Invisalign vs. Braces – Choosing Your Path to Straight Teeth

Invisalign vs braces, choosing the right options for straight teeth
May 9, 2024

Many patients have a range of initial questions when determining the best treatment for straightening their teeth. Is Invisalign the best alternative to braces? How long does Invisalign take? And where can I find Invisalign near me? 

The answers are best addressed with an Invisalign Bay Area specialist during your initial consultation. However, there are a few pros and cons you can weigh in on as you start to explore your options. 

Pannu Dental Group specializes in both comfortable and effective Invisalign and braces for adults and children in San Jose and the Bay Area.  Our professional dental care team is your best resource when it comes to permanent solutions that ensure exceptional oral health that lasts a lifetime. 

In the meantime, let’s explore the types of braces and alternatives available. Also, get a good understanding of whether Invisalign or braces is the best option for you. 

What is Invisalign? 

Invisalign is a specific brand of removable and clear aligners that are custom-made and fit to straighten your teeth gradually.  Invisalign is not simply clear braces for adults – instead, there are no traditional wires or brackets, and as the name implies, Invisalign is virtually invisible when worn. 

How Does Invisalign Work? 

Invisalign works by applying pressure to a person’s teeth to gradually rebuild and reshape the teeth in the desired direction. The process starts by creating a 3D digital scan of your teeth, which is the first step in crafting your custom treatment. Once your Invisalign aligners have been created, they are worn roughly 20-22 hours per day and are removed during meals. While worn, the clear aligners move the teeth in micro increments until your desired smile is achieved. These aligners are somewhat temporary and are generally changed every one or two weeks.  

how does Invisalign work? clear braces

Invisalign Pros and Cons 

There are a range of advantages and disadvantages to Invisalign vs. braces which includes the following. 

Invisalign Pros  

  • Invisalign truly lives up to its name, as the aligners are virtually invisible when worn, which helps ensure confidence every day. 
  • Since Invisalign is removable, brushing and cleaning your teeth is generally easy, leading to less plaque buildup than traditional braces. 
  • Invisalign is also designed to be more comfortable and gentler when compared to traditional braces. 
  • If there is a crack or a break, you can just use a backup pair, as opposed to braces, where an emergency orthodontist appointment may be required to fix the issue. 
  • Invisalign also requires fewer trips to the dentist, and the process is generally painless from start to finish, with minimal time in the dentist’s chair. 

Invisalign Cons 

  • Invisalign aligners must be cleaned and taken care of properly every day to be effective and to avoid any oral health issues. 
  • Invisalign also requires a bit of diligence. It’s essential to wear your aligners for the designated amount of time every day, or else you may hinder your teeth straightening progress. 
  • Invisalign may not be the best option for more complicated orthodontic issues and are instead best for simple, minor straightening. 
  • Invisalign aligners must also be removed whenever you eat or drink, so it might be easy to lose a set. 

What are Braces? 

Traditional braces are a set of brackets that are securely fastened to the teeth, and which are connected by small but sturdy wires that link the brackets together. They are worn permanently, and over time, they slowly move and straighten teeth by applying pressure. Once braces are in place, your dentist periodically adjusts them as the straightening progresses. 

Different Types of Braces 

There are various types of braces available, such as metal and ceramic braces, and the best style may vary for an individual patient. Metal braces are often the most affordable option. However, other braces may be a better fit, and braces may be covered partially or entirely by insurance.   

Braces Pros and Cons 

Similar to Invisalign, there are several benefits and drawbacks to opting for braces to straighten your teeth. These include the following. 

Braces Pros 

  • Braces are an excellent option for more complex corrections, as they adhere directly to each tooth. As a result, they are more powerful than aligners and can create an incredible smile, even if more extensive straightening is required. 
  • Since there are different types and styles of braces, they can be more subtle and less noticeable if desired. 
  • Braces are also a permanent fix and are not removed.  Therefore, a patient doesn’t have to worry about ensuring they wear them for a designated timeframe. It also ensures that braces are never lost or misplaced, like removable Invisalign aligners. 
  • Braces are resistant to stains and heat, meaning patients can drink tea, coffee, and any beverage throughout the day without causing wear and tears. In addition, braces are not removed during meals like Invisalign aligners. 

Braces Cons 

  • Braces are not initially comfortable and take a little time to get used to. There may also be minor soreness or tenderness after the braces are initially added to the teeth. 
  • Braces are not invisible and will be noticeable, unlike Invisalign. 
  • There are some food limitations when it comes to braces, like gum, hard candy, and popcorn. These foods can all get stuck in brackets and damage the brackets or wires. 
  • Follow-up appointments are also required with braces, and an emergency or unplanned visit to the dentist may be needed if the braces are damaged. 
  • Plaque and bacteria can also linger on races, which may leave marks on the teeth when the braces are removed. Good oral hygiene habits will mitigate this problem. 

How Do I Find Braces or Invisalign Near Me? 

Both braces and Invisalign can make a huge difference when it comes to your smile. Therefore, only your dental professional can help you determine the exact and individualized treatment that is best for you. 

Start improving your smile today with a consultation with the experts at Pannu Dental Group.   

With Invisalign specialists in San Jose and the Bay Area, we use the best technology and client-focused care available. At Pannu Dental Group, you can ensure that your oral health is in great hands regardless of which treatment is best suited for your needs – Invisalign or braces.  

Schedule your consultation today!  

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Dr. Dalvir S. Pannu has been a practicing dentist since 1995. In 1996 he opened his first dental practice in India, where he gained invaluable experience and acumen. In October of 1997 he was invited by the American Dental Association (ADA) to present the table clinic on Endodontics, at their annual session held in Washington, D.C. At this time he fell in love with the United States and became passionate about practicing dentistry in California. He became particularly enamored of the San Francisco Bay area, and soon took up residence and work here.