The number of UK adults seeking orthodontic treatment is on the rise, according to the British Orthodontic Society.
In 2016, 75 percent of dental experts said they were seeing more patients seeking private orthodontic treatment. By 2018, that figure had increased to 80 percent.
So, if you’re looking to straighten your teeth and perfect your smile, you’re not alone. And, as you research your options, you won’t be the only one asking the differences between braces and Invisalign.
These two different options will improve your smile. But what are Invisalign vs braces results, in terms of the speed and efficiency with which they straighten your teeth? Here’s what you need to know.
Invisalign vs Braces, Which is Faster?
Every patient’s needs will be different, of course. In general, though, Invisalign tends to give you results faster than traditional braces.
The average metal braces application requires between 18 and 24 months to straighten teeth. Meanwhile, with Invisalign, the average patient finishes their treatment in 12 months. Some treatments take as little as six months, though.
In the end, it depends on what you hope to fix with your orthodontic treatment. A simple straightening could take six months with Invisalign. Meanwhile, serious overcrowding or other, more intensive issues could take 18 months with Invisalign and even more with regular braces.
Differences Between Braces and Invisalign
You might be wondering, if Invisalign’s faster, why would I choose regular braces. But the Invisalign vs braces debate has more to do with just the treatments’ timeframes.
As you already know, your Invisalign treatment relies on clear aligners to move your teeth into position. Your dentist or orthodontist will have you in for a scan of your teeth, which they will use to chart the path of your Invisalign treatment. You’ll get aligners that will slowly shift your teeth into the places where they belong, and you’ll visit a dental professional every few weeks to make sure everything’s progressing properly.
Braces, on the other hand, require visible hardware to shift your smile. You’ll go in to see your dentist every four to eight weeks to tighten your braces and make sure you’re maintaining them properly.
That’s the first and most major difference between the two treatments. Learning the pros and cons of each treatment will tell you a bit more about each one, as well.
Invisalign vs Braces Pros and Cons
Most people who opt for clear Invisalign aligners do so because the treatment is more cosmetically appealing. Indeed, Invisalign is nearly undetectable to others.
That’s just one advantage of Invisalign in comparison to braces. As previously mentioned, they take less time to work than braces. Plus, they’re convenient — you can pop your Invisalign in and out to eat, drink and clean them.
Oppositely, you have to wear your braces around the clock, and they can be tough to clean. You will also have to watch what you eat when you have braces — certain sticky or crunchy foods can damage your orthodontics. With Invisalign, though, you won’t have any dietary restrictions.
But Invisalign isn’t a perfect treatment, nor is it a universal one — fixed braces have their benefits, too. For starters, they can fix more complex issues that Invisalign can’t fix.
Invisalign can handle the following issues:
- Gap teeth
- Open bite
- Crowded teeth
- Crooked teeth
Beyond that, though, you won’t be able to use Invisalign. So, a major pro of traditional braces is that they can treat bigger problems than Invisalign can.
You’ll have to check in with your dentist regularly, whether you choose Invisalign or braces. And many people report feeling a bit of discomfort when they get their braces adjusted or change Invisalign aligners. Those disadvantages apply to both treatments, though.
There’s also the issue of Invisalign vs braces cost — one tends to be much cheaper than the other.
Is Invisalign More Expensive Than Braces?
In short, yes: Invisalign is more expensive than braces.
Again, it depends on how intensive your braces treatment is — it could cost many thousands of dollars. In most cases, though, Invisalign carries a higher price tag than what braces cost. The aesthetics and quickness of treatment makes it a more attractive — and, therefore, expensive — option.
You should consult with your dentist, though, as prices vary from case to case and from practitioner to practitioner.
Invisalign Scan vs Impression
Let’s say you decide to go for Invisalign over braces. To get the process started, you’ll visit your dentist for an Invisalign scan. Yes, Invisalign relies on a high-tech scan, rather than taking impressions of your teeth.
There’s a reason why, in the Invisalign scan vs impression debate, the former always wins. For one thing, it takes minutes to take a scan of a patient’s teeth. The resulting images are much less messy to create than impressions, too.
With a mould of your teeth, it’s more likely that the aligners would come back with an imperfect fit. A digitized scan ensures that the aligners hug your teeth and work as described.
The Invisalign scanner can also show you what your teeth will look like after your treatment finishes. You can probably picture a straight smile in your head, but it’s even more inspiring to see what it will look like on you!
Invisalign vs Braces Results: Which One is For You?
In the end, Invisalign vs braces results are only one factor to consider when straightening your teeth. You need to choose the right orthodontic method for you, your lifestyle and your goals.
Your best bet is to speak to a dentist or orthodontist who can help you select the right treatment. We’re here to help with your braces or Invisalign London treatment. Click here to sign up for your e-Consultation and get started today.
Dr. Stefan Abela
BChD, MFDS, RCS Eng, MSc, MORTH RCS Ed, AHEA, FDS Orth RCS Ed
Stefan is a Consultant in Orthodontics at one of the most prestigious London teaching hospitals; Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust.
Stefan is also a specialist in Orthodontics and is registered on the General Dental Council (GDC) specialist list. Stefan qualified as a dental surgeon in 2003 and underwent further training in various specialties including restorative dentistry, paediatric dentistry, oral medicine and complex oral and maxillofacial surgery including the management of facial trauma.