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Invisalign vs Braces


Photo of the Invisalign product at West End Dental, in Portland, ORThe alignment of your teeth is incredibly important. Not only is proper alignment essential for a beautiful smile, but it is also crucial for your oral health. When your teeth are crooked, your risk for cavities and gum disease is higher. You are at a greater risk of tooth damage. You may face issues like bruxism and jaw pain. Correcting the alignment of your teeth improves both your smile and your oral health, which greatly improves your overall quality of life. Today, you have a couple of options for correcting tooth alignment. West End Dental can help you to choose the right option for you.

Traditional Braces


Metal braces have long been the go-to solution for correcting tooth alignment. They were the only solution for quite a while. This treatment consists of small metal brackets and metal wires. The brackets are bonded to the front surfaces of your teeth. A wire spans the arch of teeth and is secured into place with small elastic O-rings called ligatures. Depending upon your specific needs, you may also need the assistance of springs, rubber bands, or other orthodontic appliances that can attach to the braces.

Invisalign®


Invisalign is a more modern treatment for correcting tooth alignment. Instead of brackets and wires, this treatment uses rigid plastic aligners that are made from impressions of your mouth. The aligners fit over your teeth much like a whitening tray or sports mouth guard. Treatment involves a series of aligners, which are made to be worn for two weeks at a time.

The Major Differences


One of the biggest differences between traditional braces and Invisalign is that Invisalign is a much more discreet treatment. With traditional braces, the metal brackets and wires are prominent on your teeth and can overtake your smile. Invisalign aligners are made from clear plastic. They practically disappear from view when placed in your mouth. No one will be able to tell that they are there.

Another major difference between braces and Invisalign is that Invisalign aligners are removable. Braces are affixed to your teeth. The brackets are bonded to your teeth at the beginning of your treatment and remain in place throughout the duration of your treatment. Because of this, you need to be careful of the foods you eat and adjust your oral care routine accordingly. With Invisalign, however, the aligners can be taken out and put back in at will. However, they should only be taken out to eat and to brush your teeth. You can eat all of your favorite foods as well as brush and floss your teeth normally. For the best results, your aligners should remain in your mouth at all other times.

Which Option is Right for Me?


Both braces and Invisalign are effective treatments for correcting the alignment of your teeth. If you prefer to straighten your teeth in a much more discreet manner, Invisalign may be the option for you. However, while Invisalign is effective, it may not be able to treat more severe orthodontic issues. More significant complications often require treatment with traditional braces. It may be possible though to cut down the time you spend in traditional braces by beginning treatment with braces and finishing your treatment with Invisalign once the major issues have been resolved. With a consultation, we can help to determine the best course of action.


Orthodontic treatment can help to improve the alignment of your teeth, which improves your smile and your oral health. For more information, and to find out which option is right for you, contact West End Dental at (503) 446-2957 today.
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