Invisalign vs. Braces: Which is Best?

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For decades, metal braces were the standard practice for fixing smiles that have been affected by crowded, misaligned, or gapped teeth, complex bite and alignment issues, or back teeth that need to be rotated or moved vertically.
In fact, braces were so commonplace that they almost seemed like a rite of passage for kids and teenagers before entering adulthood!

Our dentists at Yonge Eglinton Dental are always interested in providing patients with access to the latest in dental innovations. That’s why we offer Invisalign treatment as an effective alternative to traditional braces.

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that utilizes a progressive series of clear aligners or trays that gradually adjust your teeth. Many patients prefer to use Invisalign vs. braces because the aligners are nearly invisible, making them an ideal choice for teenagers and adults who are concerned about the appearance of braces.

How will Invisalign straighten my teeth?

Just like braces, Invisalign uses force to move your teeth into the desired positions. However, there is one main difference as to how they work to correct malocclusions such as overbites and underbites. 

Braces apply force to each individual tooth, allowing them to shift independently of one another. The brackets and wires help guide the teeth into place, while elastics are used to pull the bite into alignment.

Invisalign uses aligners to apply force as a whole to the teeth. Your treatment plan involves multiple aligner trays developed from a 3D digital scan of your teeth and jaws. These trays will move your teeth an average of 1/10 of a millimeter toward the desired place. Each new tray will apply pressure in different areas until you start the next phase.

The biophysics behind how the aligners work is known as osteoclastic activity and osteoblastic activity. Osteoclastic activity refers to the action of breaking down the bone enough for the teeth to move, while osteoblastic activity is the reaction of rebuilding the bone in the gap left by the shifting tooth. This action and reaction process is repeated until the treatment is completed and your smile is fixed and looking perfect.

Osteoclastic activity can take up to 72 hours to fully begin, but only about 4 hours to completely stop. That’s why we recommend wearing your Invisalign aligners for at least 22 hours per day to keep your treatment on schedule and reduce the need to extend it longer than initially planned.

What is it like to have Invisalign treatment?

Invisalign aligners are made from a patented thermoplastic material created exclusively for Invisalign treatment. They use lighter force than braces do to move your teeth, which means less discomfort than braces during treatment.

The aligners are easy to remove and clean whenever you need to. You can still play sports using Invisalign, and even wear your mouthguard over them. Unlike metal braces, the aligners are customized to the exact shape of your mouth, so your speech will not be affected.

Dentists can also use Invisalign aligners on the baby teeth of children who show early signs of misalignment. This is known as a Phase 1 treatment, and is used to ensure that your child’s adult teeth will grow in properly. Best of all, your child will enjoy the same benefits of using Invisalign as adults do.

What are the benefits of Invisalign?

Invisalign treatment is popular among dental patients for the many advantages they offer over metal braces, including:

  • Comfort: With metal braces, there is always the risk of broken brackets or sharp wires causing pain when they poke at your cheek. Invisalign’s unique molded design ensures that they’ll always feel comfortable.
  • Appearance: The metal brackets and wires of metal braces are instantly noticeable, which may cause patients wearing them to rarely smile. Clear Invisalign aligners are almost invisible, even when you’re smiling. Chances are no one will even realize that you’re straightening your teeth!
  • More flexibility: Traditional braces need to be adjusted regularly, which means visiting the dentist more often. With Aligners, dental appointments are much more infrequent, allowing you additional flexibility in your schedule.
  • Easier to brush and floss: With braces, you have to brush around the metal brackets and use special floss to clean the hard-to-reach places in your mouth. Because Aligners are easily removable, you can brush and floss more effectively than when you’re wearing traditional braces, which are bonded to your teeth.
  • You can still eat what you like: One of the biggest adjustments people with braces have to make is to avoid food that can get stuck in their braces. With Aligners, you simply pop the trays out before each meal and replace them after brushing or flossing. This means you don’t have to give up your favourite food!
  • Measure your results at every stage: It’s hard to see how your treatment is progressing with brackets and wires in the way. Invisalign allows you to see how your smile is improving at every stage of the treatment.

How expensive is Invisalign compared to braces?

Just like with braces, the cost of Invisalign will vary from patient to patient. It depends primarily on how many teeth are being adjusted and how long the treatment is expected to last.

Your dentist will fully assess your orthodontic needs and provide you with an estimate on how much treatment will cost. You can use the estimate to find out if Invisalign is covered by your insurance plan.

Invisalign vs. braces: Which is best for you?

Many patients ask whether Invisalign treatment is better than traditional metal braces. Both treatments are effective and will provide the results you desire, but every patient is unique and will have different needs and preferences.

At Yonge Eglinton Dental, we find Invisalign to be an effective orthodontic treatment that is both convenient and comfortable without sacrificing the quality of the final result. No wonder it’s so popular!

Invisalign vs. Braces: Talk to the dental team at Yonge Eglinton Dental in Toronto

When it’s time to decide whether you’re a good candidate for Invisalign treatment, contact our team at Yonge Eglinton Dental. We’ll answer all of your questions so you can make the most informed decision possible.

Give us a call today at 416-932-2222 or book an appointment online. We’ll be happy to see you!

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