The Key Differences Between Braces and Invisalign

If you or a loved one has been recommended treatment by your dentist or orthodontist, it’s likely you have more questions than answers. After all, it’s a big decision, and definitely not one you want to take lightly. You should have as much information as possible about the orthodontic process, but you may not be sure where to start. Sohn Orthodontics is here to help with the key differences between our most popular treatments, braces and Invisalign! 

Our practice has been creating beautiful smiles for the Bridgeville community for many years, and now it’s your turn! Our expert team is committed to helping you explore all the options available to you, and that begins with your initial consultation. Your first visit will give us the chance to discuss any concerns you have about your teeth, as well as:

  • how orthodontic treatment can change your smile
  • which treatment would be the best fit for your needs
  • what payment options are available to you

During your consultation at our Bridgeville office, we’ll also outline the differences between our most popular treatment options: traditional braces and Invisalign clear aligners. We tend to use these options most frequently, and knowing a bit more about each will help you understand which one would suit your smile needs. Let’s take a look at their pros and cons below!  

The basics of orthodontic treatment

Braces and aligners both use an orthodontic appliance to gently move your teeth into more optimal positions over time. This aligns your teeth and jaws and improves your oral health to give you a fully functional smile that looks great and feels good, too. 

Traditional braces have been around for hundreds of years in various forms, and have a proven track record of successfully correcting a variety of orthodontic issues, from simple to complex. Invisalign is a more recent treatment method that has become increasingly popular over the last twenty years with teen and adult patients. 

Braces and clear aligners are both excellent options for anyone interested in achieving a healthier smile, but there are some important differences between them.  

The Key Differences Between Braces and Invisalign

Traditional braces

Traditional metal braces are very efficient at correcting a wide range of orthodontic issues and can be especially useful for more severe or complex cases. Because every case is different and each patient responds in their own way, the treatment time will vary from person to person. However, the average patient we see here at Sohn Orthodontics will usually spend anywhere from 18-36 months in braces.

Unlike Invisalign aligners, which are removable, braces are a fixed appliance. That means they can come with a bit of a learning curve! There are certain foods you’ll need to avoid throughout treatment since crunchy and chewy foods can damage the brackets and wires. 

You’ll also need to make some adjustments to your dental hygiene routine to ensure you’re keeping your teeth, gums, and appliances nice and clean. It can be tricky learning to navigate around braces, particularly where flossing is concerned, but this is an essential part of the treatment process. Fortunately, there are a variety of accessories available to make cleaning easier! 

Traditional braces can sometimes work faster at closing gaps and aligning teeth than other treatments might. Noticeable signs of progress can often be seen in a relatively short amount of time, which can be a real boost to your self-confidence!

If you like the efficiency and functionality of metal braces but want a less obvious treatment option, Sohn Orthodontics has you covered! Many patients in Bridgeville enjoy clear braces, which offer tooth-colored ceramic brackets that blend in with your natural smile to subtly straighten your teeth. Since they can be a bit more fragile than metal braces, we think that clear braces are best suited for teen and adult patients.

Invisalign clear aligners

Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible and they’re also removable, making them the most popular alternative to braces by far. The SmartTrack material Invisalign aligners are made of is smooth and tends to be more comfortable than traditional braces. When worn as directed by Dr. Sohn, Invisalign aligners can be just as efficient as braces at correcting many of the most common orthodontic issues.

Just like braces, the total treatment time for Invisalign patients will vary from case to case, with it averaging about 9-18 months. The number of aligners needed to straighten the teeth will also depend on your unique smile, as well as your level of compliance and how your teeth respond to treatment.  

Because Invisalign aligners are removable, you have an extra measure of freedom during treatment. They’re designed to be taken out before eating or drinking anything other than water and should also be removed before brushing and flossing. Since you don’t wear your aligners during mealtimes, there are no food restrictions, something our Bridgeville patients love. You can continue eating all your favorite snacks as long as you’re careful about brushing and flossing afterward, which makes the entire treatment process a bit easier to manage.

The aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours each day and switched out every 1-2 weeks to be successful. Because they’re custom-designed to fit each patient’s unique needs, these frequent changes are necessary to keep up with the shifting of the teeth. Just like braces patients, you’ll be expected to attend follow-up visits with Dr. Sohn every 6-8 weeks or so. Skipping these appointments or missing your scheduled aligner changes can quickly undo any progress you’ve made, so you’ll want to make them a priority!

The Key Differences Between Braces and Invisalign

Find the best fit for your smile with Sohn Orthodontics

When you get right down to it, traditional braces and clear aligners are both amazing options for achieving an incredible smile. When you trust your teeth to Sohn Orthodontics, you can be sure that our expert team will only recommend the treatment they feel is best for your unique needs, lifestyle, and goals. 

If you’re ready to take the first step towards the confident smile you deserve, get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Sohn!