Woman putting on clear aligners


Invisalign vs. Braces

Written By : Generations of Smiles Writers

Reviewed By : Charles Rodgers, DDS

Published: Apr 01, 2022

In This Article

Significant advances in cosmetic dentistry have provided multiple options when it comes to getting straight, beautiful teeth; the right option for you is a personal decision that is best made with the support of a qualified, trusted orthodontist.

Invisalign vs. Braces

Both invisible braces, like Invisalign, and traditional braces, can be great options for straightening teeth, depending on your unique needs. Traditional braces are a combination of metal brackets, wires, and rubber bands that are affixed directly to teeth. They are tightened at regular intervals by an orthodontist and are effective for both major and minor corrections to the alignment of teeth.

Invisalign is a brand of clear plastic aligners that are formed based on a mold and imaging of your teeth. This type of aligner can be used as an alternative to braces but may be better suited for minor corrections that don't require significant shifting of the teeth as Invisalign may take longer than braces in those scenarios.  Invisalign is one of the only brands of clear aligners that states that their product can address more complicated issues when it comes to straightening teeth.

Woman smiling with her clear aligner. Invisalign offers a discreet way to straighten teeth

Advantages of Invisalign

Is Invisalign better than braces? There are many advantages of Invisalign that range from aesthetic appeal to comfort of use.

Aesthetic Appeal

Invisalign offers a discreet way to straighten teeth, using clear plastic as opposed to blatant metal brackets and rubber bands. If you are concerned about the look of braces, using an invisible option to straighten your teeth can give you the best of both worlds – you’ll get a double-dose of confidence knowing that not only are your teeth moving into alignment throughout the majority of every day but also that this process is all going on in a way that is more discreet than metal braces. 

No Dietary Restrictions

With Invisalign, you won't need to forego your favorite sticky candy, gum, nuts, and other delectable treats that are not braces-friendly; Invisalign does not impose restrictions on your eating and drinking habits as traditional braces do. Although you can’t eat or drink anything except water with Invisalign aligners in place, when you take them out you are free to eat or drink anything you wish.

No Irritation to Other Parts of the Mouth

Traditional braces can cause pain in other areas of the mouth where wires and brackets cause friction and result in sores. Invisalign aligners are flush with the teeth and do not protrude in any way that would cause pain or irritation to the sensitive tissue of the mouth.

Ease of Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene

Invisible braces such as Invisalign may also help with oral hygiene; because the trays are removed for eating and drinking and then rinsed before replacing on the teeth, there is not the same risk of plaque and buildup from food stuck in and around the wires of traditional metal braces. Not only are the trays supposed to be rinsed before putting them back in, but teeth should be thoroughly brushed. This gives an extra boost of cleaning and good oral hygiene habits, as you will be brushing after every snack and meal instead of just twice a day as most people do.

Is Invisalign Faster than Braces?

On average, Invisalign is faster than braces. The average user wears invisible braces for an average of 12 to 18 months, whereas traditional braces are usually worn from one to three years. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Invisalign is usually best suited for individuals that do not need extensive correction. Hence, the alignment itself is a less demanding process than it would be for a person that needs extreme correction through the use of traditional metal braces. It’s also important to note that the speed of correction also depends on the patient wearing the Invisalign aligners – if they aren’t worn for the appropriate amount of time each day, the entire process can be significantly delayed.

Disadvantages of Invisalign

While there are many benefits to Invisalign, there are also disadvantages to consider before making a decision to use them.


In the hustle and bustle of today’s world, remembering to not only take out your Invisalign but also properly store and keep the aligners, so they stay in top-notch shape, can be one more thing on your already-lengthy list of things to keep track of in life. Because Invisalign aligners are removable, that also means they must be carefully kept up with on a daily basis.

Potential Delays in Length of Treatment

If you forget to put your Invisalign liners back in after eating or drinking, you will decrease the number of hours they are worn for that day. If the aligners are repeatedly not worn as indicated, the total length of treatment time can be extended significantly. A great deal of personal responsibility is required to successfully use Invisalign, so it may not be the best option for younger children or teens.
Braces offer a significant advantage when it comes to complex corrections

Advantages of Braces

The difference between Invisalign and braces is significant, and there are some clear advantages for braces over their invisible counterparts.

Consistency in Complex Cases

Because braces are attached to each individual tooth, they offer a significant advantage when it comes to complex corrections such as a large overbite or underbite. Invisalign may not be able to be used in every case, but braces can, without a doubt, move severely crooked teeth into their proper places to ensure an even, beautiful smile.

Where to Get Invisalign or Braces

Not all orthodontists offer Invisalign treatments, but they all specialize in traditional metal braces. Check with your local Orthodontist. 

Alternatives in Traditional Braces

Though not as common, another advantage of braces is a range of options when it comes to positioning and aesthetics. If you’re concerned about how metal braces look but do not want the responsibility or cost of Invisalign, you can choose from a couple of different options in the braces category. Lingual braces are placed on the back of teeth so they won’t be easily visible to others; ceramic braces can be made to match the color of your enamel, so they will be less obvious when applied to your teeth.

Invisalign vs. Braces Cost

Traditional metal braces usually cost less, on average, than Invisalign.  It’s important to keep in mind that costs can vary based on many factors, including the geographic region in which you’re receiving treatment, your orthodontist, the complexity of your case, and whether or not you have insurance.

How Much is Invisalign with Insurance?

The cost of Invisalign with insurance depends on your particular insurance plan and benefits package. Consult your insurance provider to find out what coverage is available for Invisalign as an option for invisible braces; most insurance that covers traditional braces will also cover Invisalign, as long as neither treatment is for purely aesthetic purposes.

Average Cost of Invisalign Without Insurance

The cost of Invisalign will be based on the length of your treatment, but on average, it will usually cost between $3000 and $7000. It’s important to ask your orthodontist if they are experienced with Invisalign and to get a quote for the service from start to finish. Keep in mind that additional treatment may be needed beyond the actual Invisalign, such as a retainer and other follow-up care.

Braces vs Invisalign Chart

Traditional braces vs invisalign infographic chart

Find an Orthodontist Near Me

Having straight teeth is an important part of a confident, beautiful smile. If your smile is less than perfect, there are many options for getting your teeth set in perfect alignment. Whether you go with Invisalign or traditional braces, be sure to consult your orthodontist to ensure the treatment plan is well-suited for your individual needs. If you’re asking where you can find a capable caring orthodontist near me, check out Smile Generation’s Find a Dentist tool to connect with someone who can guide you to the straight, beautiful smile you’ve always dreamed of.


Find your trusted, local dentist today!







Smile Generation blog articles are reviewed by a licensed dental professional before publishing. However, we present this information for educational purposes only with the intent to promote readers’ understanding of oral health and oral healthcare treatment options and technology. We do not intend for our blog content to substitute for professional dental care and clinical advice, diagnosis, or treatment planning provided by a licensed dental professional. Smile Generation always recommends seeking the advice of a dentist, physician, or other licensed healthcare professional for a dental or medical condition or treatment. 

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