Traditional braces were long the gold standard for straightening teeth, and they remain highly popular today. Increasingly, though, patients and dentists are turning to Invisalign, “the clear alternative to braces.” Both options can solve the majority of orthodontic issues, and in most cases, the decision is yours. Here’s how to choose.
You will receive a customized treatment plan for whichever option you choose, but the process is different. When planning for braces, we will show you the existing problems with your teeth and tell you how the braces will help. After the braces are placed, you will not see your teeth without them until the completion of your treatment.
With Invisalign, we will create a digital 3-D model of your current smile, and then morph the model to show you exactly what to expect at each stage. When you are happy with the models, we will use them to create your personal series of aligners. You will change aligners at home, allowing you to track your progress at home.
When deciding which is better, consider your personality. Do you love surprises? Then you might enjoy having a big reveal at the end. Are you a planner who likes to know what to expect? Invisalign removes the guesswork.
We retain control over traditional braces. We place them, adjust them, and remove them. You will learn a new oral hygiene routine and memorize a list of forbidden foods, but otherwise you only need to worry about keeping your appointments. If any emergencies arise, such as a loose bracket or a popped wire, you will need to see us right away.
Invisalign puts you in control. We will place attachments on your teeth and show you how to care for your aligners, but your treatment is otherwise up to you. You will wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day for two weeks, or as directed, and then change to the next set of aligners at home. You can remove them to eat and perform oral hygiene as normal. We will see you just once every four to six weeks to keep an eye on your progress.
Which you prefer is up to you. Those who like to feel in control and are responsible enough to keep up with their aligners generally prefer Invisalign. Those with a lot on their minds who don’t want to deal with something extra usually like braces better.
Comfort and Aesthetics
Invisalign aligners are generally considered more comfortable than braces. There are no sharp edges or wires to poke, scrape, or scratch the delicate tissues in your mouth. Many people with braces never quite adapt to the feeling of a mouthful of metal.
Aesthetics are a highly personal choice. Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, meaning that no one needs to know you are straightening your teeth. Those who like to make bold statements, though, often like braces in fashion colors.
For many years, braces were a good bit less expensive than Invisalign, but this is beginning to change. Upgrades, adjustments, and emergency visits must be added to the base price of braces. Invisalign’s transparent pricing model includes all aligners and all office visits.
Dental insurance is complex, and benefits vary dramatically between plans. Some plans cover both braces and Invisalign, some cover one or the other, and some do not cover orthodontic care at all. Our knowledgeable office staff will help you understand your coverage and out of pocket costs before treatment begins.
Want to Learn More?
If you want to learn more about how we can keep your entire family’s smiles in tip top shape, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Braces have long been the most common treatment for specific orthodontic issues. While they work well, braces can sometimes cause minor oral problems. Many issues can be cared for at home with simple techniques. Here are some suggestions.
Soreness is extremely common in the first three to five days after you have your braces placed. You may also feel sore for a few hours after each adjustment. You can relieve tenderness by rinsing your mouth vigorously with a teaspoon of salt dissolved in eight ounces of slightly warm water. You can also use Orajel or a similar over the counter topical medication. If needed, an over the counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or ibuprofen may be used.
Your braces may also cause mouth irritation to the cheeks, tongue, and lips, especially during the first two weeks. Your orthodontist will show you how to apply wax to the braces to minimize irritation.
The braces are bonded to your teeth with a strong dental cement, but individual brackets may occasionally break free, especially if you bite into hard or sticky food. This will not damage your tooth, but the bracket will need to be re-bonded. You do not need an emergency visit for a broken bracket, but you should make an appointment at your earliest convenience rather than waiting for your next scheduled visit. If the bracket is loose but still connected to the arch wire, leave it in place if possible, coating it with wax if it irritates your mouth. If the bracket comes off the wire, put it in a safe place and bring it to your repair appointment.
Like a broken bracket, a loose band is not an emergency, but it must be repaired as soon as it is reasonably convenient. If the band stays in place, leave it where it is. If it comes off completely, put it in a safe place and bring it to your repair appointment.
Most of the time, a poking wire has simply slid to one side or the other. Look in the mirror to see if it appears uncentered. Use tweezers with very light pressure to gently push it back into place. If you are unable to do so, or if it appears centered, use wax over the poking area to prevent irritation. You can also use a pencil eraser to gently move or bend the wire so that it no longer pokes. Let your orthodontist know about any poking wires at your next visit or make an emergency appointment if you develop mouth irritation that you cannot manage at home.
If a wire pops out of place, use tweezers to gently put it back where it belongs. If you are unable to do so, try using wax to minimize discomfort. As a last resort, you can use small, sterilized fingernail clippers to clip the wire behind the last tooth where it is still fastened in place. Let your orthodontist know what happened at your next appointment or make an emergency appointment if all or most of the wire popped.
Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.