Invisalign is a popular alternative to metal braces, but this program doesn’t work for every smile. If you’re weighing your options, you may wonder how painful invisible braces are. Do clear aligners hurt less than metal braces? Is there any pain associated with Invisalign? Read on to find out!
How Invisalign Works vs. How Traditional Braces Work
To understand the pain or discomfort that may come from braces, it’s important to understand how different types of braces work. All braces are designed to shift teeth in a different position. The way they achieve this goal is what varies.
With Invisalign, users wear a set of custom clear aligners for 22+ hours per day. These trays are custom fit to the person’s smile, and they gradually change positions. Every two weeks, the user switched to a new set of trays, which are made to guide the teeth close to their end goal.
With metal braces, there is a metal wire running between the bracket on each tooth. The wire gets strategically tightened every 4-6 weeks to pull or push the teeth into place. Metal braces are often used to address more severe smile misalignment than invisible braces. Thus the initial movement may seem more significant than the subtle changes with Invisalign.
Is Invisalign Painful?
Some clients feel discomfort or mild pain when switching to a new set of aligners. In a clinical study, 35% of Invisalign users reported no pain at all, and 54% only experienced mild pain. Most of the clients interviewed said that the discomfort they felt lasted for 2-3 days when transitioning to new trays.
Pain is subjective, but most Invisalign wearers would tell you that there is little to no pain with invisible braces.
Do Invisible Braces Hurt More or Less Than Metal Braces?
Because metal braces tackle more drastic smile transformations than invisible braces, they typically involve more discomfort. It’s sort of like the difference between shaving your legs or getting laser hair removal. The laser hair removal yields more drastic results, but it comes with more pain upfront.
Also keep in mind that metal braces are usually only tightened once a month, while invisible braces involve transitions every two weeks. The subtle shifts from Invisalign may be less painful than the slightly more substantial experience of getting metal braces tightened.
With all of this in mind, most people who have braces only experience pain shortly after a transition – whether that be new trays or a new wire positioning. We’re happy to give you tips on how to relieve braces discomfort during your orthodontics appointment.
Finding the Right Orthodontics Plan for Your Needs
Pain tolerance is just one factor in determining which type of braces is right for you. Invisalign has tons of perks, but it may not fit your smile needs. The best way to determine which braces to get is to come in for an in-person consultation. Dr. Sadikoff will assess your smile, discuss your goals, and review all of your options with you. We can even go over pricing and insurance coverage to help you make an informed decision.
To schedule your braces consultation, contact Clinton Dental Center at (586) 949-5363.