Invisalign vs. Braces

If you have crooked teeth or other orthodontic issues, Tolley Dental can help. We are proud to offer Invisalign treatment to our patients interested in using clear aligners to straighten teeth and improve their oral health.

However, some patients wonder if Invisalign clear aligners are worth the investment and if it is as effective as the more traditional metal braces treatment. Our comparison of braces vs. Invisalign can help you decide which is the right option.

What’s the difference between Invisalign and metal braces?

Both Invisalign and braces are a type of orthodontic treatment used to straighten teeth. However, their structure and methods for straightening teeth are very different.

Braces are composed of metal brackets cemented to your teeth with dental glue. These brackets support a wire that attaches to the brackets with rubber bands. Patients who wear braces must visit an orthodontist every few weeks to have their braces adjusted to move teeth to the desired position.

Invisalign uses a series of invisible aligner trays made of BPA-free clear plastic. Using X-rays and impressions to form a 3-D image of your teeth, your dentist will develop a treatment plan to shift your smile into alignment.

Advantages of Traditional Braces

The most significant advantage of wearing braces is that they demand less self-control since they are not removable. Easy maintenance is the primary reason metal braces are popular for treating children.

Disadvantages of Traditional Braces

There are several disadvantages to using braces when compared to Invisalign.

  • Certain foods may harm your braces or get caught in them and should be avoided entirely.
  • Braces can make brushing and flossing difficult. Unlike Invisalign trays, you cannot remove them for hygiene.
  • Your braces can be a hazard during specific activities, such as playing rough contact sports.
  • Occasionally, the brackets, bands, or metal wires may irritate your sensitive gum tissue, causing discomfort.
  • Hardwire braces can be more expensive, depending on your situation. They can cost up to $5,500.
  • Braces treatments tend to last longer than Invisalign. They take an average of 2 years to complete treatment.
  • Patients must visit the orthodontist every three to six weeks for adjustments.

Advantages of Invisalign

When comparing Invisalign vs. braces, Invisalign has a lot of clear advantages.

  • Unlike braces, the aligner trays have a discreet appearance that is virtually invisible.
  • There are no metal wires, hooks, or bands to cause discomfort.
  • Treatment duration may be shorter, generally ranging from 6 to 18 months.
  • Progress is checked every 2 to 3 months, so there are fewer orthodontist visits to our office.
  • Invisalign is removable, so there are no restrictions on what you can eat. Patients appreciate the minimal disruption to their diet.
  • The removable trays make it easier to clean teeth properly and reach every surface. There won’t be any surprise tooth discoloration at the end of your treatment.

Disadvantages of Invisalign

There can be some disadvantages to Invisalign. However, most patients find these to be minor problems.

  • Invisalign aligners are unsuitable for children or individuals who do not have the self-control to maintain trays.
  • Invisalign treatments may not be suitable for more complex cases.
  • Because you should remove your Invisalign aligners to eat, you should also brush your teeth before replacing them. Some patients find this to be a significant inconvenience of Invisalign treatment.

Contact us for a consultation about orthodontic treatment!

Tolley Dental can help you have the beautiful and straight teeth you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation about your treatment options!


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I had a very pleasant experience. Everyone is very friendly and the technicians are very good at what they do. Dr Tolley is great…very personable and skilled, great at cosmetic dentistry. Best dentist in the Winchester area (and beyond)!


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