Invisalign vs Braces - Which Is Right For You

Braces (irremovable) vs Invisalign (removable)
Metal-typically silver; can pay extra for color or enamel color Color Clear/invisible
24/7 for an average of 2 years, depending on patient needs Treatment time 22-24 hrs/day for 6 to 18 months, depending on patient needs
Brush brackets and wires regularly while brushing teeth; water pick may be helpful. Maintenance Invisalign Cleaning system, or brushing and rinsing trays in luke warm water
About every month Follow up visits Change aligner trays every 2 weeks; visits every 4 to 6 weeks
Positioner or retainer likely needed ongoing, maybe only at night Follow up to treatment Positioner or retainer likely needed ongoing, maybe only at night
  • More effective for more complex issues
  • No temptation to leave them out, so less self discipline is needed for success
  • No extra cleaning steps required besides regular brushing and flossing
Pros
  • Invisible
  • Removable
  • No issues with food getting caught
  • No difficulty eating
  • No discomfort from wires
  • May have some pain, sores or discomfort from wires, brackets or tooth movement
  • May have some tooth discoloration or breakage
  • May have difficulty eating sticky, hard foods
Cons
  • May have discomfort from tooth movement
  • Must remove before eating or drinking anything but water
  • Must brush after each meal to avoid staining
Patients playing rough contact sports regularly NOT ideal for
  • bridgework
  • back tooth bite issues
  • the need to rotate canines or premolars
  • the need to move teeth vertically
  • lack of discipline to keep trays in for at least 22 hours daily