Invisalign® Aligners vs. Metal Braces

Invisalign For Adults Near Me

Considering orthodontic treatment? Request a free smile assessment with our orthodontist in Coralville and Iowa City, IA. Dr. Mergen would love the opportunity to help you explore your treatment options so you can start smiling with renewed confidence as soon as possible. Invisalign® aligners and traditional metal braces are both great choices for straightening teeth.

Here’s what you need to know about these popular types of orthodontic treatment.

Appearance: The Clear Difference

One of the most significant differences between Invisalign and metal braces is their appearance. Invisalign aligners are made from clear plastic, making them almost invisible when worn. This discretion is a major selling point for adults and teenagers who are self-conscious about the aesthetic impact of traditional braces.

On the other hand, metal braces are more visible, consisting of brackets that attach to the front of the teeth, connected by a wire. While modern braces are sleeker and less obtrusive than their predecessors, they’re still noticeable.

Comfort and Convenience

Clear orthodontic aligners are generally considered more comfortable than metal braces. The smooth, plastic material of the aligners minimizes irritation to the lips and cheeks. Invisalign also offers the convenience of being removable, allowing for normal brushing, flossing, and eating. This removability, however, requires discipline; aligners must be worn between 20 and 22 hours a day to be effective.

Conversely, metal braces, with their wires and brackets, can cause more discomfort, especially after adjustments. They also pose challenges to oral hygiene, as food particles can get trapped, necessitating meticulous cleaning routines. Despite these drawbacks, braces are permanently affixed, eliminating the need for patient compliance with wear time.

Treatment Complexity and Duration

The complexity of your dental issues may dictate which treatment option is best. Invisalign is highly effective for mild to moderate dental misalignments, such as gaps, crowding, and some bite issues. However, for more complex cases or severe misalignments, metal dental braces might be the only option. They offer more control and power in moving teeth into the desired position.

Treatment duration can vary widely depending on the individual’s needs. Invisalign treatment typically ranges from 12 to 18 months, although minor corrections may take less time. Traditional braces usually require a longer commitment, often between 18 and 24 months, sometimes more, depending on the complexity of the case.

Cost Considerations

Cost is an important factor in the decision-making process. Generally, Invisalign aligners are more expensive than traditional metal braces, reflecting the custom manufacturing process of the aligners and the technology used to plan the treatment.

However, prices have become more competitive over the years, and many dental insurance plans now cover both options up to a certain amount.

Making Your Choice

Choosing between Invisalign clear aligners and metal braces depends on a variety of factors, including aesthetic preferences, treatment complexity, budget, and lifestyle. It’s essential to consult with our Eastern Iowa orthodontist who can assess your specific needs and recommend the most appropriate treatment.

Ultimately, both options can lead to a beautiful smile, improved dental health, and boosted self-confidence. The best choice is the one that aligns with your personal needs and goals.

Request a Free Smile Assessment

Ready to take the next step on your journey to a healthier, more attractive smile? Dr. John Mergen is proud to serve as your trusted orthodontist in Coralville and Iowa City, IA. To book a consultation, please call our Coralville office at (319) 626-2142 or our Iowa City office at (319) 688-0800. You may also request an appointment online.