Invisalign Teen vs. Braces: See the Comparison

As a leading cosmetic dentist in New York City, Dr. David Blaustein is used to fielding questions about the best and least invasive methods to enhance smiles and correct issues with overbites, crooked teeth and malocclusions.  If you’re considering orthodontic treatment for your tween or adolescent, you’ve probably heard good things about Invisalign Teen – custom-made aligners that are designed to gradually move teeth into their correct position.

This revolutionary teeth straightening system has transformed modern orthodontics, offering patients a convenient and comfortable alternative to traditional wire braces.

But how does Invisalign Teen really differ from other treatments in terms of aesthetics, compliance, results and cost? Does the technology really afford tangible benefits? Let’s take a closer look at some of the key differences between Invisalign and ceramic braces, metal braces and lingual braces.

Invisalign Teen

Invisalign: clear plastic aligners that are made using 3D imaging technology. The aligners are worn 20-22 hours a day until final results are achieved.

Efficacy: Very effective for correcting overbite, underbite, cross bite, problems with spacing, crowded teeth and gapped teeth

Aesthetics: almost invisible making them very appealing for self-conscious teens

Compliance rates: Because the aligners can be temporarily removed for meals and the occasional special event, research shows that median teen compliance rate is just under 21 hours a day.

Comfort level: Mild feeling of pressure when the aligners are first worn, or when new aligners are made (every two weeks). This side effect is generally short-term.

Oral hygiene: Patients are advised to remove Invisalign for normal brushing and flossing, which helps to promote excellent oral hygiene.

Traditional and Ceramic Braces

Stainless steel or clear ceramic brackets are affixed to the front of the teeth for a prescribed period of time.

Efficacy: Effective for more advanced orthodontic problems and suitable for all types of misalignment and maloclussion.

Aesthetics: Traditional metal braces are highly noticeable; ceramic braces are less obvious but still more noticeable than Invisalign.

Compliance rates: Very high levels of compliance because the braces are permanently glued to the teeth for the treatment period. However, teens may not be consistent about wearing headgear and elastic bands.

Comfort level: Both metal and ceramic braces can cause soreness and painful hot spots caused by broken brackets and loose wires.

Oral hygiene: Patients cannot brush and floss normally with traditional braces that often trap pieces of food, making plaque build-up and cavities more common.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are metal brackets that are affixed on the back of the teeth, applying constant pressure to shift them slowly into the proper position.

Efficacy: Suitable for most orthodontic issues.

Aesthetics: They are hidden on the back of the teeth and are virtually invisible.

Compliance rates: Excellent because the braces are permanently glued to the teeth for the treatment period.

Comfort level: Lingual braces can affect speech and pronunciation, and metal brackets near the tongue can trigger soreness and ulcers.

Oral hygiene: Difficult to maintain proper oral hygiene on the back of the teeth due to metal brackets, increasing chances of tooth decay.

Invisalign provider in NYC

Having straight teeth and a beautiful smile can have positive impacts on your confidence, self-esteem and general outlook on life. Over the past decade, Dr. Blaustein and his staff at Chelsea Dental Aesthetics have watched the transformative results of Invisalign on patients of all ages.  To schedule a free Invisalign consultation with our team, please call today. If you’re concerned about the Invisalign cost, be sure to ask about our flexible payment options and patient financing through Spring Stone and Care Credit.

Additional Invisalign resources:

  1. Invisalign Teen, Treatment Comparison https://www.invisalign.com/SiteCollectionImages/teen-site/comparison_chart.pdf
  2. Invisalign Teen, https://www.invisalign.com/teen

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