Braces vs. Invisalign: What’s More Affordable? By James Thorn
Posted: Mar 03, 2016
Many people deal with misaligned teeth – but that doesn’t make it any easier to know you’re not alone. Crooked teeth can affect your self-esteem and make you consciously try to stop smiling so people won’t see the inside of your mouth. They can also make cleaning your teeth and flossing more difficult, increasing your risk of cavities, gum disease and other dental health issues. While some people have this addressed during childhood – usually with a series of braces – many don’t have the opportunity to do anything about it until they’re working and on their own. Still others had braces as a child and either due to not wearing their retainers properly or unavoidable shifts in their mouth, they still need alignment as teens or adults.
However, there’s still the issue of paying for the treatment. While dental insurance and finance options such as a limited-term no-interest health care credit card make it possible to afford treatment, you still may be wondering what the most affordable option is. The most common ways of straightening teeth – braces and Invisalign – are usually your best bets. (However, do ask a cosmetic dentist about veneers and implants as well.) Choosing between them depends on a number of factors.
The Cost of Braces
The cost of braces depends largely on the extent of your alignment plan. Some patients are finished after half a year, while others continue wearing braces for three or more years. The longer you need treatment, the greater the cost of the treatment, but you can expect to spend an average of $5000 to $6000.
The Cost of Invisalign
As with braces, the longer you require Invisalign treatment, the more it will cost. However, the cost is typically less, averaging somewhere between $1000 and $5000, depending on the number of trays you’ll need to complete treatment.
Other Invisalign Advantages to Consider
Price shouldn’t be the only thing you consider when it comes to choosing. Invisalign is more popular among adults and teens because it offers these advantages over braces:
- Less pain and discomfort, as there are no sharp metal parts that poke into your gums and inner cheeks
- No limitations on diet because you remove the aligner in order to eat, and there’s no risk of sticky or sharp foods breaking any of the material
- No embarrassment, as virtually no one will be able to tell you’re wearing anything since Invisalign is a series of clear aligners, unlike braces, which anyone can see when you open your mouth
- Fewer visits to the dentist, as braces typically require monthly band changes and retightening and Invisalign works without adjustment as you simply change to the next level of aligner after you’ve worn one for a certain number of weeks
An Invisalign alignment plan is also easily adjustable. For example, if your teeth haven’t moved quite as you’d like by the end of the prescribed treatment, you can get another session of trays to move them further. Likewise, if you’re happy with how they look earlier on than planned, continuing the treatment is up to you. (However, with both braces and Invisalign, you will have to wear a retainer at least part-time for years or even the rest of your life in order to retain the alignment.)
When it comes to choosing how to straighten your teeth, the cost of the procedure is less important than the results and the comfort level of the procedure. Invisalign costs less than you might think, and it’s often preferable to braces, especially if you’re starting treatment as an adult. Schedule a consultation with a cosmetic dentist today to discuss all of your options.
About the Author: James Thorn is a New York area blogger and consultant on healthcare issues. He recommends Park Slope Dentistry to anyone in the area in need of affordable teeth alignment.
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