What's the Difference?

If you want straighter teeth, you’ve probably heard about both braces and Invisalign. Which is right for you?

Invisalign® and traditional braces straighten misaligned bites to enhance the appearance of your smile and make it as easy as possible to care for your teeth.

Invisalign is a discreet, convenient alternative to metal braces. However, patients with severe misalignment or jaw-related issues may be better suited to braces.

The most obvious difference is in how each treatment works…

The Defining Feature How Orthodontics Straighten Your Teeth

Braces vs. Invisalign

Braces move teeth with the force of brackets, wires, and rubber bands that are tightened periodically. Invisalign uses removable plastic trays.

What does this mean for me, as a patient?

The Major Differences

Visibility

While ceramic braces blend in with the teeth to an extent, metal braces are hard to miss. In contrast, most people don’t even realize patients are wearing transparent Invisalign trays.

Severity of Misalignment

Because traditional braces are much more powerful, dentists usually recommend them for severe misalignment. Invisalign is a more viable option for mild to moderate cases.

Removable vs. Fixed

While metal braces remain attached to the teeth throughout treatment, patients can remove Invisalign when necessary. As a result, flossing and brushing are easier and patients can still enjoy all their favorite foods.

“The average treatment time with Invisalign is just 1 year.”

- Dr. Jacqueline Fulop-Goodling 

The treatments share more similarities than differences, though…

Offering Many of the Same Benefits

Reliable Outcomes

While the time investment, cost, and aesthetics may differ, both braces and Invisalign offer the same outcome: a noticeably straighter smile.

Aftercare with Retainers

To maintain results, patients may need to wear a retainer for at least the same amount of time as their orthodontic treatment. Over time, you will only need to wear the retainer at night.

Improved Oral Health

Regardless of which treatment you choose, the results make brushing and flossing more effective. When your teeth are straight, it is easier to clean your smile and prevent decay.

“I’ve seen patients who by our diagnostic criteria have periodontal disease, but as their teeth are being straightened, their pockets resolve…Some patients respond so well…that less or no surgery was needed.”

Dr. John A. Martin

Aren’t orthodontics usually for teenagers?

More Adults Are Pursuing Treatment than Ever Before

Invisalign stat graphic

From 2012 to 2014, adults seeking treatment from orthodontists in the United States and Canada increased significantly.

*According to the Dental Tribune

So what are the benefits and risks of each?

Understanding the Pros and Cons

Pros

Braces Invisalign
Straighter smile X X
Inconspicuous treatment X
Good for severe misalignment X
Removable X

Cons

Braces Invisalign
Discomfort X
Retainer needed to avoid re-treatment X X
Longer timeline X
Greater cost X

Still Considering Your Options?

Veneers

Most orthodontic options require a considerable time investment. If you prefer more immediate results, your doctor may recommend porcelain veneers or dental crowns. While these restorations cannot correct underlying misalignment, they can quickly improve the appearance of your smile in two appointments or less.

Deciding What’s Right for Your Smile

When deciding whether braces or Invisalign is right for you, ask yourself:

  • How severe is my misalignment?
  • What is my budget like?
  • Does it matter to me if people can tell I have braces?
  • How likely am I to remember to wear an aligner?

This last point is especially important. If you forget to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day, you may prolong your treatment timeline. Your doctor can recommend which option is best suited to your aesthetic and oral health needs during an in-depth consultation.

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I have been to a number of dentists and this one is by far the best and most caring one. I could not be happier with my experience here...they truly care about the well-being of your body!!!! Love the staff as well!!! Adriene V.

Message

I have been to a number of dentists and this one is by far the best and most caring one. I could not be happier with my experience here...they truly care about the well-being of your body!!!! Love the staff as well!!! Adriene V.

San Angelo Office

4331 College Hills Blvd San Angelo, TX 76904

Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm

More Info Directions (325) 223-2373

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San Angelo Office

4331 College Hills Blvd San Angelo, TX 76904

Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm

More Info Directions (325) 223-2373

Message

I have been to a number of dentists and this one is by far the best and most caring one. I could not be happier with my experience here...they truly care about the well-being of your body!!!! Love the staff as well!!! Adriene V.