Invisalign vs. Braces: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Written by:

Dr. Justin Soon

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Invisalign vs. Braces: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Dental patients often have to choose between traditional braces and Invisalign. Both offer a way to straighten teeth, but each has advantages and disadvantages.

In this blog post, we’ll compare Invisalign vs. braces so you can make the right decision for your needs. Remember that every patient’s situation is different. Schedule an initial consultation with your dentist to find out what’s right for you.

Keep reading to learn more!

What Is an Invisalign?

Orthodontic treatment has come a long way since the days of metal braces. Nowadays, there are various treatment options, and one of the most popular options is Invisalign.

Invisalign technology uses a clear orthodontic appliance that fits over the whole dental arch and is virtually invisible when worn. It is comprised of a series of clear, customised aligners sequentially worn to gradually move teeth into the desired position. Simply put, Invisalign can help you achieve a beautiful smile without braces.

Each set of aligners is worn for about two weeks before being replaced with the next in the series. Treatment time with Invisible braces usually takes about nine to fifteen months. This depends on the complexity of the needed orthodontic correction.

What Are the Benefits of Invisalign?

It’s easy to see why most people prefer Invisalign over traditional braces. After all, there are many benefits to having aligner therapy, including the following:

  1. Invisalign is less visible than traditional braces. Because of its discreet appearance, you can straighten your teeth without everyone knowing that you are undergoing orthodontic treatment.

  2. Invisalign is more comfortable to wear than traditional braces because of the custom-made aligners. It uses a durable SmartTrack material. There are no metal brackets or wires, meaning your lips or cheeks are less likely to be cut or irritated.

  3. Invisalign allows you to eat whatever you want. There are no food restrictions, as there are with traditional braces.

  4. It’s easy to maintain good oral health with Invisalign. You can brush, floss, and perform your oral hygiene routine normally. You don’t have to worry about special cleaning routines or avoiding certain foods. Thus, it’s easier to prevent dental decay.

  5. Invisalign treatment can be completed in a shorter time frame than traditional orthodontic treatment.

These are just five of the many benefits of Invisalign that are worth considering if you’re thinking about orthodontic treatment. However, there are also some drawbacks to Invisalign that you should know about. Talk to your dentist so you can make an informed decision.

What Are the Disadvantages of Invisalign?

While Invisalign offers many benefits, there are also some disadvantages to consider before you decide to go ahead with the dental treatment. Here are some disadvantages of Invisalign that you should be aware of:

  1. Invisalign aligners are more expensive than traditional metal braces. The treatment cost can vary depending on the severity of your dental misalignment. Payment is usually at least a few thousand dollars more expensive than braces.

  2. The transparent aligners need to be removed for eating and brushing, which can take some getting used to.

  3. There is a risk of losing or damaging the aligners if they are not stored properly.

  4. You will need to commit to wearing the invisible aligners for 20-22 hours per day. This is so you can see results and consistent progress.

  5. Aligner therapy may not be effective in addressing more severe orthodontic problems. In such cases, other orthodontic treatments may be advised by your dentist.

Overall, Invisalign is a safe way to straighten teeth. However, it has disadvantages you should be aware of before starting treatment. This allows you to make an informed decision about your oral health.

What Are Traditional Braces?

Traditional braces are the most common type of orthodontic treatment. Braces help provide a healthy bite, straighter teeth, and a beautiful smile.

With traditional braces, metal brackets are cemented on each tooth. Then, an archwire is threaded through the brackets. The archwire is held in place by rubber bands or ligatures. Together, these components put gentle pressure to control tooth movement and move teeth into alignment.

Many orthodontists believe traditional braces are the ideal option for complex cases. These braces have been used for many years and have a proven track record for straightening teeth.

What Are the Benefits of Traditional Braces?

Traditional braces are one of the most popular methods for correcting dental alignment issues. While they require a bit more care and attention than other types of braces, traditional braces offer many advantages. Some benefits of braces include the following:

  1. Invisalign, also called invisible braces, costs thousands of dollars, but traditional braces are less expensive. Plus, they are usually covered by insurance providers in full. While the exact cost of braces will depend on your treatment plan, traditional metal braces usually cost less than Invisalign or ceramic braces, making them an affordable option.

