Invisalign® vs. LightForce™: Which is the right choice for you?
There are many reasons why individuals, later in their lives, choose to straighten their teeth. Some of the most popular issues are:
- Not happy with the look or the position of your teeth.
- Having had braces as a kid and not currently having the aesthetic outcome they want as an adult.
- Other dental issues are at play and adjusting the occlusion will help in the end.
- Financial availability to care for oneself now that other family members are set.
- Airways may be compromised by a narrow arch and large tongue.
There are several orthodontic treatments available, and two of the more aesthetic options are Invisalign® and LightForce™, both fantastic alternatives to metal braces, as they straighten your teeth without dramatically altering your everyday appearance. Both orthodontic treatments have unique benefits and circumstances that indicate which one is right for you, and we will share the differences between utilizing clear teeth aligners with Invisalign and 3D printed braces through LightForce.
Invisalign® vs. LightForce™: What’s the difference, and which is better?
Both Invisalign® and LightForce™ work to straighten teeth, however, they go about it by slightly different means. So, what is the difference between Invisalign®’s clear aligners and LightForce™’s 3D Printed Braces?
What is the Invisalign® Treatment System?
Invisalign® provides a subtle and convenient alternative to traditional metal braces. The clear aligners are fabricated from a precise 3D digital impression of your teeth using the iTero Element® scanner, so they feel natural and comfortable when worn. Then, as you will have mapped out a custom treatment plan just for you, the series of custom-made clear aligners move your teeth into the correct positions over the course of your treatment, as you wear each set of aligners for one to two weeks before progressing to the next stage in the series.
The duration of your treatment is directly proportionate to how many sets of aligners are necessary to achieve proper teeth alignment. Like the progression of the pictures in a flipbook, each set of aligners moves your teeth a few millimeters until the realignment is complete. As each set of aligners is worn for about two weeks, the number of aligners will correlate with the intended correction. The Invisalign® treatment can take anywhere from three months to three years. Most cases are designed to take a year or less.
BENEFITS OF INVISALIGN
- Unlike other orthodontic treatments, Invisalign® aligners are removable when eating and brushing your teeth.
- The clear aligners are barely noticeable and after a day or so and your speech is unaltered.
- It is easy to reassess and revise a case during treatment.
- A new set begins about every week or two, and it is a benefit to start with fresh, clean aligners.
- You can actually see and feel how Invisalign is working and moving your teeth.
THINGS TO NOTE WITH INVISALIGN
- Aligners are supposed to be worn for 22 hours a day, only removed for meals and brushing teeth. Because the aligners are removable, sometimes compliance is more difficult.
- Aligners, as they are to be removed for eating, can be annoying.
- Aligners, as they are removable, can be lost or even thrown away at meals if not careful.
What are LightForce™ 3D Braces?
LightForce™ Braces are custom 3D printed brackets. They function similarly to traditional braces as they attach individually to each tooth. However, unlike conventional braces, LightForce™ uses digital 3D digital impressions to fabricate a set of braces that are specifically customized to the needs of each tooth. They are tooth-colored printed brackets so they are less noticeable.
Traditional braces are still a one-size-fits-all solution, whereas LightForce™ is a customized treatment that best serves your needs and anatomy. The standard treatment time for metal braces can exceed four years, but LightForce™ works more efficiently to move your teeth in less time and with less pain.
BENEFITS OF LIGHTFORCE
- LightForce™ uses digital 3D digital impressions to specifically tailor your brackets.
- LightForce has white and clear brackets that are barely noticeable and after a day or so and your speech is unaltered.
- LightForce treatment has excellent outcomes
- Brackets are attached to your teeth and are not removable. Therefore, compliance is easy.
THINGS TO NOTE WITH LIGHTFORCE
- Brackets are attached and therefore worn 24 hours a day. With that, compliance is not an issue.
- As the brackets are attached, it has been found that treatment can often (not always) be shorter than anticipated, lasting a year or less.
Which orthodontic treatment is proper for you?
Every individual and each case is unique, and the best treatment for you depends on your needs and the recommendation of your dentist. Invisalign® and LightForce™ both offer benefits over metal braces in terms of comfort, efficiency, and function, and both offer a less visible way to create the beautiful smile you deserve. Call your dental provider or our office directly to schedule a complimentary virtual consultation and see if Invisalign® or LightForce™ is a better solution for you.