Invisalign vs. Braces: Comparing their Speed and Effectiveness

Invisalign vs. Braces: Comparing their Speed and Effectiveness

Jul 01, 2023

When dealing with orthodontic problems like misalignments, overcrowding, and large teeth gaps, braces, and Invisalign are the two most common options for aligning your bite.

While both treatments can help you achieve the perfect smile you’ve always desired, they vary in various aspects. This article compares the effectiveness and speed of braces and Invisalign treatments.

Traditional Braces: How Do They Work?

Traditional braces are some of the oldest orthodontic treatments. They consist of metallic or ceramic brackets connected by a wire. These braces are attached to your teeth and continually and gently pressure the teeth to move to their desired positions. The wires are frequently adjusted or tightened to move the teeth closer to their final positions.

Traditional braces are fixed to your teeth throughout your treatment period. You can’t remove or adjust them by yourself as this can cause more injuries or damage.

Invisalign: How Do They Work?

Introduced in the mid-90s, Invisalign has become a popular solution for correcting orthodontic problems. Invisalign consists of clear, custom-made aligner trays which are worn over the teeth. Like braces, Invisalign aligners put gentle and continuous pressure on the teeth, shifting them to the desired positions.

Unlike traditional braces, clear braces like Invisalign can be easily removed for oral hygiene, eating, drinking, or during special occasions. However, the aligners must be worn for at least 20-22 hours daily for maximum effectiveness. Every two weeks, you need to wear a new set of aligners.

Speed of Treatment: Braces vs. Invisalign

Generally, the duration of your orthodontic treatment can vary based on several factors. On average, traditional braces take about 18 months to 3 years to complete, while Invisalign aligners take about 12 to 18 months.

While Invisalign might generally seem faster than traditional braces, that is not always the case. Some factors can influence the speed of your treatment, irrespective of the treatment used. These include:

  • The severity of your condition. Generally, complex misalignments or bite issues may take longer to correct than mild issues.
  • Patient compliance. For instance, wearing Invisalign aligners for 22 hours daily can provide faster results, while wearing them for less than 20 hours can delay your results.
  • Your age can also influence how long your treatment will last. Generally, orthodontic treatments are faster in children since their jaws are still developing and are more malleable and easy to manipulate. However, adults have stronger jaws, meaning their results might take longer.
  • Your orthodontist. Your orthodontist or dentist also plays a crucial role in the speed of your treatment. Working with our experienced and highly trained dentist in Greenlake, Seattle, ensures the best possible results quickly.

Effectiveness: Braces vs. Invisalign

While both Invisalign and braces have proven their effectiveness, the level of effectiveness can vary based on the patient’s condition.

Generally, Invisalign is highly effective for treating minor to moderate orthodontic problems like overbites, large gaps, and underbites. However, they may not be effective for complex misalignments or malocclusions. For maximum effectiveness of Invisalign, ensure you wear your Invisalign aligners for 20-22 hours daily and change them every two weeks as directed by your dentist.

On the other hand, traditional braces are highly effective for moderate to severe misalignments and overcrowding. They offer greater forces of control in correcting severe orthodontic problems.

Tips For Faster and Effective Orthodontic Treatment

Below are practical tips for ensuring the best outcome out of your treatment in the shortest time possible:

  • Watch your diet. When  using braces, avoid hard, chewy, or sticky foods, as they can damage or loosen your braces, affecting your results. With clear aligners, you won’t get any food restrictions. Just ensure you remove your aligners before eating.
  • Proper hygiene.  Poor hygiene can lead to bacterial buildup and infections like decay and gum disease, compromisingyour orthodontic treatment. Ensure you brush and floss daily and clean your braces and Invisalign aligners for a seamless treatment.
  • Avoid damaging habits.  Take proper care of your braces and Invisalign aligners for quick and effective results. For instance, clean them gently with a soft-bristled brush and wear a mouthguard for sports or bruxism.
  • Follow your orthodontist’s instructions.  Irrespective of your treatment, follow your dentist’s instructions strictly. These instructions can regard diet, oral hygiene, and follow-up appointments. Following these tips ensures the best results from your treatment.

Visit our orthodontist in Seattle.

Do you need help choosing between braces and Invisalign? Contact Greenlake Dental to schedule your appointment today.

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