Did you know that over ninety percent of humans have misaligned or crowded teeth? Many people are born with a crooked smile simply because our jaws are not large enough to accommodate all of our teeth.
Over thousands of years, humans evolved to have smaller jaws because of changes in diet. Luckily, many solutions exist that can fix your smile, depending on the longevity of treatment and your budget.
Have you always dreamed of a smile with perfect, straight teeth? Two of the main contenders for smile correction are Invisalign or braces. Read on to find out some of the most important factors for Invisalign vs. braces when considering which system suits you best.
What is the Cost of Straightening Teeth?
No matter which course of treatment you choose, changing your teeth permanently is an investment in yourself. The final price tag can vary greatly based on how long you need to shift your teeth and how many adjustments are required. You will ultimately have to discuss it with your treatment provider.
The average cost of traditional metal braces ranges anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 or more. Additionally, you may end up paying a higher amount in the long run if the orthodontist determines you need more treatment than planned.
Invisalign and braces cost about the same. As with braces, the cost is dependent on the aggressiveness of treatment and time period, but expect a baseline in the neighborhood of $5,000 for standard cases. Although With insurance and flexible spending accounts or payment plans, most patients do not pay that full amount.
When you are looking at types of treatments, remember that many dental insurance plans offer good coverage for orthodontics, with some willing to pay up to 70% of the treatment’s total price. Make sure that you’re looking for a provider in your network. Depending on your plan, you could potentially save thousands of dollars on your treatment.
Duration of Treatment
Along with a financial investment, getting your teeth straightened is also a considerable investment of time. Metal braces can take years of adjustments to finally achieve your best results, and Invisalign tends to be faster, so be sure to weigh the pros and cons of each.
Braces usually take a year minimum to fix mild teeth problems. However, most people who have braces usually wear them for around two to three years. Most standard treatment plans involve visiting the orthodontist once a month to get braces tightened and adjusted.
One of the lesser-known benefits of Invisalign is that it has a much shorter treatment time period, usually around a year to a year and a half. Although you will still need to go to appointments as frequently as you would with braces, the overall time span will most likely be reduced.
When you decide on an orthodontist or dentist, it may be a good idea to make sure that you will not be making any major life changes during the time you will be treating your smile. The last thing you want to do is switch to a new practice if you have to move or your old doctor retires.
Maintaining Your Smile During the Process
When you treat your teeth for a long period, you will want to ensure that they look their best, even if they have orthodontic gear or Invisalign liners on them. You should continue to get your teeth cleaned twice a year and get regular checkups for optimal oral health.
When you first have your braces put on, it may be shocking to see the metal and rubber bands on your teeth. However, many orthodontists like to make it fun for their patients by offering dozens of rubber band colors to choose from.
Some people with braces like to coordinate their rubber band colors based on fun patterns and even holidays. Picking out your rubber bands before you go to the orthodontist for tightening may even help ease the discomfort afterward.
With Invisalign, the liners you put over your teeth are clear, so they cannot be noticed nearly as much as metal and colorful braces. One of the main reasons patients choose Invisalign is because it is more discreet, so people will notice less. Teens and adults love Invisalign for a more discrete look and ease of use.
Keeping Your Teeth Beautiful
After you achieve your ideal smile, it is equally as important to maintain the appearance of your newly straightened teeth. The last thing you want is for your teeth to shift back after all of the hard work and time you have invested into them.
For those who have braces removed, you will receive a retainer that is customized to your new bite. These retainers come in all types, from metal to plastic, similar to Invisalign trays. You will start out wearing them all of the time, but eventually, your orthodontist or dentist will give you the green light to only put them in at night.
Similar to braces, once your Invisalign treatment period is over, you will most likely get a retainer to wear during the night. However, patients who have had Invisalign may have more success with retainers because they are used to putting aligners in rather than wearing semi-permanent braces.
It is vital that you put your retainer in as regularly as your doctor specifies. Otherwise, your teeth will begin to shift back almost immediately when it is removed. For people who are forgetful, sometimes getting a more permanent retainer is a much better option that will save you stress and money down the road.
Invisalign vs. Braces: The Choice is Up to You
Once you have thought about your needs, then you can make the choice of Invisalign vs braces. Cost, maintenance, time commitment, and aftercare are all valid considerations when deciding which treatment method you will ultimately go with.No matter what, the end result will be a beautiful smile that you will no doubt be proud of.
Would you like to know more about how you can start the process of improving your teeth? Contact us today to get to know our doctors and find out more information about what we do.