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Invisalign® vs. Braces: How Do They Compare?

Side-by-side comparison of smiling mouths with Invisalign and metal bracesAt Greater Long Island Dental, we provide our patients with multiple orthodontic treatment options. Invisalign® and traditional metal braces can both address cosmetic alignment issues, as well as overbites, underbites, and other types of malocclusion. Many patients choose Invisalign® because it is virtually invisible, involves no food restrictions, and makes brushing and flossing no more difficult than before. However, some patients require traditional braces to correct severe malocclusion. Our experienced dentists can explain the benefits of each treatment, and help you decide which is right for you. To learn more about Invisalign® vs. braces, schedule a consultation at our Long Island, NY, practice. 

How Do Braces Work?

With traditional braces, your dentist attaches small metal brackets to each of your teeth. Specialized rubber bands, or O-rings, connect a thin wire to each of the brackets. Your practitioner carefully calibrates the tension of the wire so that it exerts a constant, gentle force on your teeth. Typically, every four to six weeks, you will return to our office to have the wire tightened and rubber bands replaced. The braces gradually guide your teeth into their new positions. Full treatment time will depend on your needs and the severity of your orthodontic issues. Once your braces come off, you will wear a retainer to maintain your results. Your dentist will determine how long and how often you should wear your retainer.

How Does Invisalign® Work?

Invisalign® uses similar principles. However, instead of using metal brackets and wires, this treatment uses a series of clear aligner trays. The aligners will be individually fabricated from impressions of your teeth, and each will have a slightly different shape. Approximately every two weeks, you will begin wearing the next aligner tray in the series. The trays place a slight force on your dental arches, and, as with braces, your teeth will shift into a straighter position. Invisalign® typically takes the same amount of time as traditional braces, and you will also have to wear a retainer following treatment.

Both traditional braces and Invisalign® can improve your oral health and transform the appearance of your smile.

Which Treatment Is Right for You?

Traditional metal braces are an established orthodontic treatment, proven to be highly effective. If you have severely misaligned teeth or bite problems, this option may be the better choice. With metal braces, vertically misaligned or rotated teeth can be treated, as well as severe bite problems that are not possible to correct with aligner trays. It can also be a more suitable choice for younger patients, who may lose or forget to wear removable aligner trays.

Invisalign® can be just as effective as traditional orthodontic care. If you suffer from minor to moderate misalignment or bite issues, you may prefer this treatment. Because clear aligner trays are virtually undetectable, Invisalign® is a good solution if you are concerned about the appearance of braces. It may also be more convenient for your busy schedule, since you will need to make fewer follow-up visits with your dentist. Meanwhile, the clear aligner trays are removed during meals, eliminating the need to alter your diet, and making brushing easier than with traditional braces.

Find the Right Orthodontic Treatment

Both traditional braces and Invisalign® can improve your oral health and transform the appearance of your smile. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and find out which option is right for you.

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