Pros & Cons: Traditional Metal Braces vs Invisalign Clear Aligners

September 26, 2019 by Beautiful Smiles Dental

invisalign vs braces


Worn by millions of adults and children across America, metal braces are the traditional option to straighten teeth. Invisalign clear aligners are a much more recent advancement and offer a whole new approach to teeth straightening treatment. If you’re looking to improve the appearance of crowded or crooked teeth, close gaps between your teeth, or correct an over or under bite, then you may be wondering: is modern better than traditional or is the classic solution the best option?


Let’s take a look at the pros & cons of metal braces vs Invisalign clear aligners, to determine the best solution for improving your smile and dental health.

Traditional Metal Braces: The Pros & Cons

Metal braces were one of the very first types of appliance used for treating misaligned teeth. Braces are comprised of brackets, ligatures (rubber bands), and arch wires; the wires are adjusted regularly to maintain pressure on the teeth and gradually realign them.

The Pros of Metal Braces

  • Good for Complicated Cases – Metal braces are suitable for virtually any treatment, no matter how complicated the case is.
  • Better Results  – As metal braces offer a high level of control over alignment and exert more force, it can be easier to achieve great results. It’s often possible to achieve perfect results with traditional braces.
  • Faster Results – In most cases, metal braces work much faster than Invisalign and there’s no risk that a lack of discipline will slow down the treatment.
  • Durable – Traditional metal braces are very strong, durable, and sturdy.
  • Affordable – Metal braces are one of the most affordable options for correcting misaligned teeth.
  • Customizable – There are many color options for the brackets and ligatures on traditional braces, which can make them more appealing to children.

The Cons of Metal Braces

  • Very Noticeable – Metal braces are not as big as they once were, but they can still be quite noticeable when eating and speaking. Many people dislike the appearance of traditional braces.
  • Oral Hygiene Difficulties – It can take time and practice to learn how to brush and floss your teeth while wearing braces, making it difficult to care for your teeth initially.
  • Hard to Maintain – Traditional metal braces need to be cleaned regularly to maintain the braces and keep your teeth healthy.
  • Less Food & Drink Freedom – Crunchy, chewy, hard, and sticky foods can get stuck in braces and damage them.
  • Discomfort – At first, braces can be difficult to adjust to and may cause discomfort and pain.
  • Regular Dental Appointments – When wearing metal braces, you need to MAKE YOUR APPOINTMENT HERE with a Gurnee orthodontist for adjustments every four to eight weeks.

Invisalign Clear Aligners: The Pros & Cons

Invisalign clear aligners have been around for roughly two decades. Invisalign treatment involves using a series of custom-made trays that gradually move teeth into the correct position.

The Pros of Invisalign Clear Aligners

The Pros of Invisalign Clear Aligners

  • Each Aligner is Customized – Every tray that you’ll require throughout your treatment will be custom-made from thermoplastic material to fit your teeth.
  • Virtually Invisible – Unlike metal braces, Invisalign clear aligners are almost completely invisible.
  • Removable – You can remove Invisalign clear aligners for between two and four hours every day. The aligners should be removed when eating, drinking, brushing and flossing.
  • Comfortable – As there are no sharp parts, Invisalign clear aligners are normally much more comfortable to wear than metal braces. There are also no dietary changes required when wearing Invisalign aligners, as the aligners are removed when eating.
  • Quicker Consultations – Depending on your Invisalign dentist in Gurnee, IL, you may only need to book an appointment every six to ten weeks. While this timeframe is similar to braces, the appointments are often much quicker.
  • Low Maintenance – Invisalign aligners are replaced on a frequent basis and can easily be removed for cleaning, so maintenance is normally quite simple.

The Cons of Invisalign Clear Aligners

  • Not Always Invisible – While the aligners are clear, if you need additional attachments to assist with alignment, they can become more noticeable.
  • Inconvenient – Removing Invisalign clear aligners can be very inconvenient. The aligners have to be removed when consuming anything except water and you must brush your teeth before replacing them.
  • Chance of Failure – The ability to remove the aligners can cause treatment to be unsuccessful or take much longer. Patients who remove their aligners for more than the recommended two to four hours a day may not achieve their desired results.
  • Not Suitable for Complicated Problems – Invisalign clear aligners aren’t as effective as metal braces. For complicated cases, they aren’t always the best treatment.
  • Initial Discomfort – Just like with metal braces, wearing Invisalign clear aligners can be uncomfortable and slightly painful initially. It can take time to grow accustomed to how the aligners feel.
  • Expensive – Invisalign aligners can be more expensive than traditional metal braces, especially if you’ll also require braces to finalize the position of your teeth after Invisalign treatment.


Which is Best: Traditional Metal Braces or Invisalign Clear Aligners?

Invisalign clear aligners and traditional metal braces are both great options for straightening teeth, but each option does have a number of drawbacks as well as positives. When it comes to choosing the best option for a patient, a lot can depend on their needs and lifestyle and the extent of correction required.

For more complicated cases and with patients who might struggle with discipline, traditional metal braces are often a better choice. For patients who are concerned about appearance, who don’t want to change their eating habits, and who don’t have the time for long visits to the dentist, Invisalign can be the best option.

Visiting an orthodontist or Invisalign dentist in Gurnee, IL is the best course of action if you’re debating Invisalign clear aligners vs traditional metal braces and which treatment is the perfect match for your goals, lifestyle, and level of discipline.

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