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Dec 4, 2009

Invisalign or Braces?


Orthodontist Compares Traditional Braces to Invisalign
Date Released: 11/27/2009

When making the decision to invest in straightening your teeth, many factors come into play. Florida dentist Dr. Michael Hess compares the two most popular methods of treatment, braces and Invisalign.

Press Release Image LITHIA, FL — Just by looking at the two, one can make several comparisons between traditional braces and Invisalign. But, can you judge them by their covers, or is there more to the story than the eye can tell?

“There are many ways to compare Invisalign and braces,” said Lithia Invisalign orthodontist Dr. Michael Hess. “From an orthodontist’s perspective, both treatments are fine, but when it comes to patients, there are all sorts of preferences that come into play. What I’ve seen my patients most concerned with are costs, esthetics, treatment, results, and maintenance.”

MORE AFTER THE JUMP!
Costs -
Braces and Invisalign are comparatively close when it comes to price tags. According to BracesInfo.com, braces can cost anywhere from $5,400 to $7,700 for basic braces. Costs vary depending on upgrades such as choosing invisible braces over traditional braces or other enhancements. These are enamel-colored braces that are more esthetically pleasing and more concealable.

Inivisalign.com quotes a price range averaging $5,000 but going as low as $3,500 for its product. However, in some cases Invisalign may require patients to use braces for a few months, which will of course add expenses.


Esthetics -
The “look” of orthodontics is one of the biggest discussions going on in the field. Invisalign developed a treatment that is virtually unrecognizable to the public, where braces are easily identifiable.

Braces have come a long way from Frankenstein-like headgear comments Dr. Hess. “Braces don’t look like torture devices anymore, and believe it or not there are methods that conceal braces.”

iBraces are a system that place braces on the backside of teeth rather than the front. These are highly concealed, but may cause some irregularities to speech. Also, there are invisible braces commented Dr. Hess, a Lithia invisible braces provider.

Invisalign are clear plastic aligners that snap over the teeth. These aren’t noticeable, but can become awkward in public while dining. Patients can not eat with Invisalign on, as it damages the aligners notes Dr. Hess.

“Traditional braces may be openly visible, but that takes away most embarrassing surprises,” said Dr. Hess, a Lithia orthodontist. “On the other hand, removing Invisalign trays during meals can be embarrassing. Saliva trapped under the aligners sometimes dangles off the teeth when removing them. So, it’s either face braces on the teeth all the time or be ready to excuse yourself for taking out your Invisalign when it’s time to eat. Either can be awkward, but the end justifies the means.”


Maintenance -
In order to keep Invisalign and braces clean and in working order, users need to respect and responsibly maintain their orthodontic equipment comments Dr. Hess.

“Parents need to know their children in choosing the right orthodontic method,” said Dr. Hess. “And if it’s an adult seeking treatment, he or she needs to be judicious and responsible.”

Invisalign can build up bacteria and plaque on the inside of the aligners and on the outside as well. Also, when not cleaned regularly, Invisalign trays can become odorous. To avoid these problems, Invisalign sells a cleaning solution.

“It is vitally important to clean Invisalign trays,” said Dr. Hess, a Lithia, FL Invisalign expert. “If patients don’t want to spring for the Invisalign cleaning products, they can use Polident or other denture cleaning products. They’re accessible and cheap in most cases, but nonetheless it is critical to keep bacteria from building up on the trays.”

Braces can collect plaque and bacteria around the brackets and wires just as Invisalign can collect bacteria on the trays. Brushing around braces and using mouthwash regularly is highly important in keeping good status with oral hygiene. Braces patients with poor hygiene habits can easily develop cases of tooth decay around the base of the brackets adds Dr. Hess, a Lithia Orthodontics expert.

Also, Invisalign are delicate plastic trays that can be easily cracked, eroded, or even lost. And while braces are fastened to the teeth, so they can’t be lost, sometimes the metal wires snap or brackets slide. To counter this, patients need to be careful in what they eat and do.

“Invisalign can be a tough choice for adolescent patients as they can so easily lose or break their trays due to their lack of responsibility,” said Dr. Hess, a Lithia braces provider. “But, if that same teen eats certain candy or even hard food like apples, he or she can move their braces, which lengthens treatment time.”

Results -
This may be the easiest point of comparison between braces and Invisalign. Though Invisalign technology has not come far enough to treat advanced or serious cases of misaligned teeth, both braces and Invisalign provide the same quality in tooth correction for intermediate tooth misalignments and have just about the same treatment times. Depending on the level of care, treatment can take anywhere from six months to two years.

Braces are the only option for more severe cases of tooth misalignments, but patients can switch over to Invisalign after a certain level of progress has been made comments Dr. Hess.

“Advances in the field have decreased treatment time and have maximized results,” said Dr. Hess. “Using digital images and computer imagery, orthodontists can provide images of what orthodontics can provide for patients and how long the treatment would take. This provides patients with a feeling of excitement and anticipation for their new smile, and orthodontists know in advance what the patient wants out of treatment. Combine this technology with improvements to braces technology and Invisalign, and the future is looking bright for orthodontics.”



About Dr. Michael Hess


Michael A. Hess, DMD, MS is an accredited orthodontist. This means that he is a dental specialist who has completed an advanced post-doctoral course, accredited by the American Dental Association, of at least two academic years in the specialty of orthodontics.


Michael A. Hess, DMD, MS is dedicated to creating outstanding smiles for his patients, using the latest technology available.

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