  2. Traditional braces can be used to address a wide variety of orthodontic issues, ranging from mildly crowded teeth to severely misaligned teeth.

  3. Whether you have gaps in your smile, crooked teeth, severe crowding, or a misaligned bite, traditional braces can be an effective treatment.

  4. Traditional braces have a long history of success. Licensed orthodontists have been using traditional braces to straighten teeth for centuries, so you can be confident that you’re getting a tried-and-true treatment.

  5. Traditional braces are a great option for patients of all ages. Whether you’re a teen who’s just starting to care about your appearance or an adult who’s finally ready to correct a lifelong problem, traditional braces can give you the beautiful, healthy smile you’ve always wanted.

If you’re considering traditional braces for yourself or your child, discuss the benefits and risks with an experienced orthodontist to determine if they’re the right choice for you.

What Are the Disadvantages of Traditional Braces?

While they are usually very effective, traditional braces can also have disadvantages. The following are the cons of braces:

  1. Traditional braces are often more visible than other types of braces, which can be a cosmetic concern for some orthodontic patients.

  2. They can also be uncomfortable, especially when first put on. Traditional metal brackets and wires can rub against the inside of your mouth, causing irritation and mouth sores which can interfere with dental hygiene.

  3. Teeth with braces are more difficult to keep clean, as food and plaque can get trapped around the brackets and wires. This can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Sticky foods and hard, crunchy foods should be avoided as this can damage the wires.

  4. Traditional braces usually require more frequent orthodontic visits and regular appointments for adjustments than other types of braces.

  5. Traditional braces can take a long time to work, sometimes up to two years, before they are fully effective.

Overall, traditional braces are a safe and effective way to get straight teeth, but they also have disadvantages that make them not ideal for everyone.

Final Thoughts

Invisalign and braces are popular choices for people who want straighter teeth, but they work differently.

Invisalign technology uses clear, removable aligners to slowly shift teeth into place over time. Braces use metal wires and brackets to apply pressure to teeth and force them into their proper position.

Invisalign is less noticeable than dental braces. Its invisible appearance makes it the preferred option for teeth straightening, but it can be more expensive.

The good news is that some dental insurance plans may provide insurance cover for orthodontic treatment. Also, your dentist may offer payment options such as monthly payment plans, so make sure you ask about them. With these options, you can still save money while having an incredible smile and proper bite.

It can be a difficult decision when it comes to Invisalign vs. braces. However, the right orthodontic option depends on your needs and preferences.

No matter what type of treatment you choose, our team at Karrinyup Dental Centre can help you achieve your goal of having a straight smile. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and find out which form of orthodontic therapy is right for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

One of the primary concerns of people wanting Invisalign treatment is pain. The answer to this question is no; Invisalign is not painful. The special plastic aligners fit tightly against your teeth, so you may experience discomfort when first putting them in. However, any soreness or tenderness should subside after a few days of wear.

Additionally, you may feel temporary discomfort when switching to a new set of aligners, but it should not be severe or last very long. Invisalign is designed to be comfortable and cause minimal pain throughout treatment. Remember to clean it with a cleaning solution or warm water before and after use.

The success rate of Invisalign is high. Studies have shown that the Invisalign system is a practical alternative to traditional orthodontic treatments in correcting mild to moderate cases of malocclusion.

Most patients who have had Invisalign treatment have seen satisfactory results in straightening their teeth and improving their smiles.

How long you should wear a retainer after Invisalign depends on a few factors, including your age, severity of misalignment, and compliance.

Generally, it is recommended that you wear a retainer for 20-22 hours per day for the first nine months after your Invisalign treatment has finished. After that, you can wear it as needed to help maintain your new smile. Your dentist or a dedicated orthodontist may recommend wearing it at night indefinitely or only occasionally. It’s important to follow their recommendations to keep your teeth straight and your smile looking great.

Dr. Justin Soon


Dr. Justin Soon

Dr. Justin completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery at the University of Western Australia. Dr Justin completed his surgical implant training under the mentorship of Dr. Glen Liddelow, Dr. Graham Carmichael, and Dr. Brent Allan at the Branemark Centre.

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