If you’ve been considering straightening your teeth, we’ve got good news for you: there’s never been a better time to explore what orthodontics has to offer! There are more options than ever to help you achieve a confident smile, including traditional braces and Invisalign clear aligners. Both of these treatments are extremely effective, so you may be wondering which one is right for you. That’s where we come in!
You’ll never find cookie-cutter service here at Sturgill Orthodontics. Instead, we build customized treatment plans for every patient, based on their specific needs, goals, and lifestyle. That’s why the most important step in your smile transformation is choosing an experienced orthodontist! Our practice has not one but three highly trained and skilled orthodontic specialists to create incredible smiles for families throughout our community.
When you schedule a complimentary consultation with our Johnson City or Norton office, you’ll be able to discuss your concerns with one of our doctors and receive a complete oral evaluation. Our expert team will also outline everything included in the orthodontic process, including our treatment options. Keep reading below to learn more about the differences between braces and Invisalign and which one may be the perfect fit for you!
The Basics of Braces
Braces are the OG of orthodontic treatment. In fact, the basic design has been around for hundreds of years, with primitive versions found on ancient Egyptian mummies. Thankfully, they’ve come a long way since then! Modern braces are more comfortable and effective than ever before, helping patients of all ages achieve a beautifully aligned smile and healthy bite.
Expert orthodontists can shift your teeth safely and efficiently using braces. Brackets are affixed to the front surface of your teeth (or the back surface for lingual braces) then connected by a flexible metal wire. These components are paired with elastic bands to carefully move each tooth into the correct position over time. This process will be closely monitored by your orthodontist.
Our practice offers a few different types of braces: metal, clear, and InBrace lingual braces. Each one can help you achieve long-lasting results you’ll love, even if you have serious issues that need to be corrected! Braces use a variety of specialized methods to move the most severely misaligned teeth, which makes them an excellent choice for complex cases.
Because braces are bonded directly to your teeth, you’ll benefit from consistent movement. Unlike Invisalign, you’ll never have to keep up with wearing or switching out your aligners. Some patients like the fact that they never have to think about their braces after they’re put on! Keep in mind, however, that patient compliance is still important. That includes maintaining a good dental hygiene routine, showing up for every follow-up visit, and seeing your dentist regularly.
Cost can be a significant concern for families seeking orthodontic treatment. There’s no “one size fits all” answer for how much treatment will cost, as this varies based on several factors, including the type of appliance being used and the complexity of the condition being treated.
All about Invisalign
Invisalign clear aligners revolutionized the orthodontic industry about 20 years ago, and the system has never looked back! Invisalign’s patented technology allows our orthodontists to use state-of-the-art aligners to achieve straighter teeth and a healthier smile without any brackets, bands, or wires. If you’re looking for a discreet treatment option with a nearly invisible appearance, Invisalign could be the perfect solution for you.
Invisalign aligners are made of a unique SmartTrack™ material, which is a multilayer polyurethane plastic resin specifically designed to align the teeth. This material is safe and very effective for achieving precise tooth movements. Each aligner is custom-designed by your orthodontist to fit snugly (but comfortably!) around your teeth and address your specific needs. They fit seamlessly against your teeth, and the smooth material means there’s nothing to poke, pinch, or otherwise cause discomfort to your mouth.
Because the aligners are a removable appliance, patient compliance is essential. For the system to be successful, you’ll need to wear your aligners 20-22 hours each day throughout the treatment process. You’ll also be responsible for switching each aligner out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks. This is what allows them to keep up with the movements your teeth are making. Failure to follow these guidelines can increase treatment times and lead to subpar results, so it’s really important to stick to the plan!
While this removability comes with a bit of extra responsibility, there are also lots of benefits! Invisalign aligners are designed to be removed during mealtimes, so there are none of the food restrictions braces patients have. You can continue to eat all your favorite foods as long as you promptly brush your teeth, rinse your aligners, and put them back in when you’re done.
This also makes it easy to maintain your oral health. The brackets and wires that braces use can trap bacteria, causing a build-up of plaque and increasing the chances of tooth decay. Invisalign aligners are simply removed before brushing and flossing as normal! Cleaning them is a cinch, too—you can scrub them gently with a toothbrush or soak them in a cleaning solution to keep them looking and functioning their best.
As with the total cost of treatment, there’s no one answer for how long the process will take. Every case is different and each patient will respond to treatment in their own way. That being said, Invisalign can sometimes straighten teeth more quickly than traditional braces. Since the system produces an all-around force on the teeth instead of the individual tooth movement achieved with braces, patients often complete treatment in anywhere from 6-18 months. Braces will generally require at least 12 months of treatment to achieve the desired results.
Keep in mind, however, that every case is unique. Whatever appliance you and your orthodontist decide on, they will be able to determine the predicted length of treatment. And whether you’re in braces or Invisalign aligners, compliance will keep you on track and on your way to a confident smile!
3M Clarity Aligners
Our practice is proud to offer patients another clear aligner system in addition to Invisalign! Clarity Aligners Flex + Force allows orthodontists to choose from two aligner materials in one treatment design. The Force and Flex materials help us achieve different movements depending on where we want your teeth to end up once treatment is complete. With this system, our doctors can further customize your treatment plan by using the best material for your specific needs and goals. You get all the benefits of clear aligners plus an extra measure of customization for incredible results!
Find the best treatment for your smile at Sturgill Orthodontics
Braces, Invisalign, and 3M Clarity aligners can each be an excellent choice for achieving a healthier smile. While they come with their own list of pros and cons, all offer precision movement of the teeth to improve your bite, align your smile, and increase your confidence!
If you’re in Johnson City, TN, Norton, VA, or anywhere in between, we’d love to meet you and walk you through everything orthodontics has to offer. To learn more about our smile transformations, get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with our expert team! We’re here to help you take the first step towards the beautiful smile you deserve.