While Invisalign and braces both straighten teeth and correct bites, there are a number of differences between these two orthodontic treatments. If you’re trying to choose which is best for you, one factor you might be wondering about is whether braces or Invisalign is faster. Here’s what you need to know.
Which Is Faster, Invisalign or Braces?
Because each patient has their own unique orthodontic needs, it's difficult to say whether Invisalign or braces will be faster without an in-person consultation. Invisalign aligners are often equivalent to braces in terms of treatment time needed, but it's important to note that Invisalign aligners only work when you wear them, whereas braces are at work straightening your teeth 24/7 because the brackets are cemented to your teeth and can’t be removed. It’s common for patients to need a longer Invisalign treatment time if they take their aligners out often and leave them out for extended periods of time.
Invisalign will save you time in other ways, though. Many adult patients prefer Invisalign because it requires fewer office visits. Instead of having to rearrange your schedule to see us every 4 weeks, you’ll only need to make follow-up appointments every 6 weeks because you’ll be able to switch to the next set of aligners at home as your treatment progresses.
Another time-saving benefit of Invisalign is that there are no orthodontic emergencies. With braces, brackets can break off, wires can move, and you’ll need to schedule an appointment to have these issues fixed so they don’t interfere with your treatment time.
Invisalign vs. Braces: Other Factors to Consider
Treatment time shouldn’t be your only consideration when it comes to choosing Invisalign or braces. Here are some other factors to keep in mind:
Patients prefer Invisalign to traditional metal braces for a variety of reasons, with the most common being their discreet appearance. Braces are obvious and can't be taken off. Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible and can be taken out at any time.
Invisalign is usually comparable in cost to traditional braces. Most dental insurance plans that cover orthodontics will cover both choices, although you may have to pay the difference between aligners and metal braces if you choose Invisalign. This difference can be paid for using savings from a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA).
Both Invisalign and traditional metal braces are effective in straightening teeth and improving bites. There are some situations, though, when braces are the best solution. For especially complex orthodontic cases, traditional braces are still the treatment of choice.
Many people prefer Invisalign to braces because aligners are more convenient. Aligners can be taken out, allowing you to eat whatever you like and brush and floss your teeth as usual, which makes good oral hygiene practices easier to maintain.