Invisalign vs. Braces: When Is One a Better Choice Than the Other?

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 Invisalign vs. Braces: When Is One a Better Choice Than the Other?

Modern dentistry offers numerous ways to correct crooked or misaligned teeth. Invisalign clear aligners and traditional metal braces are two of the most popular and effective methods. But,  there are also other Custom Braces options like Lightforce and Bri

You don’t have to live with crooked or misaligned teeth. Whether you have cosmetic concerns or functional issues, there are ways to straighten your smile for better looks and functionality. 

Lovely Smiles Orthodontics in Richmond, Texas, offers traditional braces, Lightforce Custom braces, Brava (lingual option) and the always-popular Invisalign® clear aligners for perfecting your bite and smile. Here, Dr. Nicole Thompson and her talented team share more about the options and when each is best for you. 

Traditional braces or Lightforce Custom braces

Metal braces have straightened teeth for decades and are still a popular and effective choice. A system of wires, hooks, brackets, and elastic bands moves the patient’s teeth into the proper position. 

Dr. Thompson makes adjustments over time to keep moving the teeth until bite and smile alignments are corrected. 

In some cases, metal braces are more affordable than Invisalign or Lightforce braces but can be uncomfortable. Some patients find them visually unappealing, especially appearance-conscious teenagers. 

Lightforce Custom Braces

The Lightforce braces offer a clear and more visually appealing braces option. Most importantly, they are uniquely designed for a One of a Kind Smile! 

Why does custom braces matter?

-Each tooth is different. So, Light Force braces are designed to fit each tooth uniquely. In addition, the patient’s treatment is digitally planned at the beginning.

-This process results in Personalized prescriptions braces made based on the patient’s individual treatment needs. Clinical studies from the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics found that Lightforce braces result in 45% faster treatment times and 41% reduction in the total number of appointments.

Still, some patients do not want to have any kind of braces at all. However, some alignment problems are more complex and are easier to correct with braces. For example, some severe deep bite cases.

Patients must also thoroughly brush and clean their teeth and braces. They also must  avoid many popular foods to prevent complications with braces.  

Invisalign clear aligners

Invisalign uses patented SmartTrack® material that makes these clear aligners virtually invisible — hence the name. Others must look closely to determine whether you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment at all. 

Invisalign uses the iTero Element™ 3D scanner, to create digital images of your teeth and gums. Each set of aligners is custom-made for the patient and is switched out every few weeks with new sets. 

This treatment gently moves teeth into the proper alignment, much like braces. 

Patients love Invisalign because there are no dietary modifications and care is simple. Take out the aligners when you eat, then rinse them and place them back after the meal. You also remove Invisalign aligners for cleaning so you brush your teeth normally.

Dr. Thompson can also use these digital scans to show patients how their teeth will change so they can see exactly what to expect before treatment even begins.

Which option is right for you?

Invisalign can correct mild-to-moderate and some complex alignment problems, especially open bites. Braces can be used to correct mild, moderate and most complex cases. 

Invisalign also requires self-discipline. Wearers must keep them for at least 20 hours a day. They must also remove them every time they eat and clean them properly. Traditional braces may be a better solution if you’re prone to forgetfulness. 

Overall, a skilled orthodontist like Dr. Thompson can determine if your bite and smile problems require metal braces, LightForce braces or if Invisalign could work for you. She can also discuss the costs of each and answer other questions. 

Call Lovely Smiles Orthodontics in Richmond or book an appointment online for an orthodontic evaluation and consultation with Dr. Thompson to learn more about your options.