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Invisalign vs Braces: Is Invisalign Better Than Braces?

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Invisalign and braces are two of the most popular orthodontic teeth straightening treatments. But when it comes to choosing between the two, which one is the better option?

Invisalign, the clear aligner system, has become increasingly popular with both teens and adults in recent years due to its aesthetic benefits and is quickly becoming the preferred treatment for straightening teeth. On the other hand, braces have been around for decades and were once the preferred choice for people looking for that perfect Hollywood smile.

In this article, we’ll break down the pros and cons of each and explore the differences between the two treatments, including what to expect and the associated costs, to help you decide which option is right for you. 

What are Invisalign and braces?

Invisalign is a clear aligner system that uses a set of custom-made, removable trays to gradually and gently shift your teeth into the desired position. Braces, on the other hand, are metal brackets and wires that are bonded to your teeth and adjusted over time to move your teeth into the preferred alignment.

Both treatments require careful and consistent care and maintenance, and both have the same goal of straightening your teeth and improving your smile. However, there are some key differences between the two treatments that you should consider when making your decision.

Benefits of Invisalign

Invisalign offers several advantages over braces. 

  • Since Invisalign trays are removable, they are more comfortable than traditional metal brackets and wires which are fixed to the teeth. 
  • They don’t require any dietary restrictions as they can be taken out before eating and drinking.
  • Invisalign trays are practically invisible and therefore less noticeable than traditional braces making them a great option for teens and adults who want to avoid the look of braces.
  • Invisalign trays are easy to keep clean as you can simply take them out and soak them overnight.
  • In most cases, they are much quicker than traditional braces.

Benefits of braces

Braces also have several benefits and shouldn’t be overlooked.

  • They are slightly more affordable than Invisalign
  • They are suitable for kids who are non-compliant
  • They can be more effective for complex cases, such as severe misalignment or bite issues. However, this is clinician dependent

Invisalign vs. braces: which is better?

When it comes to choosing between Invisalign and braces, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Both treatments have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, and which one is right for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Your dentist or orthodontist can help you decide which option is best for you.

These days Invisalign can do almost everything braces can provide. In some cases, such as a deep bite or extraction-involved cases, braces may still be the go-to option. In other cases, such as open bites and moving periodontal compromised teeth, Invisalign is a more suitable choice. This is because the technology is more advanced and the ability to brush and floss normally is better for the overall health of your gums.

At the end of the day, whether you choose Invisalign or braces will come down to how experienced your clinician is at the respective product and technology. So, in many cases, choosing an experienced clinician is more important than choosing the teeth straightening product itself.

What to Expect with Invisalign

If you choose Invisalign, you can expect the treatment process to last about 6 to 18 months. During this time, you will be required to wear your Invisalign trays for approximately 22 hours per day. 

You will also need to visit your dentist every four to six weeks to check your progress and receive your new set of trays. If your dentist uses AI technology such as dental monitoring, which allows the dentist to remotely monitor your progress every week, you will only need to visit them once every few months.

Wearing Invisalign will mean you can enjoy whatever foods you normally consume without having to worry about cleaning between wires. You can brush and floss your teeth regularly without using special mini toothbrushes to clear between the metal brackets.

These are significant advantages of Invisalign over traditional braces. However, you do need to remember to put them back on after a meal… because if you don’t wear them, your teeth won’t move!

What to expect with braces

If you decide to go with braces, you can expect the treatment process to last anywhere between 18 to 36 months. During this time, you will need to visit your orthodontist every four to six weeks to have your braces adjusted. You will also need to brush and floss your teeth regularly and use the prescribed cleaning tools provided by your orthodontist.

You will also need to avoid certain food and drinks that can cause damage to your braces, such as hard candy and carbonated beverages. Plus, you will need to be careful when playing sports or engaging in other physical activities that could potentially cause damage to your braces.

Cost comparison of Invisalign vs. braces

The cost of Invisalign and braces can vary depending on several factors, such as the complexity of your case and the type of treatment you choose. 

On average, Invisalign can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000, while braces can cost anywhere from $7,000 to $9,000. However, many insurance plans cover part of the cost of orthodontic treatments, so it’s important to check with your insurance provider to see if you are eligible for any coverage.

In Australia, you only need to check with the health fund for three things:

  1. What is your Annual Limit (usually $500-900)
  2. What is your Lifetime Limit (usually $2,000-3,000)
  3. Are you covered for orthodontists (ask if they cover for the code 825 – clear aligners)

Some insurance companies cover slightly more orthodontic fees than general dentist fees. The reason is unclear, however, orthodontists tend to be significantly more expensive than general dentists, so do your due diligence and go with a dentist you can trust, rather than choosing based on price alone.

Our verdict

Invisalign and braces are both effective treatments for correcting misaligned teeth and improving oral health. Both treatments have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, and which one is right for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. 

When deciding between Invisalign and braces, it’s important to consider your specific needs, preferences, and budget. Your dentist or orthodontist can provide more information and help you decide which treatment is best for you and answer any questions you may have. Ultimately, with regular care and maintenance, both can help you achieve a beautiful, straight smile.

If you’re looking to explore your teeth straightening options, please call our clinic on (03) 9593-1811 or book a consultation with one of our dentists.


Disclaimer: The material posted is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Results vary with each patient. Any dental procedure carries risks and benefits. If you have any specific questions about any dental and/or medical matter, you should consult your dentist, physician or other professional healthcare providers.


Services we mentioned:

Cosmetic Dentistry

General Dental Health Examination and Hygiene


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