Most patients who enter an orthodontic office typically know they need some type of orthodontic treatment, but for the most part are unsure of whether they should have traditional metal braces or the removable, clear alternative – Invisalign.
The answer to this question will depend on several factors, which I will attempt to outline here.
First, your orthodontic problem can and will determine what is the best “modality” of treatment. In our offices we definitely will tell a patient when we believe braces are the best choice, or if Invisalign is the best option, or if both types of appliances would work for that individual.
Secondly, your choice of appliances may be limited to what your orthodontist is offering in his or her practice. If they only offer traditional metal braces, that is what they will offer to you. If they treat cases with Invsialign, they may offer this option as well. Some orthodontists do not offer clear braces and only offer braces without colors.
There are many types of “braces” available and most of them will get you the result you desire. The type of braces prescribed for you will be discussed with your orthodontist.
And finally, you may already have decided that you only want to wear Invisalign and that braces are not an option. (Or vice versa.)
If you really wanted Invisalign, your next step would be to go to www.invisalign.com and search for doctors in your zip code. The doctors listed on the national website are all certified and experienced with Invisalign. Often patients will be told Invisalign is not an option for them, only to find out later that it was and their doctor just did not offer it to his/her patients.
The bottom-line is that you as the patient or the parent of a patient need to know that it’s ultimately your decision about whether you should choose braces or choose Invisalign, and it is ultimately under your control.
Take the time to research prospective orthodontists and their websites. If you are interested in Invisalign, make sure they are listed on the national website as a provider.
If you really want traditional colorful braces, make sure your doctor offers these to his/her patients.
Whether one is better than the other is really not the issue. What appliance works for you and your family and will ultimately give you the desired results of a healthy and beautiful smile…that is what matters.