to 18 months for Invisalign. However, the overall cost of metal may be less depending on the patient’s condition. The follow-up is essentially the same and includes the use of a retainer at night. Your dentist will suggest which one is best for your situation.