Invisalign vs. Braces: the Pros and the Cons

Deciding between Invisalign vs. braces can be a tough decision for anyone considering orthodontic treatment. Braces are permanent and utilise brackets, bands, and wires to move the teeth. On the other hand, Invisalign involves a series of removable aligners made with 3-D technology with clear tooth coloured attachments on some teeth. While both types of treatment can effectively straighten teeth and improve overall oral health, there are several points you should consider before making a final decision. Here we will look at the pros and cons of braces vs. Invisalign

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign is an efficient, modern alternative to braces that uses custom-made trays to align your teeth. Invisalign works in three stages: first, a 3D treatment plan is developed which is based on scans or dental impressions; second, Invisalign creates a series of clear plastic aligners customised for the patient’s smile with each aligner being worn for one to two weeks each. At the completion of the final aligner the teeth are straightened and maintained with the use of a retainer.

In terms of results, Invisalign comes out ahead of traditional metal braces in many ways. In addition to being nearly invisible when compared to braces, Invisalign offers a more comfortable solution as it does not have metal brackets or wires rubbing against your gums and cheeks. Invisalign encourages better oral hygiene than braces, as it can easily be removed for meals and cleaning sessions. 

The Pros of Clear Aligners

Fewer Appointments

The primary advantage of clear aligners is that you will need fewer appointments than you would with traditional braces. With traditional braces, you typically need to go in for an appointment every 4-6 weeks in order to have the braces adjusted. With clear aligners, you only need to go in for an appointment every 6-8 weeks, as the aligners will slowly and gradually move your teeth into place.

More Comfortable

The second benefit of clear aligners is that they are more comfortable to wear than traditional braces. Traditional braces can rub against your gums and cheeks, which can lead to discomfort. Clear aligners are made from a smooth, comfortable material that will not rub against your gums or cheeks. Additionally, clear aligners can be removed for eating and drinking, which means that you can eat whatever you want without worrying about damaging your braces.

Less Visible

Clear aligners are also much less visible than traditional braces, which means that people can’t see that you are wearing them unless they are looking very closely. This is a major advantage for adults who are self-conscious about their appearance and do not want to draw attention to their teeth.

The Cons of Clear Aligners

They’re Expensive

A disadvantage of Invisalign vs. braces is that while clear aligners are generally more affordable than traditional braces, they’re still an expensive investment similar to other orthodontic options, such as metal braces. The average cost of clear aligners across the country is around $5,500, while the average cost of metal braces is around $8,000.

They Require More Patient Compliance

Clear aligners also require more compliance when you compare Invisalign vs. braces. Clear aligners are removable and you need to remember to wear each aligner for 22 hours a day.  In addition, you need to remove the aligners when eating and drinking anything besides for water.  One must be careful not to misplace or lose the aligner when it is out of the mouth and to be sure to place it back in the mouth when finished eating. You also need to clean your aligners regularly with a special cleaning solution to prevent them from getting stained or discolored.

They’re Not Suitable for Everyone

While clear aligners are a great option for many people, they’re not suitable for everyone. Clear aligners can’t be used to treat certain orthodontic issues, such as severe crowding with jaw discrepancies or severe bite problems. Additionally, clear aligners may not be the best option for people who have very active lifestyles, as they can be easily lost or damaged during physical activity.

How Do Braces Work?

Braces are intricate but incredible machines made of a variety of materials, including metal and ceramic, with the purpose of straightening teeth. They work by placing gentle pressure on the teeth to slowly shift them into the desired position. This is achieved through the use of bands, wires, and brackets that act together to create uniform pressure on each individual tooth. 

Changes occur gradually to reduce any discomfort or pain associated with movement. The number of weeks and months one must wear braces greatly varied depending on the severity and desired outcome and is determined by an dentist after an initial inspection has been performed. With patience and regular visits, however, this form of treatment can be extremely effective in improving both the look and feel of your smile.

The Pros of Braces

They Can Improve Your Smile

If you are unhappy with your smile, braces can help to improve it. Crooked teeth can be difficult to clean, which can lead to an increase in cavities and gum disease. Braces can help to align your teeth, making them easier to clean and giving you a more attractive smile.

They Can Help To Correct Bite Issues

If you are looking at the pros and cons of braces vs. Invisalign, you should know that braces can also help to correct bite issues, such as overbites, underbites, and crossbites. These problems can cause difficulty chewing and speaking, as well as pain in the jaw joint. By correcting the alignment of your teeth, braces can help to alleviate these problems.

They Can Increase Your Confidence

If you are unhappy with your appearance, braces can help to increase your confidence. When you feel good about the way you look, it shows in your attitude and in your interactions with others. Wearing braces can help you to feel better about yourself, both inside and out.

The Cons of Braces.

They’re Painful

Another downside to braces vs. Invisalign is that braces can be quite painful. When you first get your braces, your teeth may feel sore and tender. You may also experience discomfort when the wires are tightened during your adjustment appointments. Some people find that over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen can help to ease the pain associated with braces.

They’re Time-Consuming

A further significant con of braces vs. Invisalign is that braces can be time-consuming. It typically takes about two years for braces to fully correct dental problems, and you will need to visit your dentist for regular adjustment appointments during that time. Additionally, you will need to take extra care of your teeth while you have braces, which can include wearing a mouthguard when playing sports and avoiding hard foods that could damage the wires. 


In conclusion, the pros and cons of braces vs. Invisalign depend on your individual needs and lifestyle preferences. Ultimately it’s up to you (or your dentist) which one will work best for your situation; however, it’s important that you consider all aspects before making a final decision so that you get the optimal results from whichever option you choose! Your dentist will help guide you through this process, so don’t hesitate to ask questions if something doesn’t make sense! Good luck!