Invisalign vs Braces: What’s the Difference?

Many patients seeking straighter teeth will consider the benefits of Invisalign vs braces, as well as other types of braces. Invisalign vs braces that are more traditional each offer unique advantages and disadvantages for patients. Answering the question of which treatment is best will require consideration of several factors, including the patient’s dental issues, requirements, and wishes. Potential orthodontic patients who wish to learn more about Invisalign vs. braces should schedule an orthodontist consultation to see which type of braces is right for them.

Invisalign vs. Braces Differences

The main differences between Invisalign vs. braces are the methods of application and the way the teeth are straightened throughout the treatments. Traditional braces are “permanent” and cannot be removed during treatment. They are removed by the orthodontist when the teeth have reached their desired positions. Invisalign can be removed daily for certain activities, such as eating.

Traditional Braces

More traditional braces feature small metal or ceramic brackets that are bonded to each tooth. Metal wires are then attached to each bracket across each row of teeth. Orthodontists can tighten and position the wires as they wish, providing optimal control over the teeth straightening process.


Invisalign and other invisible braces systems use clear, plastic aligners that are similar in appearance to mouth guards. These aligners are fitted to the teeth, and switched out roughly every two weeks. They are removable, so patients can remove them while eating and cleaning their teeth.

Invisalign Pros and Cons

As indicated by the name, the main benefit of Invisalign is that the system is significantly less noticeable than traditional braces. This makes Invisalign more popular with adult orthodontic patients who may wish for more discreet treatment. Due to the removable nature of Invisalign, patients also experience greater convenience, especially when eating and cleaning the teeth.

Invisalign Disadvantages

The main disadvantage of the Invisalign system is its limited treatment abilities in comparison to traditional braces. The lack of brackets and wires provides orthodontists with less direct control over the movement of teeth. As a result, the treatment process may take longer. Additionally, Invisalign may not be effective for treating more severe dental issues, such as vertical movement of teeth, severe tooth rotation, or significant bite issues.

Braces Pros and Cons

The main advantage of braces is the effectiveness of treatment. Traditional braces give orthodontists the most control over the treatment process. This allows for shorter treatment times than with Invisalign and other invisible braces systems. Traditional braces are also typically less expensive than Invisalign.

Braces Disadvantages

One of the biggest braces disadvantages is the noticeable appearance. Especially in older patients, this can lead to issues with social discomfort, as many perceive a stigma associated with braces. The bulkier nature of braces may also cause added physical discomfort in the mouth, as well as more time required for maintenance and cleaning.

Dr. Randy L. Gittess

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