Comparison of Braces and Invisalign Aligners Orthodontic Treatments

Among the latest advancements in orthodontic treatments, use of Invisalign has gained importance over traditional braces. While braces also get the job done, there are many pluses in using Invisalign.

Braces and Invisalign Aligners

Should you opt for new invisalign braces or stick the traditional braces to straighten your crooked teeth or that of your child’s? What are the issues that come with each?

No doubt, you want the more efficient one that gets the job done, and never mind the expense. Here we discuss the pros and cons of both so you may make an informed choice. 

Correcting issues of the teeth

Both braces and Invisalign are effective in correcting alignment issues, protrusions, crowding, crookedness, and irregular spacing. In many cases, we have problems with more than one issue.

Due to its relative newness, Invisalign is not preferred for severe problems with the teeth. Modern Orthodontics with use of modern technology is able to successfully treat such illnesses.

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Method of using braces

Braces have brackets connected by arch-wires. These are placed across one’s teeth and connected using elastic ties. We can have brackets made of ceramic, metal, or composite material.

This is one of the advancements we have today. It is possible to have brackets of any color today. Many patients choose gold colored brackets! It is also possible to attach brackets to the back of the teeth, so they are less noticeable.

In the years past, this was not possible. But, today, it has become possible because brackets are much smaller.

They attach brackets to the teeth using cement, and then, use high-intensity light to harden it. As per the treatment plan, teeth get aligned through the use of flexible arch-wires that remain attached to these brackets.

Due to the use of advanced archwires, repositioning is done faster. The patients experience lesser discomfort due to this. Wires remain connected to brackets by replaceable elastic bands.

Method of using braces

It takes only 10-15 minutes to place archwires and brackets. You will need to make regular appointments to replace elastic bands.

These adjustment appointments are space 3 weeks to 3 months apart. Tooth movement becomes obvious only after three weeks. Following adjustments, patients will experience slight discomfort and tightness of the teeth. 

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Method of using Invisalign

One alternative to braces is Invisalign. This is a brand offering clear aligner. You can rectify a variety of problems using Invisalign including teeth that are widely spaced, crowded teeth, simple bite irregularities, cross bite, and overbite. You can contact invisalign dentist or orthodontist for this job.

Mild relapses may occur, and even these are corrected. Due to its attractiveness, many people have an attraction to this device. Another popular name for this is “invisible braces”.

Clear braces or invisible braces are plastic appliances manufactured by computer design. It is possible to get a better smile using Invisalign.

Method of using Invisalign

Though it is removable, yet your orthodontist will recommend that you do not do so often. They are made to custom-fit your teeth, and so they will slide comfortably over it.

You will need to remove aligners to eat or drink. Also, it must come off to brush or floss teeth. It is important to keep aligners in place for a minimum of 20 hours each day.

Invisalign is a clear aligner that offers orthodontic corrections in a far less invasive way compared to braces. It was brought into the market in 1999 by Align Technologies. But, it is not capable of correcting serious problems of the teeth. 

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Use of photos and CAD/CAM design

During your first visit, photos and impressions will be made of your teeth. These are sent to Align’s lab where they use CAC-CAM techniques for making aligners for your teeth.

New aligners are made continuously every couple of weeks (or sooner) as the treatment progresses. Patients will get two sets of aligners, one for the top row of teeth and another for the bottom.

You will need to visit your orthodontist once every four to six weeks. The length of the treatment varies, but you will need at least 20-30 alignments for completely curing your problem. This might stretch up to one year. 

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Do you need braces?

People with crooked or crowded teeth need correction. You may also correct irregular spacing, teeth that are out of alignment or are protruding.

Usually, only children older than eight years of age will be considered for correction. This is because only permanent teeth need correction. A lesser number of people prefer Invisalign because the scope of treatment does not include serious cases.

For instance, Invisalign is not an option when you have a serious case of malocclusion. If you need a simple orthodontic fix, Invisalign Express will take care of it. This is an abbreviated and less expensive version. In the final say, you will need to consult your orthodontist to know if you need Invisalign or braces for correcting teeth deformities. 

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Cost of Invisalign and Braces

The cost of dental braces varies as per patient needs. It is between $3,300 and $7,200 on an average. Cost of Invisalign is comparable and ranges between $3,100 and $5,200.

If you need restorative treatment, then costs will go up. On a comparative note, you will need to keep your braces on all the time for about 2 years. Invisalign is removable, but you need to keep it on for 20-22 hours each day for 7-20 months. 

Comparison of Invisalign and Braces

You will need to brush brackets and wires regularly and use a water pick also. Invisalign is easier to maintain because you may remove the trays and put them in water for rinsing them.

It is preferable to use lukewarm water for this. Follow up visits for those, who wear braces is about once a month. For those that use Invisalign, these visits occur once in 4-5 weeks. Also, you need to change aligner trays every two weeks.

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In the final assessment, braces are helpful for correcting serious complications. Invisalign is invisible, less intrusive, and preferred when the problem is not serious.

You do not have issues with food getting caught with Invisalign because you remove them while eating. And there is no discomfort of wires. But, there is the problem of removing them every time you eat or drink something.

If you have gum disease or tooth decay, you will have to rectify these before you begin your tooth alignment treatment.

Today, about 30% of the patients are adults as compared to the olden days when only children used to have corrections made to their teeth. Nowadays, advancements and good aesthetics have inspired more adults to go in for corrections to their teeth using braces and Invisalign aligners.

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Anoop Sharma

About Anoop Sharma

Anoop Sharma is an IT professional, freelance health writer and creator of He is passionate about helping others learn about health issues and their natural remedies, yoga and healthy food.

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