The big question: What’s better, Invisalign or braces? What are the main differences and which treatment should I choose to get my teeth straightened?
Look no more! In this article, we tell you everything you need to know about the Invisalign vs. braces debate. We compare the 2 treatments below, telling you how it works for Invisalign and for braces alike while answering all the questions you might have running through your mind.
Invisalign vs braces: how do they work?
Invisalign and traditional braces are both used for the same goal: gradual teeth straightening. Apart from the cost, there are many factors to consider when deciding - alongside your orthodontist - which one to choose. The main factors to consider are the situation of your teeth, your age, and your lifestyle. When wondering “which one should I get, Invisalign or braces?”, you must consider the following:
• Invisalign is a brand of aligners that are nearly transparent. They are custom-made and their method is mainly to apply pressure on teeth until they go back to the position desired. They are more discreet than traditional braces, leading to more confidence in your appearance. They are also removable so that you can eat with ease and brush your teeth freely.
• On the other hand, braces - which have been used for years - are more used for complex teeth situations. They are less gentle than clear aligners and are composed of wires and brackets. They cannot be removed to eat or brush your teeth.
While Invisalign and braces are both used to treat malocclusion - i.e. crooked or crowded teeth - and to make you smile with more confidence, they clearly have differences and similarities to consider if you have the choice.
4 differences between Invisalign and braces
In measuring Invisalign vs braces effectiveness, there are some differences to consider. Here are the main differences between both treatments:
Let’s face it, getting your teeth fixed and having to go through treatment is a clear additional budget to your life. The cost of orthodontic treatments can be different depending on factors such as location, expertise, and your particular case. The cost of Invisalign vs braces is not much higher. You can check out more details about it here (Invisalign cost article).
While braces mainly include metal, ceramic, plaster, or other brackets attached to a wire and fitted with bands, Invisalign aligners have a more natural appearance. They are clear and almost unnoticeable, making them more favorable aesthetically.
Comfort and Practicality
When it comes to traditional braces vs Invisalign, the former are more painful and cause more discomfort among patients. Invisalign aligners are more comfortable and more practical in the sense that they can be removed to eat and clean your teeth.
Procedure and Effectiveness
While Invisalign is usually used by dentists for moderate dental issues, braces are used for more complex cases. The procedure is different for braces as you will need X-rays and thorough teeth examination. You will then have to wear them for 1 to 2 years (the length required for braces to work), while Invisalign requires 6 to 18 months (check out more details in our how long does Invisalign take article).
Also, Invisalign treatment requires fewer visits to the dentist than braces as they won’t need tightening or adjusting. Invisalign is also different in the way that you are responsible for wearing your aligners 22 hours a day. Braces always stay on.
3 similarities between traditional braces vs Invisalign
Whether it is Invisalign or braces, both treatments are similar in a few ways. Despite their differences and their different look and feel, here are a few similarities they share:
Duration of daily wearing
They both must be worn all day. While it is true that Invisalign can be removed to eat and clean your teeth or even to give your mouth a little rest, it won’t be effective if not worn all day.
Both Invisalign and braces require a commitment from the patient. You will need to make visits to the dentist a priority, wear the aligners, and clean your teeth properly.
Invisalign and braces are both effective treatments for correcting your teeth problems. Whether it is a matter of bite, jaw position, or crooked teeth, both of them guarantee straightened teeth at the end of the treatment period.
Invisalign vs braces cost: which is cheaper?
The cost of Invisalign and braces is almost similar. However, the advantages that come with Invisalign certainly are worth the slightly extra cost.
Invisalign vs braces effectiveness: does Invisalign work better than braces?
As mentioned above, both Invisalign and traditional braces are effective for fixing your particular teeth problem. One difference between Invisalign and traditional braces is that Invisalign is considered for moderately crooked teeth while braces are used for more severe cases. Invisalign is also considered a faster treatment (you can get your teeth aligned in as little as 6 months). It is easier on your mental health given the clear aligners that are more comfortable and removable.
Braces or Invisalign comparison chart
It is always good to be able to clearly compare and weigh your options. Below is a comparison table showing you Invisalign vs traditional braces factors to consider. You can also check Invisalign before and after photos here.
So, which is better: braces or Invisalign?
In answering the question of whether Invisalign is better than braces, there are many factors to consider. Invisalign is surely more comfortable, faster, and more aesthetically pleasing. However, your personal case should be considered and sometimes, braces cannot be avoided.
Final Points about Invisalign or braces
In the Invisalign vs. traditional braces debate, it finally all boils down to your personal choice. To make a proper decision, you must consider everything we’ve discussed in the article above and talk to your orthodontist.
Which is faster: braces or Invisalign?
The Invisalign treatment is usually faster than traditional braces. You will have to wear your aligners at least 22 hours a day and your goal can be reached in as little as 6 months. Note that it can take up to 18 months. Braces need around 16 to 18 months for teeth to become straightened.
Is Invisalign more painful than braces?
As mentioned by many patients, Invisalign is way less painful than metal braces. It is uncomfortable too but the fact that they can be removed for eating and teeth cleaning makes it less painful than braces.
How much is it to switch from braces to Invisalign?
If you wish to switch to Invisalign from braces, it is possible but will depend on your individual case. Depending on the stage you are in, you will pay for the Invisalign treatment adapted to the stage of alignment your teeth need.