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Braces vs. Invisalign

If you or your child needs to fix crooked or crowded teeth, you may be wondering whether braces or Invisalign are the best option. Both are designed to improve oral health and straighten your smile, but which one will work best for you? Below, Seattle dentist Dr. Dean Kois discusses the differences between braces and Invisalign, and the pros and cons of each.

What They Both Accomplish

Braces and Invisalign trays share common ground in what they are designed to treat. There are pros and cons to each method of tooth alignment, based on patient lifestyle and the severity of the desired correction. Here is a list of issues that both options can correct:

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign uses clear aligner trays to gently reshape your smile over time. Custom-fitted, transparent plastic gently shifts your teeth into their proper alignment over the course of 6 to 18 months. Invisalign trays are virtually invisible, prompting many people to choose them for aesthetic reasons. They are also easily removable, allowing you to take them out prior to eating and enabling you to clean them with ease. Because they are easy to remove, there are no issues with food getting caught in the hardware and no need to avoid certain foods, as with traditional braces.

When Are Braces Best?

Invisalign is designed to treat mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Complex dental issues may require the reinforcement of metal braces to achieve proper alignment. Invisalign also may not be adequate in treating severe overbites, underbites or malocclusions. In some cases, patients who are not disciplined enough to remove Invisalign trays and brush after each meal may also be advised to stick with braces for their orthodontic needs. Patients who are bothered by the appearance of conspicuous metal braces may also opt for clear ceramic (“tooth-colored”) braces.

The only way to find out which orthodontic option is right for you and your needs is to meet with an experienced dentist and orthodontics expert. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Dean Kois or Dr. Tara Kois to discuss your orthodontic options, call Kois Dentistry at (206) 515-9500.