Salem Location | (503) 585-5400
1855 West Nob Hill St, Ste. 300
Salem, OR 97302

Keizer Location | (503) 585-5400
164 Chemawa Rd N
Keizer, OR 97303


Invisalign and Other Alternatives to Braces

Traditional orthodontic treatment remains synonymous with the image of teens and pre-teens beaming with smiles that reveal metal wires and brackets. People look for an opportunity to use metal braces, Invisalign clear aligners, and other tools to get the smile they dream of.

While many of our patients benefit from traditional braces, clear aligner trays and other design innovations offer an advanced and discreet alternative to traditional metal appliances.

We proudly offer these options, along with other advanced orthodontic solutions that bring the best of worldwide innovation in non-surgical orthodontics to your neighborhood. If you are looking for an alternative to metal braces, read on to learn more.

What is Orthodontics?

Dr. McDonald is proud to help all his patients with their smile objectives. The reasoning behind this specialized treatment is very straightforward.

Orthodontists focus on people’s teeth and jaw alignment. Suppose there are problems with the position of your dental structures. In that case, an orthodontist focuses on exploring all the non-surgical options available to them to pull, push, and otherwise rotate teeth into the desired place. As specialists in dental alignment, we strive to help patients achieve an ideal relation between dental structures and other personal factors.

Some of the tools we use are well-known. Some of them include traditional braces, clear aligners, self-ligating braces, ceramic braces, retainers, space maintainers, and much more.

As time progresses and our tools are ever more refined, we like to remind our readers about the many alternatives available for their orthodontic care.

Let’s talk about what you can find here at our practice. Remember, if you are looking for the best orthodontist Keizer residents have at their disposal, you can trust us to deliver excellent care.

Before You Start Treatment With Invisalign or Another Appliance

When people start considering all their options for treatment, Invisalign is not necessarily the first thing they think of. Most people wonder about the age at which they start treatment. Parents are especially worried about when they should take their children to the orthodontist.

According to our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), parents should bring their kids to an orthodontic specialist around age 7.

The idea is not to immediately install braces and hope for the best. Instead, we can carefully monitor your kid’s dental development to ensure that everything is going well. We refer to this type of early care as two-phase orthodontic treatment.

Regardless of your age, careful monitoring with the help of a specialist can help you solve orthodontic issues and the resulting dental health complications.

What Are the Alternatives to Braces?

If you want well-aligned straight teeth, you may require consulting with an orthodontist about your personalized treatment plan. Usually, the first option is to consider regular braces. These appliances have been around for a long time and have proven their reliability.

Still, there are alternatives to braces you should consider. Metal braces are the most affordable and durable option. Their stainless steel composition ensures little risk during your care, but they are not necessarily the most appealing option.

You can consider ceramic braces as a viable alternative to braces. The material differs mainly from metal brackets in that it is far less notorious when you smile. Lingual braces and self-ligating braces offer you all the benefits coming from design innovations. Likewise, clear plastic aligners, such as Invisalign, offer a nearly invisible alternative to work on misaligned teeth.

You should feel free to ask your orthodontist about the materials used to manufacture these orthodontic treatment options. Saying “ceramic” and “plastic” is an oversimplification of the fantastic feats achieved in materials science. Still, you should know that none of these are harmful to the user.

You may also want to ask about the cost of braces and their alternatives, how often your office visits will be, and treatment time or length.

Please note that not all candidates are eligible for the same treatments. If you suffer from complex issues with your teeth and jaw alignment, you may not use some appliances, making metal braces your most viable treatment option.

Patients looking for the best orthodontic treatment Keizer offers can trust Dr. McDonald with various innovative alternatives. Let’s review first how other alternatives to braces, such as Invisalign, measure up against traditional metal braces.

Metal Braces vs Invisalign: Which option is right for me?

Invisalign clear aligners and metal braces both straighten teeth. Our Keizer orthodontics practice uses both treatments to address teeth that are:

  • Gapped
  • Misaligned
  • Crowded
  • Crooked

The treatments can also address some instances of overbite and underbite. Most of our patients are candidates for both treatment options. In general, patients with significant alignment problems, such as large gaps, may benefit from traditional metal braces.

Patients who seek the more comfortable and discreet treatment that Invisalign offers should be willing to wear their aligners for 22 hours per day. If you seek clear aligners for your teenager, Invisalign provides a special product for teens that alerts parents when the young patient fails to wear them for at least 22 hours per day. Failure to adhere to the compliance rule could result in delayed treatment or less than satisfactory results.

Patients who are fine with traditional metal braces should be willing to regularly clean and maintain their appliances. Without proper oral hygiene, patients may be at higher risk of developing tooth decay. Metal braces also come with certain nutritional guidelines. Sticky foods can adhere to wires and brackets, while hard foods risk breaking off brackets.

There is no clear cost difference between the two treatments. Depending on the severity of your teeth misalignment issues, either option may be slightly lower in cost compared to the other. Only after undergoing a comprehensive evaluation, Dr. John will provide you with those details.

Dr. John offers complimentary orthodontic consultations for new patients. We recommend visiting with questions in mind. Typical questions include:

  • How long will my orthodontic treatment last?
  • How much will it cost?
  • What cosmetic results can I realistically expect from treatment?
  • Are there aesthetic issues that braces or Invisalign cannot fully address?

Benefits of Invisalign Treatments

Beyond comfort and convenience, the best benefit of Invisalign treatments is the drastic cosmetic results delivered along a predictable timeline. An attractive smile is one of the best gifts you can give yourself or a loved one.

The aligner trays are transparent, meaning most people won’t be able to tell that you are wearing them. We recommend regularly washing the trays with water and a toothbrush. Using toothpaste will leave a white film on the surface of the plastic.

Invisalign trays are more comfortable than metal braces because the pressure that moves teeth is distributed evenly across the tooth’s surface.

As you place each new tray, you’ll feel the pressure more prominently. Placing new trays before going to sleep is one way to “sleep off” this brief moment of discomfort.

Schedule Your Invisalign Consultation Today

We look forward to delivering the smile of your dreams. To schedule your orthodontic consultation, please call (503) 585-5400 or set up an appointment online. 

Dr. McDonald will help you evaluate available your preferred orthodontic alternative to braces, the length of treatment, and the estimated cost. We’re here to help you achieve your smile goals, get in touch with us, and we’ll get this journey started.