What Are Your Options If You Want Invisible Orthodontic Treatment?

What Are Your Options If You Want Invisible Orthodontic Treatment?

Many people want a straighter smile, but they don’t like the idea of spending 12-18 months in metal braces.

Some simply don’t like the idea of seeing metal every time they smile or speak. Others can’t have metal braces because of employment issues. Perhaps they are involved in public speaking or are a model, actor, or musician, and their appearance is vital to the success of their business.

These patients have options!

Your Santa Barbara orthodontist is not limited to providing orthodontic care to their patients with traditional metal braces.

We can successfully treat patients with two orthodontic treatment options that are virtually invisible.

What Are the Options for Patients Who Worry About Aesthetics During Orthodontic Treatment?

If aesthetics is a deciding factor for you when it comes to orthodontic treatment, your Santa Barbara orthodontist has some great options for you!

Invisalign Clear Aligners

Clear aligners fit over every surface of your teeth. They look similar to whitening trays or mouthguards.

Your orthodontist will take impressions of your teeth using an impression material and trays or a digital camera and impression system.

Once they have impressions, they’ll create replicas (study models) of your teeth, which are then sent to Invisalign.

An Invisalign lab technician will create a series of clear aligners using your study models. You’ll wear a set of aligners for a few weeks and trade them for a new set that will continue the progression of your bite realignment.

Porcelain Ceramic Braces

Porcelain ceramic braces in Santa Barbara are similar to traditional metal braces in that they consist of the same components:

The difference between these and metal braces is that the brackets are made of tooth-colored porcelain. The archwire can be made of metal or a clear material – whichever the patient wants, and the orthodontist recommends. Elastic bands come in all types of colors, including clear and white.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Invisalign in Santa Barbara?

The main perk of Invisalign clear aligners is that they’re virtually invisible. They’re also removable, so you can eat comfortably and practice dental home care normally.

Clear aligners are also comfortable to wear, whereas metal brackets can rub against soft tissues and cause irritation.

Finally, Invisalign clear aligners can treat nearly every malocclusion issue as long as it’s not too severe or complex.

The Drawbacks

Some patients have a hard time remembering to put their aligners back in their mouths once they’ve taken them out. Treatment time will increase if the aligners aren’t in for at least 22 hours a day.

It’s also easy for some patients – particularly younger ones – to lose their aligners, which can increase the cost of treatment.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Ceramic Braces in Santa Barbara?

The main reason why patients choose ceramic braces is that they’re less visible than metal braces.

Another perk is that they can move teeth faster than clear aligners.

Ceramic brackets are also smoother than metal ones, making them more comfortable to wear.

Finally, the ceramic brackets don’t interfere with dental imaging like metal braces, so your dentist isn’t inhibited when checking for dental decay.

The Drawbacks

While porcelain ceramic braces are strong and can withstand the pressure of the archwire, they aren’t as strong as metal brackets. If the brackets are moved too quickly, they can crack, chip, or break under the pressure. Therefore, treatment time can take longer than with metal braces.

Another downside is that you’ll need to use floss threaders and carefully clean around each bracket, which can increase the time spent on your oral homecare routine. Unfortunately, that can deter some patients from practicing good oral hygiene, resulting in gum disease and decay.

How Much of a Price Difference Is There Between Invisalign and Ceramic Braces?

Invisalign costs average about $3000, though they can be as low as $1800 and as high as $9500.

Porcelain ceramic braces costs range from $4000 to $8000. This is because porcelain costs more to use than metal.

Does Insurance Cover Invisible Orthodontic Treatment in Santa Barbara?

What your insurance pays depends on your plan.

Many insurance companies will pay for orthodontic treatment for patients ages 18 and younger. Anyone over 18 is not covered. Some insurance companies still don’t cover Invisalign treatment.

An insurance company that covers metal braces might not cover an upgrade to ceramic braces. Others will pay a portion of this invisible orthodontic treatment.

Insurance companies typically pay a percentage of the total cost up to your annual maximum if they’re going to pay anything.

Talk to our front office team to learn more about your insurance coverage and payment options.

What Are the Treatment Timelines for Ceramic Braces and Invisalign?

Invisalign patients will wear their clear aligners for between six and 18 months. Some patients have worn braces in the past but didn’t maintain their ideal bite with a retainer. In some of these cases, only minor adjustments are needed, so their treatment time is significantly less.

The average treatment timeline for someone in porcelain ceramic braces is between 18 months and two years, though some patients are in braces for up to three years. Patients with complex malocclusion issues require more orthodontic treatment time to achieve the best results. 

Your Dentist Can Provide Valuable Input to Help You Make the Best Orthodontic Decision

Which invisible orthodontic treatment option should you choose?

Your Santa Barbara orthodontist can help you make the best decision for your needs.

First, they’ll inform you of whether you’re a good candidate for a particular treatment option or not. Then, they’ll consider your orthodontic, health, and lifestyle needs.

Together, you and your orthodontist can find the best option for you to get the healthy, straight smile you’ve always wanted.

Are you interested in getting invisible orthodontic treatment in Santa Barbara? Contact us to learn more!

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