Invisalign vs. Metal Braces: What's the Difference?

Having a perfectly straight smile doesn’t always come naturally. Sometimes, teeth might need a little bit of help to achieve this look. Luckily, there are some really effective ways to do this, whether it’s for adults or children!

Two common procedures for teeth straightening are metal braces and Invisalign. Each route comes with its own pros and cons, and each with its own list of alignment issues they can address. Understanding the key differences between these two is essential to making the right choice for you or your child.

Metal Braces vs Invisalign: A Side by Side Comparison

Metal braces are likely the most common orthodontic procedure people think of when they imagine straightening their teeth. They are made up of metal wires that get attached to the teeth and slowly pull them into their most optimal position. Invisalign are far more discreet, however, as they’re clear trays you can actually remove, although you should wear them for at least 22 hours every single day.

To make a comparison between the two, let’s look at 5 main factors:

  • Appearance - The major disadvantage of metal braces is that they are quite visible, which can lead to self-esteem issues. Invisalign are much more discreet, and almost completely undetectable by comparison.
  • Comfort - No method to straighten teeth will be 100% comfortable. As the teeth are slowly pulled into their best position, this will create some discomfort, soreness, and even pain. However, Invisalign usually applies less pressure to the teeth than metal braces. Plus, without any sharp metal brackets or wires to poke your mouth and gums, Invisalign offers a more comfortable experience overall.
  • Alignment Issues They Fix - Whether braces or Invisalign are right for you can depend greatly on the type of alignment issue you have. For instance, more mild cases are often easily fixed with Invisalign, but complex misalignments usually warrant metal braces instead. The orthodontist will take your unique needs into consideration when recommending the best treatment plan.
  • Convenience - For some patients, Invisalign is the more convenient option as they can be removed and easily cleaned every day, while metal braces can be a hassle to clean. But, some prefer metal braces because they cannot be removed, meaning they don’t have to worry about remembering to wear their aligners. It all comes down to personal preference.
  • Follow-up Appointments - Both metal braces and Invisalign will require routine visits to the dentist to make sure your treatment is on the correct path. Metal braces usually need more frequent visits, at least once a month, while Invisalign can require an appointment once every 4-6 months. However, it can differ greatly from patient to patient.

Still Not Sure Which Is Better? Kingstowne Dental Specialists Can Help!

Kingstowne Dental Specialists is here to help you see which teeth straightening solution is best either for you or your child.

Book a consultation with Courtney Marzban, DMD, or Robert Marzban, DDS, MDS to find out more.

free first visit for kids under 15 months!