All About Braces & Invisalign

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If you’re the parent of a tween or teen, chances are you’re thinking about braces and stages of treatment involved, and whether Invisalign is a better choice. The choice might seem difficult, but Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center in Deerfield is here to help.

Initial Steps

For braces and Invisalign, the process begins with the patient having x-rays, pictures, and impressions taken of the teeth. This information is synthesized into a computerized 3D model, which serves as the starting point for the orthodontist’s treatment plan. For braces, this means applying metal brackets to the teeth, and then running wires through the brackets. The wires are held in place by elastic bands. Every few weeks, the patient must see the orthodontist so that the wire can be replaced and tightened.

On the other hand, Invisalign consists of clear, plastic aligners (or trays) that are custom-made for the patient, based on the aforementioned digital model. And herein lies the biggest difference between braces and Invisalign: whereas braces are not permanent, the Invisalign trays are removable. This flexibility is a big bonus in terms of the wearer being able to practice better oral hygiene, as well as not having to worry about what foods are good/bad to eat, or food getting stuck in the metal brackets. That said, in order to meet one’s Invisalign before and after goals, the aligners must be worn at least 20 hours a day – so only removed when eating or brushing teeth. 

Length Of Treatment

For both solutions, treatment length depends on the patient’s specific needs. Generally speaking, Invisalign and braces take about the same amount of time to accomplish the same goal. However, in some cases Invisalign has been demonstrated to work faster, provided the patient adheres to the “20 hours per day” rule.  

Pain 

This is another category where Invisalign offers a clear advantage. Whereas metal braces commonly contribute to cheek and gum irritation, Invisalign trays’ rounded design prevents them from damaging any sensitive oral tissue. Also, the periodic tightening of one’s braces can cause pain and pressure – something Invisalign wearers needn’t worry about. 

Cost 

Without first assessing a patient’s individual needs, it’s impossible to give an accurate cost for braces or Invisalign. A very loose estimate is somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,500 – $8,000, with Invisalign costing roughly $500 more for each year of treatment. For adults, both solutions cost slightly more. Of course, there’s much to discuss in terms of special offers, discounts for multiple family members, and payment plans. Our dental office serving Chicago and Deerfield understands that both solutions are a significant financial investment, and we work with each patient’s family to create a payment plan that best fits their objectives. In the long run, many patients find that the lifelong value gained from Invisalign or braces is more than worth the cost. 

Consult Our Dental Professionals Today

Contact us today with your questions concerning braces and Invisalign treatment before and after, and our experienced dentists will be happy to consult with you. The ultimate goal is to develop a treatment plan that delivers exceptional results for every patient who visits us. 

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